• Over 40 Yearsof Combined Experience
  • Proven SuccessAustralia-Wide
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Charged with drink driving offences? Don’t risk it, speak to our award-winning drink driving lawyers Sydney and Parramatta team for a free consultation and fixed fees.

We are a leading, award-winning traffic law firm in Sydney, focused on results. This is reflected in our online five star reviews, and our TV, radio & newspaper appearances for our expert insight on drink driving laws.

We are proud to have been recognised and awarded as:

  • Traffic Law Firm of the Year 2019- 2024 by ACQ Global Law Awards.
  • Traffic Defence Lawyer of the Year 2019, 2020 by ACQ Global Law Awards.
  • Rated ‘Best Criminal Lawyers’ by ‘Three Best Rated’ 2019-2024.
  • Rated ‘Best Criminal Lawyers’ by ‘Best in Australia’ 2024

Drink Driving Lawyers With Proven Success In:

Click here for available defences to drink driving charges.

Our Drink Driving Solicitors are Experienced in:

  • High-range drink driving charges 
  • Mid-range drink driving charges 
  • DUI charges 
  • Refusing breath test charges 
  • Low, special, and novice-range drink driving charges 
  • Court-electing on-the-spot drink driving fines 

Our award-winning team of lawyers are available 24/7 for urgent on-the-spot advice over the phone, or in person (in any one of our 8 conveniently located offices in NSW).

We provide experienced and practical legal representation through the entire court process. 

To find out your chances at avoiding a licence disqualification and criminal conviction from drink driving, call our friendly team 24/7 to arrange a free consultation with a drink driving lawyer today. 

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Our Drink Driving Lawyers Sydney Team

Our drink driving lawyers have achieved outstanding results across all types of drink driving and DUI cases, including high range to novice range charges. If you have been charged with a drink driving offence and it will affect your income, your dependants, and your future, you can expect nothing short of the highest quality legal minds on drink driving law from our award winning team.

We provide a free first consultation if you have been charged, with a personalised tailored approach to your drink driving case.

For ease of mind, we also provide fixed fees. The fixed fee will be discussed and disclosed during your first consultation once our lawyers know more about your case to ensure the time and quality put in will reflect the legal cost required for your case. Most importantly, you will be paying for quality put in, not guaranteed results, to maximise your chances of getting the best possible result from a team of experienced drink driving lawyers.

Other than the above, you can also expect the following from our team:

  • Complete guidance on your options in court, with a most likely outcome for your case,
  • Unlimited consultations with our traffic solicitors,
  • Complete and thorough preparation for your case. before your hearing in court. Our drink driving lawyers work around the clock to deliver results by leaving no stone un-turned,
  • Our lawyers will do all the communications necessary with police, courts and Magistrates in court on your behalf,
  • Our team will obtain all necessary paperwork in your case, including charge papers, police evidence and your traffic record,
  • 24/7 access to our lawyers and regular updates as and when require,
  • Accurate estimation of how long your case will take to finish.
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Section 10 Dismissal for Drink Driving Charges in New South Wales

How to avoid a drink driving conviction in NSW? A drink driving conviction and disqualification of your driver licence can all be avoided for a drink driving charge if the charge is dismissed by the court. A charge can be dismissed if the court orders a section 10 or Conditional Release Order non conviction sentence following your plea of guilty in court to the charge. Alternatively, a charge can be dismissed if the court finds you not guilty and acquits you of the charge following a defended hearing your plead of not guilty to the charge.

Click here for more on how to get a section 10 non-conviction in court for a drink driving offence.

How Much Does a Drink Driving Lawyer Cost?

An experienced top drink driving lawyer will cost between $2,200 to $5,500 depending on the simplicity or complexity of the drink driving case. The legal cost for your drink driving case should be transparently disclosed during the first consultation. You will and should get what you pay for.

Transparency about legal fees is important from the beginning.

CDLA provide fixed fees for all drink driving cases in the Local and District Courts across NSW Courts.

Our fixed fees are also publicly available on our website. These fixed fees are for non-complex drink driving cases. The legal fees may vary for more complex cases, which our lawyers will assess and disclose to you during your first free consult.

Some cases may be more complex requiring further work to ensure the case is prepared and presented in the best possible way in court, which may require a variation in our fixed fee for drink driving cases. This could include the need to obtain a psychologist report, or the need to attend court more than once.

If you’re pleading guilty to drink driving:

  • $2,200 (incl GST) for all work, preparation, consultations and up to one full day attendance for sentence in the local court for legal representation by our specialist drink driving lawyer. This includes all Sydney City, including metropolitan areas.
  • $3,300 (incl GST) for all work, preparation, consultations and up to one full day attendance for sentence in the local court for legal representation by our specialist drink driving lawyer in areas outside Sydney metropolitan areas, including Wollongong, Newcastle, Gosford etc.

If you’re pleading not guilty to drink driving:

  • $3,300 (incl GST) for all work, preparation, consultations and attendance for up to one full day hearing in the Local Court for legal representation by our specialist drink driving lawyer in the Sydney City area (including metropolitan areas).
  • $4,400 (incl GST) for all work, preparation, consultations and up to one full day attendance for legal representation by our specialist drink driving lawyer in the local court for hearing in areas outside Sydney metropolitan areas, including Newcastle, Wollongong, Gosford etc.

What are the Penalties for Drink Driving?

The penalties a Court can impose on you will depend on whether your drink driving offence is considered a ‘first offence’ or a ‘second or subsequent offence’.

A drink driving conviction (criminal record), licence disqualification and fine can be completely avoided even after pleading guilty if the court can be convinced to give you a non-conviction penalty under section 10 dismissal or Conditional Release Order without conviction.

