Drink and drug driving

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If you’ve been charged with drink or drug driving, the right choice of lawyer can have a significant impact on the result. You’ve come to the right place.

Drink and drug driving charges

Drink and drug driving offences are becoming more and more common, as police frequently intercept vehicles for random or targeted breath and saliva testing. Inevitably, the results are hard to argue against, which then means you must face court to be sentenced for the charge and face the loss of your licence.

Sentencing for drink and drug driving charges

There are a number of factors which are out of your control, such as which court your charge is heard at, or which Magistrate hears your case on the day. But what you can control is who your lawyer is. With our expert advice and submissions, you have the best chance to receive the minimum penalty.

Why use George Criminal Lawyers?

The minimum periods of disqualification are all set in stone and there is nothing the Magistrate or your lawyer can do to reduce them. So why use a lawyer then? Because you aren’t guaranteed to get the minimum. Our job is to ensure that you receive the minimum disqualification, as well as the minimum penalty.

To achieve this, we use our connections with facilitators of road safety programs such as QTOP, as well as forensic psychologists and psychiatrists, and piece them together with personal references and carefully crafted submissions to the court. If you’re concerned about a conviction on your traffic history, such as registered Doctors or Nurses, or if you have plans to travel overseas to countries such as Canada and the UK, then we also address this to ensure that your future is not jeopardised by a mistake.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will I lose my licence for?

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For your first offence on an open licence, your minimum disqualification depends on your reading:

  • 1 month for 0.05% to 0.099% (low range)
  • 3 months for 0.1% to 0.149% (mid range)
  • 6 months for 0.15% and over (high range)

If you have prior convictions, or you’re a P plater or don’t have a licence, the minimum period starts at 3 months.

For drug driving offences (driving with a relevant drug in your system including cannabis, ice and MDMA), the minimum starts at 1 month. It increases to 3 months if you have a prior conviction within 5 years (or if you are a P plater or unlicensed).

Having more than one offence on your history within 5 years for drink or drug driving increases minimums again, and places you at risk of harsher penalties including imprisonment.

We've created a tool to help you calculate exactly what the minimum and maximum disqualification periods are:

TORUM End User Form

What is the interlock program?

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If you’re charged with:

  • high range drink driving
  • failing to provide a sample of blood or breath to police
  • dangerous driving while intoxicated
  • or you have 2 or more drink driving charges within 5 years (of any range) 

you will have to install an interlock device to your car or motorbike for 12 months after you get your licence back, or face a further disqualification of 2 years.

You can read more about interlocks here.

Can I get a licence so I can keep working?

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If your reading is below 0.15 (high range) and you haven’t lost your licence within the last 5 years for demerit points or other licence disqualifications before your application is made (which is different to the date of your offence), you are eligible to apply for a work licence.

See our page with more information here.

What other penalties can I expect?

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In addition to the disqualification, you will usually receive a fine, the amount of which varies depending on your reading, traffic history and the submissions made to the court on your behalf. Ordinarily, a first time offender might expect a fine between $350 and $500 for a low range reading, as an example.

If you have a bad history of drink or drug driving, or have been to jail for traffic offences before, then we can provide specific advice about penalty once we have seen your traffic history.