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LOW RANGE DRINK DRIVING (PCA)

The offence of Low Range PCA is committed by a person who drives a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration from 0.05 to 0.079.

As of 20 May 2019, NSW Police Officers will be able to issue either:

  • an infringement notice; or

  • a court attendance notice for the offence.

If you receive an infringement notice, you will also either receive an immediate suspension notice from the police or one subsequently from the RMS suspending your licence for a period of three months.

If you receive a court attendance notice, or elect to take the matter to court, the maximum penalty for this charge depends on whether a person is a first offender (20 penalty units) or second and subsequent offender (30 penalty units). If a court sentencing a person records a conviction, they must make a disqualification order. The automatic period of disqualification for a first-time offender is 6 months. The court can reduce this period; however, it cannot reduce it below the minimum disqualification period of 3 months.

Loss of licence for any period, whether it be days, weeks, or months, can have a crippling effect on a person and their entire family. There are options available to offenders to have the matter determined by a court and seek to avoid a conviction and loss of licence, or to appeal an immediate licence suspension.

Regardless of whether police issue an infringement notice or a court attendance notice, they will now have the power to issue an immediate notice of suspension. This immediate notice of suspension will mean that the offender’s driver licence will be suspended on the spot for a period of 3 months.

An infringement notice can be issued by police which involves a fine of $572 for an offence of low range drink driving. Police can also issue a driver with an on the spot three-month suspension (an immediate notice of suspension). If an immediate notice of suspension is not issued, the driver will later be sent a letter from the RMS advising them that their licence will be suspended for a period of three months.

Table of Penalties for Low-Range Drink Driving:

Penalty

First offence

Second or subsequent offence

Penalty Notice Fine

$572

N/A

Immediate licence suspension

Yes

Yes

Maximum court- imposed fine

$2,200

$3,300

Maximum prison term

N/A

N/A

Minimum disqualification

3 Months

6 Months

Maximum disqualification

6 Months

Unlimited

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

6 Months

12 Months

Subject to an alcohol interlock order

No

Yes

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