Being charged with a drink driving offence can be a traumatic experience. Victoria’s drink driving laws are complex and for a lot of 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 drink driving 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 last 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.
Please see the section below on Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) Offences for detailed information on penalties and whether you have to go to 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 Magistrate 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.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Represent Me?
It is your choice whether to represent yourself or whether to have a solicitor represent you in Court. For someone who is unfamiliar with the Court system, having to navigate a drink driving charge can be daunting. Our solicitors practice exclusively in traffic law matters and will use their experience and expertise to lead you through the process to the best possible outcome.
If you have any further queries about drink driving matters, call us for more information.
The following are major drink driving offences in Victoria (uncommon offences not included):
WHERE TO NEXT?
In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.