Do you have a question about any aspect of Criminal law?

Ask a question

it is free

HIGH RANGE DRINK DRIVING

High Range drink driving also known as High Range PCA in New South Wales is a criminal charge brought by police when a person has been accused of operating a motor vehicle when their blood alcohol limit is above 0.150

Under Section 108 of the Road Transport Act 2013, "high range prescribed concentration of alcohol" means a concentration of 0.15 grams or more of alcohol in 210 litres of breath or 100 millilitres of blood. Thus, if a person is caught driving a car or motorcycle, and it is found in his breath or blood a concentration of alcohol as provided in Section 108 of the law, he or she will be considered as having committed the offence of high range prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA).

Acts not allowed
There are several instances to commit the offence of high range drink driving in NSW. A person must not, while there is present in his breath or blood the high range prescribed concentration of alcohol, drive a motor vehicle. He or she has to refrain from driving if the alcohol level present in his breath or blood is high to avoid the consequences provided by the law.

It is worthy to note that to commit the offence of high range PCA, it is not necessary that the drink-driving offender was able to put the motor vehicle in motion. A mere attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion already constitutes the high range PCA, provided that the alcohol level present in the offender’s breath or blood likewise qualifies a high range PCA.

An equally important to note is that even if the drink-driving offender is not occupying the driver’s seat, it is still possible for him to commit the offence of high range PCA. If he occupies the seat next to the learner who is driving the vehicle, he will be considered by the law as having committed the offence of high range PCA, provided that the alcohol level present in the offender’s breath or blood likewise qualifies a high range PCA.

What Penalty you are Likely to Receive in High Range Drink Driving Offence?

For high range PCA, the maximum penalty is 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence). The automatic disqualification for first offenders is 3 years while it is 5 years for second offenders. In determining the penalty, courts will be looking at the driver’s:

  • Traffic record
  • Alcohol level in his system
  • Character
  • Need for a licence
  • Presence or absence of aggravating circumstances.

The likelihood of being imprisoned for committing the offence of high range PCA is high if the offender has prior convictions involving an offence not of the same type. It is higher if it involves the same type but not imprisoned and highest if the prior conviction is of the same type and imprisoned.

High Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.170

Penalties that can be given to a person charged with High Range PCA

  • 1st major traffic offence within 5 years
  • A conviction and maximum fine of $3,300.00
  • A maximum prison term of 18 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 12 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 3 years

High Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.207

Penalties that can be given to a person charged with High Range PCA

  • 1st major traffic offence within 5 years
  • A conviction and maximum fine of $3,300.00
  • A maximum prison term of 18 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 12 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 3 years

The Defence for High Range PCA

Like in any other offence, a drink-driving offence can be defended.
There are a number of ways that you could have either a drink driving charge dismissed or the charge reduced and that is from a High Range PCA to a Mid Range or a Mid Range PCA to a Low Range PCA. There are certain circumstances when this could take place. This includes you were not in the motor vehicle’s driving seat at the time of the incident, your breath analysis happened more than two hours after you were actually driving or the breath test took place in your home.

A proper report from a pharmacologist can determine the validity of a reading by considering such factors as your age, weight and height, your gender, the build of your body, how much you have eaten on the day the incident took place, whether prescribed or medicines purchased over the counter had been taken and, of course, how much alcohol you had consumed on the day in question.

It is highly recommended to seek a legal advice for proper guidance in going to court.

If you have been charged with a traffic offence or are under Police investigation, it is important that you seek legal advice. Contact our Criminal lawyers.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

WHAT IS NEXT?

Whether you're in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth or even Adelaide we have criminal lawyers that are ready to help you instantly.

ASK A QUESTION

Do you have a question about any aspect of criminal law. If yes, Complete this form "Ask a Question" and we will then send it off to one of our criminal lawyers.

ASK A QUESTION
IT'S FREE TO ASK
Alan WeissCriminallegal.com.au (Criminal Legal) is part of aussiedivorce.com.au Pty Ltd © 2014 - 2016 all rights reserved