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Mid-Range Drink Driving

In five types of drink-driving offences, mid-Range, or middle range PCA as provided by Road Transport Act 2013, is next to High Range PCA insofar as the blood alcohol concentration (PCA) is concerned.

Under Section 108 of Roads Transport Act 2013, "middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol" means a concentration of 0.08 grams or more, but less than 0.15 grams, of alcohol in 210 litres of breath or 100 millilitres of blood.

In drink-driving offences, it is necessary to know the level of alcohol that is present in the offender’s breath or blood. It is important because you might be facing a wrong charge considering the fact that the law specifically prescribes a certain alcohol level present in the person to fall into one of the categories of drink driving offences.

Not all drink-driving offences will fall to middle range PCA. This is because the law provides five types or categories of drink-driving offences with a corresponding requirement of alcohol level. One may be charged either for novice range PCA, special range PCA, low range PCA, middle range PCA, or high range PCA. Depending on the level of alcohol present in the offender’s breath or blood after breath analysis, a proper charge may be filed by the police officer.

Acts not allowed
Like in any other drink-driving offences, the law prohibits a person from driving if there is present in the person’s breath or blood the middle range PCA. Not only that, a person is also not allowed to occupy the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion while there is present in his breath or blood the middle range PCA. Thus, a mere attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion while occupying the driver’s seat already constitutes the offence of middle range PCA. Lastly, a person whose alcohol level constitutes middle range PCA is not allowed to occupy the seat in a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who is driving the vehicle.

The maximum penalty imposed for middle range PCA

Is 20 penalty units or imprisonment for 9 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence). This means that the courts is given the discretion, according to the circumstances of the case, to either impose a fine or imprisonment or the court, according to its sound judgment, may impose both penalties of fine and imprisonment at the same time.

Just like in low range drink driving, for mid-range drink driving offences courts will also take into account the circumstances of the driver such as the continuing need for a driver’s licence, the history of offenses, and the character of the driver. For mid-range drink driving violations the penalties are higher and the fines more stiff.

For example, the maximum fine for the first major offence within the last five years is $2,200 while for the second or subsequent offences is $3,300. Between the first and subsequent offences the penalty of imprisonment ranges between 9 – 12 months. For mid-range drink driving offences the blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 to less than 0.15.

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.087

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

1st major traffic offence within 5 years

  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.083

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

1st major traffic offence within 5 years

  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.088

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

1st major traffic offence within 5 years

  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.099

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

1st major traffic offence within 5 years

  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.104

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

1st major traffic offence within 5 years

  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.115

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

  • 1st major traffic offence within 5 years
  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.117

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

1st major traffic offence within 5 years

  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Mid Range Drink Driving – BAC: 0.143

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

  • 1st major traffic offence within 5 years
  • A conviction and maximum fine of $2,200.00
  • A maximum prison term of 9 months
  • An unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • A minimum disqualification period of 6 months
  • An automatic disqualification period of 12 months

Defending a mid range drink driving offence is possible

Through the use of an experienced drink driving lawyer there are ways of reducing a mid range drink driving charge to a low range drink driving charge or even have the charge reduced further in specific circumstances. One way is to provide proof that you were not the actual driver when the motor vehicle was stopped. It is surprising how a police officer is not always sure who the driver is if several people get out of the car when it has been stopped. Another doubtful piece of evidence lodged by a police officer is the validity of the breath analysis. It must be taken within two hours of apprehending the driver otherwise it can be deemed invalid.

At times, the Police PCA reading is found to be wrong and when readings are border line, a charge can be reduced. A report from a qualified pharmacologist is the only way that the validity of a reading can be determined. While evaluating the case the pharmacologist will want to know your age, weight, height and gender, Also details of your body build will be used too. An important consideration when analysing a breath test is whether you are taking any prescription or non-prescription drugs. Last, but not least, is the true amount of alcohol that was consumed on the day the offence allegedly took place.

 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.

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