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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Drink Driving


Being charged with a drink driving offence can be a traumatic experience. Victoria’s drink driving laws are complex and for many people it is their first taste of the criminal justice system and they have no idea of what is likely to occur.

Some drink driving offences can be dealt with by an on-the-spot infringement notice, while many must go to court. This section contains articles written by traffic lawyers about the different types of drink driving offences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Have To Go To Court?

If your BAC is less than 0.15 and you have not been found guilty of drink driving in the past 10 years, you may be issued with an infringement notice. This means you will automatically receive a fine and in most cases a period of disqualification from driving, rather than being charged and having to go to court.

However, even if you meet this criteria, it is ultimately up to police whether they issue you with an infringement notice or a charge and summons to attend court.

Will I Get A Criminal Record?

Yes, drink driving is considered a serious offence in Victoria and is treated seriously by the court. Unless you are found not guilty of an offence, if you go to court there will be an entry on both your criminal record and your criminal driving record held by VicRoads.

However, it is up to the cagistrate to decide whether or not you receive a conviction.

Is It Possible To Avoid A Criminal Record?

The only way to avoid a criminal record if charged with a drink driving offence is if you are found not guilty. Diversion programs are not available for any drink or drug driving offences.

Will I Be Disqualified From Driving?

In most cases, yes. This depends on whether you are issued with an infringement notice or a charge sheet and summons to go to court, as well as your age, BAC at the time of the offence and type of licence you hold.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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