Penalties For Drink Driving – Dui Penalties, Punishment & Sentencing
So you have been charged with a drink driving offence. What happens then? You will be ordered to appear in Court, usually within around 2-4 weeks of the offence occurring. The arresting officer will generally give you a Notice to Appear telling you the Court you have to go to and the time you have to appear.
It is important at this stage that you get legal advice from a lawyer to advise you on your rights and to understand the penalties that may be imposed. Our specialist drink driving lawyers and solicitors provide expert legal services to ensure you know what you can expect before you get to court. Skilful legal representation and preparation are the key to minimising the sentence you will receive from the Court and can mean the difference between a short or lengthy disqualification and other more severe penalties.
The court must include as part of the sentence a licence disqualification which can start, for a first offence, from a minimum of 1 month. Together with the licence disqualification, you can also expect to receive a fine or for more severe traffic offences, a community based order such as probation or for significant offences or repeat offenders, it could also include a term of imprisonment. Fines can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. You may also be eligible to apply for a restricted work licence but you will still be disqualified which will prevent you going to the shop, picking up kids from school and other non-work or social activities.
The penalties for drink driving increase if you are a repeat offender and when the blood alcohol concentration increases. For a first offence with a reading above 0.1, you will receive a minimum disqualification of 3 months and 6 months if your reading is above 0.15 or charged with a fail to supply or driving under the influence of a drug.
For a second offence, the minimum penalties start at 3 months and for a third offence, 9 months is the minimum disqualification. The table below sets out periods of disqualifications for certain offences. What your sentence will be will depend on a large range of circumstances. Prior offences are those that occur within the previous 5 years from the date of conviction.