Driving Under Influence – s 112 Road Transport Act (NSW)
Charged with driving under influence of drugs or alcohol can impact greatly on your job, travel and family life. Our expert drink driving lawyers hold an outstanding proven success record avoiding criminal convictions and licence disqualifications. They have achieved this by obtaining section 10’s for countless of their clients for over 20 years.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can only be guilty of driving under the influence if police can prove the following, beyond reasonable doubt:
- You drove or occupied the seat of a vehicle attempting to turn it on; and
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time.
You will be not guilty, and your charge dismissed if police are unable to prove any one of the above 2 elements of this offence.
Defences to this charge
You are Not Guilty if:
- Police conducted a breath test on you on your private property i.e. your driveway.
- Police conducted the breath test on you 2 hours after you last drove.
- There is no evidence, apart from police observations of your behaviour, that you had alcohol in your breath or blood.
- The vehicle’s motor was not turned on, nor were you attempting to do this whilst in the driver seat.
- You honestly and reasonably held the belief that you were not affected by alcohol or drugs. i.e. Your drink was secretly spiked without your knowledge.
- Mistaken identity: You were not the person that was driving the vehicle.
- You were coerced or threatened to drive, or you drove to avoid serious injury or harm.
Your charge will be dismissed in court if any one of the above defences to driving under influence apply to your case.
Our senior DUI lawyers are specialists, holding proven success record, in convincing police to drop these charges early. Speak to one right now for realistic advice and guidance.
If pleading guilty to an offence of driving under the influence, see the below crucial points on the best way to prepare your case, for best chances at avoiding a criminal record and licence disqualification, in order to achieve a s10.
25% Discount on punishment
Pleading guilty early enough in your case to driving under influence will result in a 25% discount on punishment. This results in a more lenient result, bringing you another step closer to a s10. The later a plea of guilty is entered, the smaller this discount gets.
To avoid missing out on this discount, it’s a good idea to receive early advice.
Traffic Offenders Program
Your outcome can be far more lenient, with a better chance at avoiding a disqualification and criminal conviction simply by completing an accredited traffic offenders program. Our senior lawyers will guide you to the best course.
Good character references
Getting together letters expressing your excellent character, remorse, insight, and shame for the Judge to read, can lead to a more lenient outcome.
These letters can come from family, friends, work, charity and letter of apology from you. Our lawyers can guide you in this process. Sometimes its very helpful for the letter from work to express the effect of a criminal conviction and disqualification on your role.
Negotiate to drop charges
Your driving under influence charge can potentially get dropped early. To get the best chances at this successfully occurring, an experienced lawyer can go through and point out all the holes in the police evidence, and use the best strategy to negotiate.
Our team of drink driving lawyers hold an exceptional track record successfully achieving this over the years.
Knowing the police evidence, and highlighting the holes in it to police can maximise your chances at convincing police to change the set of police facts. Those facts are read by the Judge, and can be amended to reflect you in a much better light to the Judge, resulting in a better outcome.
The set of facts usually gets drafted by police. Fo for this reasons, it can be biased, one sided, and reflect you in a bad light. Our senior lawyers have put a stop to this before it gets to the Judge.
Speaking to and getting an expert, experienced court report from a psychologist or psychiatrist can drastically improve your chances at avoiding a criminal conviction and loss of licence.
For maximum possible results, the report should express your insight, good character, remorse, and shame. Significantly the report can comment on your state of mind at the time which may provide an explanation.
The below table explains the maximum and minimum penalties, fines, disqualifications, which applies only if you don’t get a s10.
Licence Disqualification periods if convicted
|Compulsory Disqualification Period prior to Interlock Period Starting||Interlock Period Where You Must Drive With Interlock Device Installed In Car||Disqualification Period If Interlock Program Not Applied To You|
|If you have no previous drink driving convictions in last 5 years||Interlock period not applied
|Interlock period not applied||Automatic: 3 years
Minimum: 12 months
|If you have a previous drink driving conviction in last 5 years||Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 9 months
|2 years||Automatic: 5 years
Minimum: 2 year
Maximum fine and imprisonment if convicted for DUI
|Maximum Imprisonment||Maximum Fine|
|If you have no drink driving conviction in last 5 years||18 months||$3,300|
|If you have a drink driving conviction in last 5 years||2 years||$5,500|
Those maximum penalties are generally given only to the most serious offenders, and in fact rarely given.
Types of penalties
The Judge can give you any one of the below types of punishment, which depends on how you’ve prepared and presented your case:
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Conditional Release Order
- Community Correction Order
- Intensive Correction Order
- Full Time Imprisonment
Which punishment you get, depends on lots of things, including, distance travelled, number of people in the vehicle, reason for driving, anything unusual causing police to stop you, your need for a licence and effect of a criminal record against your name on your career and travel plans.
For getting the best chances at avoiding a licence disqualification and criminal record, by convincing a Court to give you a s10, speak to an expert traffic lawyer now. Our team of highly experienced traffic lawyers are leaders in traffic cases with a proven track record of successfully getting s10’s for over 20 years countless times.