JJ Blog Content 19 MAY 2023 1

What Is High Range Drink Driving in NSW?

Have you ever wondered what high range drink driving means? It’s a term that frequently comes up when discussing traffic offences in Australia, but what exactly does it entail?

Whether you’re a curious individual seeking information or someone who wants to stay informed about the laws, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll break down the concept of high range drink driving, its penalties and other essential details you need to know. Read on.

What Is High Range Drink Driving?

High range drink driving in NSW refers to a serious offence involving driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding the legal limit. In Australia, the legal limit for most drivers is 0.05% BAC, but for certain individuals, such as learner drivers, probationary drivers and professional drivers, it is even lower.

In New South Wales (NSW), specifically, high range drink driving occurs when a driver’s BAC is 0.150% or higher. This is considered a significantly high alcohol reading, indicating a substantial impairment of the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.

It’s important to note that high range drink driving is a serious offence in NSW, carrying severe penalties and consequences. The law aims to deter individuals from driving under the influence of alcohol, as it poses a significant risk to the driver, passengers and other road users.

Getting charged with a high range drink driving offence in NSW can have serious consequences. If you find yourself facing such a charge, seeking legal advice from a qualified drink driving lawyer is highly recommended to navigate the legal process and protect your rights.

What Happens If You Get Charged With a High Range Drink Driving Offence in NSW?

If charged with high range drink driving, the legal system treats it as a major traffic offence, which can lead to significant penalties. Here’s an overview of what you can expect:

  1. License Suspension: If convicted of high range drink driving, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately. The length of the suspension will depend on various factors, such as your BAC reading and whether it is your first offence or subsequent one.
  2. Court Penalties: The court imposes penalties for high range drink driving offences, which may include hefty fines, community service orders or even imprisonment. The specific penalties depend on the circumstances of the offence and any prior convictions.
  3. Interlock Program: The court may require you to participate in an alcohol interlock program. This program involves installing an interlock device in your vehicle, which measures your BAC before allowing the vehicle to start. The duration of the interlock program depends on the severity of the offence.
  4. Criminal Record: A conviction for high range drink driving results in a criminal record, which can have long-lasting consequences. It may affect your employment prospects, travel opportunities and other aspects of your life.
  5. Increased Insurance Premiums: Following a high range drink driving conviction, you may face significant increases in your vehicle insurance premiums. Insurance companies consider such convictions as indicators of higher risk.
  6. Rehabilitation and Education Programs: As part of the sentencing process, the court may require you to attend mandatory alcohol education or rehabilitation programs. These programs aim to address alcohol-related issues and help you make responsible choices in the future.

The maximum penalties for a high range drink driving offence vary, depending on whether it is your first, second or subsequent offence. If it is your first major traffic offence within the past 5 years, you can expect up to 18 months of imprisonment and $3300 court-imposed fine. If it is your second or subsequent offence, the fine goes up to $5500, and the maximum prison term becomes 2 years. For more details about drink and drug driving penalties in NSW, click here.

As the penalties for high range drink driving can vary depending on the circumstances and any prior convictions, consulting with a qualified criminal defence lawyer who specialises in traffic offences is highly recommended. They can provide personalised advice based on your situation and work towards achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

What Are Your Options in Court?

Here are some common options that you can consider when appearing in court:

  1. Seeking Legal Representation: A qualified drink driving lawyer who specialises in traffic offences can provide valuable guidance, assess the evidence against you, and help you navigate the legal process. A skilled drink driving lawyer will work to protect your rights, explore potential defences and present the strongest possible case on your behalf.
  2. Pleading Guilty: If the evidence against you is strong and you admit to the offence, you can choose to plead guilty. In this case, your drink driving lawyer can help you understand the potential penalties and explore any mitigating factors that could reduce the severity of the sentence.
  3. Contesting the Charges: If you believe you have a valid defence or there are issues with the evidence presented, your drink driving lawyer can help you contest the charges. They can analyse the circumstances of your case, gather relevant evidence and challenge the prosecution’s case in court. This may involve questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test results, disputing the manner in which the evidence was obtained or raising other legal arguments to challenge the charge.
  4. Negotiating a Plea Bargain: In some situations, your drink driving lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a plea bargain. This involves reaching an agreement where you plead guilty to a lesser offence with reduced penalties. Your drink driving lawyer can assess the strength of your case and negotiate with the prosecution to achieve a more favourable outcome.

Each case is unique, and the appropriate course of action will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your high range drink driving charge. Consulting with an experienced drink driving lawyer in Sydney is crucial to understanding your options fully and making informed decisions about how to proceed in court.

The consequences of a conviction for a high range drink driving charge can have a significant impact on your life, including hefty fines, license suspension and a tarnished criminal record. That’s where Jackson John Defence Lawyers come in.

Our team of experienced and dedicated drink driving lawyers understands the complexities of high range drink driving cases. We are here to provide the legal support and guidance you need during this challenging time. With our expertise in criminal defence law, we can navigate the intricacies of the legal system on your behalf.

Don’t face a high range drink driving charge alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you.