If the court convicts you for DUI, low, mid or high-range drink driving, you will end up having a criminal conviction, licence disqualification, and possible fine.

However, can you go to jail for drink driving?

The answer is Yes! But each case is unique and highly dependent on your given circumstances. You will avoid all of this if the court is convinced to give you a section 10 dismissal or non-conviction Conditional Release Order.

For a complete outline of all drink driving penalties & licence disqualifications in NSW click here.

The Court can and will impose any one of the following types of drink driving penalties:

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order with or without conviction
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full-Time Imprisonment

A Guide on How to Prepare for a Drink Driving Charge for Court

Going to court for a drink driving charge is daunting. We strongly recommend getting experienced and tailored advice before going to court to know what the process in court will be, the realistic expectations on penalties, and your prospects of actually getting a non-conviction outcome without a disqualification under a section 10 order.

For serious high range drink driving charges, an experienced lawyer will be able to provide you with realistic expectations of avoiding imprisonment in light of the high range guideline judgment that Judges and Magistrate court will look at as a guide when determining an appropriate sentence for your case. An experienced lawyer should explain this to you so that you avoid being blind sided on your court hearing.

The below is how you may best prepare for a drink driving case by trying to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome in court following a plea of guilty.

Gathering and using compelling character reference letters for the Magistrate or Judge to read on your sentence can significantly improve your court result.

Referees should be carefully chosen who can outline the best points in your case, such as any expressions of your remorse and insight, the effects of a loss of your licence or criminal conviction on your job and any people who rely on your income or licence.

Referees can include your partner, friend, colleague, family, charity, religious organisation and employer.

It is also recommended to draft an apology letter expressing the same points.

You can significantly improve your court outcome if you complete a court recognised accredited traffic offenders program before your sentence date.

Completing a traffic offenders program can significantly increase your chances at avoiding a disqualification and conviction. It allows the Magistrate or Judge to accept you have insight into your offending conduct.

Details on this and how to enrol can be found on this link, Traffic Offenders Program Courses.

In fact, our lawyers have lectured in the accredited traffic offenders programs around NSW, we therefore understand its importance in preparing drink driving cases for court, and how to best use it in court.

If any of the defences to drink driving outlined on this page apply to you, you could successfully convince police to withdraw the charge early through negotiations, which our drink driving lawyers have a lot of experience in doing.

This will require your lawyer to send the prosecution with a document called ‘legal representations’ outlining the weaknesses in the police case.

You could also convince police to change the police facts sheet.

The police fact sheet is an outline summary of your drink driving offence for the Magistrate to read before deciding on an appropriate sentence.

If you don’t agree with some or all of the facts sheet, you may negotiate to change it to something more favourable to you. This can convince the court to impose a much more lenient sentence.

A well written psychologist report from an experienced and well-respected psychologist or psychiatrist can convince the Magistrate or Judge in court to impose a lighter sentence for a drink driving offence.

A strong psychologist report may outline any mental illness you suffer, any direct nexus between your mental illness and your decision to consume alcohol and drive, your treatment and progress. It may also outline your expressions of remorse and insight, which are critical points to cover in a drink driving case.

To ensuring you get an effective psychologist report, it’s best to get it done from an expert who is well respected and experienced in writing such types of reports for courts. Our team have hand-picked the best experts for this job.

The Magistrate or Judge will reduce your sentence by 25% if a plea of guilty to drink driving is entered on the first court date. This will result in a more lenient sentence.

A plea of guilty being entered on a subsequent or later court date will reduce the extent of discount on the sentence you can get in court.

That discount will continue reducing until you either plead guilty or you’re found guilty by the court. This is why it’s critical to get early advice and guidance from an experienced drink driving lawyer.

Your Options In Court

If you plead ‘not guilty’ to a drink driving charge in court, your case will get adjourned to another court date for a defended hearing in the Local Court.

The police will be required to serve you with all their evidence before the hearing commences.

On the hearing date in court, the Magistrate will hear both sides of evidence before deciding on a verdict of either ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.

If the Court finds you to be ‘not guilty’, the drink driving charge will get dismissed, and you will be acquitted- putting an end to the case. In some cases, you can then apply to the court for the police to pay your legal fees.

If the Court finds you to be ‘guilty’ after hearing the evidence, the Magistrate or Judge will then determine the most appropriate sentencing penalty to impose on you after hearing further evidence from you.

You will be found ‘not guilty’ by a Court if the prosecution is unable to prove each of the following elements beyond reasonable doubt in court:

  • You drove a motor vehicle, or you occupied the driver seat and attempted to put the vehicle in motion; and
  • You did this while either being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while having the prescribed concentration of alcohol in your breath or blood for your specific drink driving charge i.e. low-range, mid-range or high-range.

By pleading guilty in court to drink driving or driving under the influence (DUI), the Magistrate or Judge will proceed to sentence on the same day. This means, the court will determine an appropriate penalty.

If you require further time to be properly prepared, you can ask the court for an adjournment to have the sentence for your DUI case heard on another day in court.

Your driver licence will not be disqualified, nor will you end up having a criminal conviction or fine for drink driving if the Magistrate or Judge is convinced to give you a non-conviction penalty sentence, such as section 10 dismissal or non-conviction Conditional Release Order, even after pleading guilty.

Click here on our Complete Drink Driving Defence Guide to begin preparing your guilty sentence for drink driving in order to maximise your chances at getting the best possible result in court.

We are Australia’s leading drink driving lawyers with over 40-years of combined experience specialising in drink driving cases.

Don’t risk your driver licence and livelihood. You may still be able to avoid a disqualification and conviction, even after pleading guilty to drink driving.

For legal advice on this, call our friendly team 24/7 to arrange a free first consultation with a drink driving lawyer today.

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Book a free consultation with an experienced lawyer