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Novice Range Drink Driving (NSW)

Drink driving is a criminal offence that can have significant consequences.  There are laws in place to deter people from getting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol.  The law sets ranges of blood alcohol concentration, known as prescribed concentrations of alcohol or PCA.  This article deals with the offence of Novice Range drink driving in NSW.  These charges occur when an individual operates a motor vehicle on a public road with a blood alcohol concentration or PCA is above 0.00 and up to 0.019. It applies to individuals with special licenses, such as learner licenses, P1 provisional licenses, P2 provisional licenses, as well as those driving without a valid license, including suspended and disqualified drivers.

What Is The Penalty for Novice Range Drink Driving?

Law enforcement can issue either:

  • An infringement notice with a $572 fine, or
  • A court attendance notice for the offense.

If an infringement notice is received, an immediate suspension notice from the police or subsequently from Transport for NSW will suspend the license for three months. For a court attendance notice or if the matter goes to court, the maximum penalty depends on whether the person is a first offender (20 penalty units) or a second and subsequent offender (30 penalty units).

If a court records a conviction, a disqualification order must be made. The automatic disqualification period for a first-time offender is 6 months, but the court can reduce it, with the minimum disqualification period being 3 months. Whether an infringement notice or a court attendance notice is issued, law enforcement can also issue an immediate notice of suspension, leading to the instant suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for a period of 3 months.

Do Infringement Notices Go On My Criminal Record for a Novice Range PCA Charge?

No. The offense will be documented on the person’s traffic record and/or infringements record but will not be included in their criminal record.

Do I Need To Attend Court If I Receive An Infringement Notice for Novice Range Drink Driving?

No, you are not required to attend court unless you choose to make a court election or wish to appeal the immediate notice of suspension or the Transport for NSW notice of suspension. Appeals must be filed at a Local Court Registry, accompanied by a filing fee, relevant legal forms, and associated paperwork.

Will I Get A Criminal Record If I Receive A Court Attendance Notice For A Novice Range PCA Charge?

Yes, if the court decides to record a conviction, you will have a criminal record. Drink driving is considered a serious offence, and the typical sentencing involves recording a criminal conviction, imposing a fine, and enforcing a period of licence disqualification.

Why BSM Criminal Lawyers?

It is important that you receive legal advice. Many drink driving offences are criminal offences which may result in a criminal record and possibly a jail sentence. At Brander Smith McKnight, we have assisted many hundreds of clients with these charges. Our criminal lawyers will provide you with legal advice to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome. This may include:

  • Preparing you for court
  • Obtaining character references
  • Obtain evidence of hardship of licence disqualification, such as caring for a sick relative or the need for a licence for employment
  • Obtaining medical or psychological reports
  • Obtaining references from employer

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

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