Mid Range Drink Driving
The offence of mid-range PCA is committed by a person who drives a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration from 0.08 to 0.149. If a person is convicted by a court of this offence the maximum penalty for a first offender is imprisonment for 9 months and a fine of 20 penalty units.
Upon conviction, the maximum licence disqualification is for 12 months, and the minimum is 6 months. This offence is also subject to a mandatory interlock scheme. If you are subject to the interlock program, the court can disqualify you for a maximum period of 6 months, and a minimum person of 3 months, and then you will be subject to the interlock program for 12 months.
The maximum penalty for a repeat offender following the recording of a criminal conviction is imprisonment for 12 months, a fine of 50 penalty units. The maximum licence disqualification is 3 years, and the minimum is 12 months. This offence is also subject to a mandatory interlock scheme. If you are subject to the interlock program, the court can disqualify you for a maximum period of 9 months, and a minimum period of 6 months, and then you will be subject to the interlock program for 24 months.
Will I Get A Criminal Record For A Mid Range PCA offence?
Most likely. Drink driving at any level is considered to be a serious offence. The penalties for mid-range drink driving are significantly more severe than those for low range drink driving because of the level of alcohol in the offender’s system.
Is It Possible To Avoid A Criminal Conviction For A Mid Range PCA offence?
It is possible to avoid a criminal conviction for a mid-range PCA offence, in limited circumstances. If the court thinks it is expedient not to convict you, it may sentence you to a dismissal, pursuant to Section 10(1)(a) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 or a Conditional Release Order without conviction, pursuant to Section 10(1)(b) of the Act.
However, section 203 of the Road Transport Act 2013 outlines that a person can only receive one non-conviction order, within a five-year period for a drink driving offence.
If you are afforded the leniency of a section 10(1)(a) dismissal, or a Conditional Release Order without conviction, this means that your licence will not be disqualified.
What Is An Interlock Order?
An interlock order is an order made by the court when you are sentenced for certain offences. It is a court order that requires you to obtain an “interlock drivers licence” and participate in the interlock program for a specified time.
Participation in the interlock program means that you must:
- go to your GP for an assessment to obtain a drink-less medical certificate. This must be done within the last 4 weeks of your disqualification period;
- have an interlock device installed in your car by an approved provider;
- blow into the device and register a nil alcohol reading to start your car;
- blow into the device and register a nil alcohol reading at random times while you are driving your car; and
- drive no other car for the duration of the program.
If the device detects alcohol on your breath, the car’s engine will turn off and you won’t be able to re-start the car. The device also keeps a log of when this occurs which can be viewed by police and can lead to further charges.
If you are not granted an exemption by the court and you cannot or do not comply with the interlock order then you will be disqualified from driving for five years.
Are There Any Exemptions?
You may be able to apply for an exemption from an Interlock Order if:
- you do not have access to a vehicle in which to install an interlock;
- you have a medical condition that would prevent you from providing a sufficient breath sample; or
- yor a first mid-range offence, that it would cause severe hardship.
Interlock exemption applications need to be made at the time of the sentence for the offence and need to be supported by appropriate evidence.
If you are exempted from the Interlock Program, the automatic disqualification period is 12 months and the statutory minimum disqualification period is six months
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.