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Driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol is an offence under section 112 of the (NSW). Upon conviction, the Court can impose a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment, and /or a fine of up to $3,300 for first time offenders. If you are convicted, there is also an automatic disqualification period of 3 years, and a minimum disqualification period of 12 months.


Offenders who are found guilty of this offence for the second or subsequent time are liable for a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 2 years and a fine of up to $5,500. There is an automatic disqualification period of 5 years and a minimum disqualification period of 2 years. Second or subsequent offenders may also be ordered to complete a mandatory interlock period of 24 months, unless exempt.


Drug driving charges are taken very seriously by NSW Courts and sentencing Magistrates and Judges place a lot of weight on general deterrence. If you test positive for drugs following a collision or via a random mobile drug test, you could be charged with an offence under section 112 of the Road Transport Act 2013. The seriousness of the offence will be determined having regard to a number of factors including:

  • What type of drug is detected;

  • Your compliance with testing procedures;

  • Whether you have been involved in an accident;

  • The damage caused as a result of the accident;

  • Your driving history; and

  • Whether you have previously been convicted or charged for a drug-related offence.


There is a large range of drug driving related criminal charges that police may prosecute, however, the six main drug driving offences that you can be charged with under New South Wales state laws are:


Presence of certain drugs (other than alcohol) in oral fluid, blood or urine;


The offence of driving under the influence of drugs;


Refusal or failure to undergo a drug test;


Wilfully altering the amount of drug before submitting an oral fluid test;


Failure to provide blood or urine sample by driver or supervisor involved in a fatal accident;


Failure to provide a blood or urine sample or alter the result of the drug in blood prior to testing.


Types of Prohibited Drugs:

A number of different types of drugs are strictly prohibited from being found in a person’s blood, saliva or urine, the main substances include:


  • THC (Delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol) – better known as cannabis or marijuana.

  • Methamphetamine – better known as speed or ice.

  • Methylenedioxymethylamphetamine – better known as MDMA or ecstasy.

  • Morphine

  • Cocaine

If you are charged with this offence, it is important that you contact a criminal defence lawyer for advice and representation. At KF Lawyers, we understand the importance of keeping your licence and also avoiding heavy fines and imprisonment terms. Please contact KF Lawyers to arrange a consultation and discuss your options.

Table of Penalties for Drug Driving:


First offence

Second or subsequent offence

Maximum court- imposed fine



Maximum prison term

18 Months

2 Years

Minimum disqualification

12 Months

2 Years

Maximum disqualification



Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order)

3 Years

5 Years

Subject to an alcohol interlock order

Yes (Alcohol Offence only)

Yes (Alcohol Offences Only)

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