Drink Driving Lawyers in Sydney NSW

When you’re caught driving under the influence of alcohol in Sydney, it could spell trouble for you. There are plenty of consequences tied to such an offence, and losing your driver’s licence is the least of your worries among many others.

As such, you need a lawyer who can ably defend you in court. You need someone who’s had a vast experience when it comes to handling similar cases and has achieved positive results. Whether you choose to plead guilty or not, a drink driving lawyer in Sydney needs to know his/ her way around the situation and help you.

While hiring an experienced lawyer is your top priority, that doesn’t mean you should be blind going into your own defence. Here are a few things you should know about drink driving in Sydney.

Law Terminologies You Need to Be Aware Of

Before we go into details, here are a few jargons that you need to understand.


    • Disqualification refers to the time you are prohibited from driving. There are two types of disqualification, which are:
      • Automatic – This is the normal time you are disqualified from driving depending on the offence
      • Minimum – This period of disqualification is the shortest possible duration wherein you’re prevented from driving
    • It is possible to “backdate” disqualification, provided a period of suspension has been served from the day the offender has been pulled over by police
    • Disqualification, however, may be overridden by a Magistrate if he/ she chooses to adjudicate your case using “Section 10”
  • Section 10
    • Section 10 refers to when the Magistrate decides to not disqualify you or lay down a criminal conviction after you plead guilty
    • This is possible when the Magistrate sees you are someone who would not repeat the offence again, of good character, or may have an urgent need for the licence
    • Section 10 is usually awarded by proving your character, which you can do by providing around three character references
  • Habitual Offender
    • You are considered a habitual offender when you incur 3 or more major offences in a duration of 5 years
    • When declared a habitual offender, 5 years is automatically added to any disqualification imposed by the court

Different Types of Drink Driving

There are a total of five drink driving categories, which includes:

  1. Novice Range Drink Driving
    • This is when a provisional licence holder or learner is caught driving under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol concentration ranging from 0.001 to 0.019
  2. Special Range Drink Driving
    • When someone who holds a special category licence drives with a 0.020 to 0.049 blood alcohol concentration, the offence falls under this type of drink driving case
  3. Low Range Drink Driving
    • A person who is caught driving a motor vehicle with a 0.050 to 0.079 blood alcohol concentration is categorised under this drink driving type
  4. Mid Range Drink Driving
    • This refers to an incident when a person with a 0.080 to 0.149 blood alcohol concentration is caught driving a motor vehicle
  5. High Range Drink Driving
    • Also known as High Range PCA, this is when someone is caught driving a motor vehicle with 0.150 and more alcohol concentration in the blood
    • For high range drink driving, Section 10 is rarely awarded

Table of Drink Driving Penalties per Type

There are different penalties given to an offender depending on the type of offense and the frequency it has been repeated. Here’s a table that will give a rundown of everything you need to know.


Drink Driving Type Penalty 1st Offence 2nd Offence Onwards
Novice/ Special/ Low Range Drink Driving Maximum Fine $1100 $2200
Maximum Prison Sentence Not applicable Not applicable
Automatic Disqualification 6 months 12 months
Minimum Disqualification 3 months 6 months
Maximum Disqualification 6 months unlimited
Mid Range Drink Driving Maximum Fine $2200 $3300
Maximum Prison Sentence 9 months 12 months
Automatic Disqualification 12 months 3 years
Minimum Disqualification 6 months 12 months
Maximum Disqualification unlimited unlimited
High Range Drink Driving Maximum Fine $3300 $5500
Maximum Prison Sentence 18 months 2 years
Automatic Disqualification 3 years 5 years
Minimum Disqualification 12 months 2 years
Maximum Disqualification unlimited unlimited

Consultation Strictly Appointment Only

Common Defences to Drink Driving

It is important to know how you can able defend yourself in court, and these are things that your lawyer has to know. Some of the common defences to drink driving are the following:

1. Inaccurate Reading

    • There are plenty of reasons why there might be an inaccurate reading of blood alcohol concentration. Studies reveal that after 30 minutes to an hour, alcohol concentration in the body rises naturally, which is further influenced by age, food consumed along the drink, and many more. That means that the time the breath analysis has to be done within the first 30 minutes, if not there’s a risk for an erroneous high reading.

2. Two-Hour Rule

    • If it has been more than two hours after a person last drove, then the police may no longer initiate a breath test, otherwise that evidence is made irrelevant to a given case.

3. Person at Home

    • Just like the previous point that we covered, the police are not allowed to conduct a breath test if a suspect is already in his/ her property, otherwise the finding will be excluded from court.

4. Honest Mistake

    • We’ve already discussed the ranges for different drink driving types. Some are well aware of it, but they don’t have an accurate way of saying whether they’ve crossed the threshold or not, thus an honest mistake is made.

The Verdict on Drink Driving (DUI)

Overall DUI charges in Sydney, NSW can be a pretty serious charge. Make sure you contact a qualified traffic offence lawyer to help you.



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