DETAILS OF THE OFFENCE
The offence of Mid-Range PCA is committed when a driver, drives a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 but below 0.149.
Depending on the level of the reading and the circumstances surrounding the offending, a Court may deal with a Mid-Range PCA offence by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This means that no conviction will be recorded (no criminal record), the driver is able to keep their driver’s licence (licence isn’t disqualified).
However, a Mid-Range PCA can be aggravated by certain factors. For example:
Ø If there are previous PCA offences on the driver’s record;
Ø The degree of intoxication above 0.08;
Ø Erratic or aggressive driving;
Ø If there was a collision between the vehicle and any other object;
Ø If the driver was engaged in competitive driving or showing off;
Ø The length of the journey at which others are exposed to risk;
Ø The number of persons actually put at risk by the driving.
Where a Mid-Range PCA is aggravated, the Magistrate will consider the charge as more serious and normally impose a harsher penalty.
FIRST TIME OFFENCE
If this is a first time offence within a 5 year period, the maximum penalty for Mid-Range PCA is a fine of $2,200.00 and/or 9 months imprisonment. There is an automatic disqualification period of 12 months and a minimum disqualification period of 6 months unless the matter is dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, in which case the driver will not be disqualified from driving.
OFFENCE IS A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT MAJOR OFFENCE WITHIN 5 YEARS
The maximum penalty for Mid-Range PCA, if it is your second or subsequent major offence within 5 years, is a fine of $3,300.00 and/or 12 months imprisonment unless the matter is dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.
Additionally, this offence automatically attracts the Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program. This program came into force in 2015. The program requires a breath testing device to be linked to the ignition system of the offender’s vehicle at the expense of the driver.
Drivers must provide a breath sample into the interlock system for analysis of the presence of alcohol. The system will prevent a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected. Randomly timed breath tests must also be passed whilst driving.
The magistrate will order a period of licence disqualification between 6-9 months. After this period, a mandatory interlock period will then be enforced for a period of no less than 24 months.
FACTORS THE COURT WILL CONSIDER
In deciding how to deal with this type of offence, a magistrate will take into consideration a number of factors including:
Ø The driver's character (e.g. are you employed, do you have a family to support, are you an active member of the community)
Ø Their criminal record (if any)
Ø Their Your traffic record
Ø The circumstances of the driver consuming alcohol
Ø The circumstances of why the driver was driving
Ø The deliberateness of the driver offending
Ø The driver's remorse for their actions
Ø The need for a licence in particular for employment, family or medical reasons, or the remoteness of the driver's home.
Ø Whether the driver has completed any programs (AA meetings, Traffic Offenders Program)
CONTACT OUR OFFICE
We understand that attending Court can be a daunting experience. If you have been charged with any type of drink driving offence, contact our office and make an appointment to see one of our solicitors. We can advise you and represent you in Court to ensure your best case is put forward.