This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

DUI (WA)


In Western Australia, it is an offence under section 63 of the Road Traffic Act 1974 to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both alcohol and drugs to the point of being incapable of having proper control of the vehicle (DUI). The Road Traffic Act also contains offences of DUI causing bodily harm and DUI causing death or grievous bodily harm. Penalties for these offences increase when the offender has been found guilty of a similar offence in the past five years.

Penalties

When a person is found guilty of DUI and it is their first offence, they are liable to a penalty of a fine of between 18 and 40 penalty units and disqualification from driving for at least 10 months.

When a person is found guilty of DUI and they have a previous conviction for another drink driving offence, they are liable to a fine of not less than the minimum fine that applies to that other offence and not more than 50 penalty units and disqualification for not less than the minimum period that applies to that other offence.

A person who is found guilty of DUI for a second time is liable to a fine of between 42 and 70 penalty units or imprisonment for nine months and disqualification from driving for at least 30 months.

A person who is found guilty of a third DUI offence is liable to a fine of between 42 and 100 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months and permanent disqualification from driving.

Defence

It is a defence to a DUI charge if the drugs the accused was under the influence of were prescription drugs of drugs administered by a medical practitioner for therapeutic purposes and the accused was not aware that the drugs could render them incapable of having proper control of a vehicle.

DUI causing bodily harm

Under section 59A of the Road Traffic Act, a person who drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is involved in an incident that causes bodily harm to another person, the person commits an offence punishable by a fine of 180 penalty units or imprisonment for nine months and disqualification from driving for at least 12 months if it is the person’s first offence.

If it is the person’s second or subsequent offence, they are liable to a fine of 260 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months and disqualification from driving for at least 18 months.

DUI causing death or grievous bodily harm

Under section 59 of the Road Traffic Act, a person who drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is involved in an incident that causes death or grievous bodily harm to another person commits an offence.

When this offence does not result in death, it may be dealt with summarily. The maximum penalty when it is dealt with summarily is a fine of up to 320 penalty units or imprisonment for three years and disqualification from driving for not less than two years.

When this offence is dealt with on indictment, the penalty is a fine of any amount and imprisonment for 10 years if the death of a person was caused or 7 years, if grievous bodily harm to a person was caused.  If the offence occurred in circumstances of aggravation, the penalties that apply are 20 years imprisonment where death was caused and 14 years where grievous bodily harm was caused.

Drink driver education programs

If a person has been charged with a DUI offence or another drink driving offence, they may benefit from participating in a drink driver education program. These programs provide information about the potential consequences of mixing drug and alcohol use with driving and encourage positive attitudes towards low-risk driving with the aim of reducing the incidence of traffic offences. It is common for persons who have been charged with drink driving offences to complete a drink driver education program prior to being sentenced in order to present evidence of the successfully completed program to the court in support of a submission that they have taken the charge seriously and have taken steps to avoid similar offending in the future.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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.

WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?

Armstrong Legal
Social Rating
4.5
Based on 295 reviews
×
Legal Hotline.
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223