If you’ve been caught drink driving in Melbourne, the penalties can be substantial. But you aren’t alone as Victoria Police conducts around four million random roadside breathalyser tests annually and catches thousands of people over the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit.
However, you can find drink driving lawyers in Melbourne to help you navigate Victoria’s court system. They will help you understand the process and the kind of punishments that you might face. Below, we provide a brief breakdown of the main penalties that could be applied.
Penalties for First-Time Offenders
For drink driving offences, there are different charges for first-time offenders and those who have been caught on multiple occasions. If you happen to be a first-time offender that’s aged under 26 with a BAC between .05 and .069, the police may issue you a traffic infringement and take away your license for a minimum of three months. Relatively speaking, this is considered a fairly light punishment that aims to discourage people from making this serious mistake again.
In addition, first-time drink drivers will also have to attend a Drink Driving Behaviour Change Program before they can get their license back. This course delves into the circumstances around your offence and provides helpful advice on ways to reduce your chances of re-offending. Once people are granted their license again, they will also have an interlock device placed in their vehicle which they must use to prove their BAC is .00 whenever driving.
Although it might seem like first-time offenders are treated harshly, repeat perpetrators of drink driving crimes are not treated with the same discretion. In fact, the mandatory minimum punishment period is doubled when the courts deal with these cases. The mandatory minimums are structured like this:
BAC reading between .05 and .099 is a six-month loss of licence
BAC reading between .10 and .149 is 10 to 14 months loss of licence.
BAC reading between .15 or more is 15 to 24 months.
This is undoubtedly a long time to lose your license whether you’re a first-time or repeat offender. But the latter may also be hit with imprisonment of up to 18 months and fines that can exceed $26,000. Contacting a specialised drink driving lawyer in Melbourne is the best way to know how these punishments will apply to your case.
Get Legal Help
If you’ve been charged with drink driving in Victoria, there’s a good chance that you’re also facing punishment for other criminal acts. These can range from culpable driving and failure to stop at a booze bus to a range of traffic offences. To manage this problem, you’re going to need the help of a talented drink driving lawyer.
A skilled lawyer can provide your side of the story when it comes to the circumstances of your offence. This might include disputing the refusal of a breath test or describing how you received incorrect legal advice from authorities.
While being charged with drink driving is unquestionably serious, contacting professional legal help ensures you can make sense of the legal process and receive advice the applies specifically to your situation.