The Penalties for High-Range Drink Driving in NSW

Sahar Adatia.

 

A man from Mogo in NSW has been charged with high-range drink-driving – along with an onslaught of other offences – after he allegedly rammed a police vehicle on the state’s South Coast.

According to reports from NSW Police, just before 3pm on Wednesday 27 October 2021, officers attached to South Coast Police District were alerted to Ross Ridge Road at Mogo, after reports were received that a driver in a white Subaru was allegedly engaging in hoon behaviour, in the form of burnouts.

Officers made their way to the area, and when they approached the intersection of Runnyford Road, the driver allegedly reversed in his Subaru, crashing into a police vehicle.

Rather than stopping, the man simply drove off from the area at great speed with his passenger by his side.

A short time later, officers noticed the vehicle on the Princes Highway at Mogo and instructed the man to pull over.

However, once again, the driver allegedly failed to stop even with police directions, before “reaching speeds of 100km/h in a signposted 50km/h zone”.

This immediately led to a police pursuit until finally the Subaru was able to be stopped at Church Street.

The driver was found to be a 35-year-old man and was arrested at the scene.

His passenger, a 26-year-old male, was also arrested.

Following this, the driver was subjected to a roadside breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result of a high-range drink-driving level.

Both men were then taken to Batemans Bay Police Station, where the passenger was released without charge.

The driver, upon undergoing a secondary breath analysis, returned a reading of 0.225.

He was subsequently charged with drive with high range PCA.

He was also charged with a series of other offences, including use unregistered registrable Class A motor vehicle on road, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, and police pursuit – not stop – drive recklessly.

The man was denied bail and given a court attendance notice for Batemans Bay Local Court.

 

Australia’s Attitude Towards Drink-Driving

Drinking is a distinct part of Australian culture, especially when considering that it goes hand-in-hand with celebrations.

Nevertheless, with it comes the risk of drink-driving, and in turn, this poses many dangers and risks.

To gather a true understanding on the nature of drink-driving in Australia, in 2021, car insurance company Budget Direct conducted a survey on Australians’ attitudes towards the social problem – and the results revealed some interesting findings.

In particular, it was found that 43% of Australians surveyed did not know how many drinks they can have and stay under the legal blood alcohol limit.

Additionally, 47% of Australians surveyed falsely believed they could speed up their absorption of alcohol by consuming greasy food, drinking coffee, exercising or sleeping – whereas, in reality, the only thing that can help to decrease one’s blood alcohol content is time and waiting for the body to process the alcohol before driving again.

All the while, interestingly, 50% of those surveyed said they would be in favour of having an interlock device fitted to their car – so that it would only start if they were under the legal blood alcohol limit.

What are the Penalties for High-Range Drink-Driving in NSW?

In NSW, if you are found guilty of high-range drink-driving and you are a first-time offender, you can face penalties of up to 18-months in jail, or a fine of $3,300, or both.

However, if you are a second-time or subsequent offender, the maximum penalty you can receive is up to 24-months in jail, or a fine of $5,500, or both.

In regard to first-time offenders, a compulsory licence disqualification of 6-9 months also applies, in addition to an interlock period for a minimum of two years.

In regard to second-time offenders, the compulsory licence disqualification period increases to nine months to one year, in addition to a minimum interlock period of four years.

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