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What is novice range drink driving?

September 26, 2012

If you hold a learner’s or provisional driver’s license you can be convicted of novice range drink driving for having a blood alcohol level of above 0.00 and below 0.02. To avoid penalties when you are on a learner or provisional license you will need to avoid consuming any alcohol at all before driving a vehicle on a public road.

According to the RTA, novice drivers are at much higher risk of crashing than experienced drivers when they have even a tiny amount of alcohol in their blood. It is not just recent alcoholic drinks that can affect your blood alcohol level, to be absolutely certain of a clear reading you should also avoid mouthwash containing alcohol.  Be aware that any previous alcoholic drinks, although out of your system within a few hours, may leave residual alcohol in your mouth or through acid reflux which could potentially skew your breathalyser results.

What are the penalties for novice range drink driving?

If you are found guilty of a novice range drink driving offence, your penalty will usually depend on a number of different factors including any previous traffic or drink driving offences (within the last 5 years) and any extenuating circumstances that can be taken into consideration.

If it is your first traffic offence you may face any of the below:

  • Fine of up to $1,100
  • Disqualification from driving for a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months
  • Automatic disqualification for a period of six months

For your second or subsequent major traffic offence you may receive:

  • Fine of up to $2,200
  • Disqualification from driving for a minimum of six months (no maximum limit)
  • Automatic disqualification for a period of 12 months

For more detailed information on the different drink driving offenses and their penalties within NSW, you can look at the NSW Government Transport Roads and Maritime Services page.

What can I do if I am accused of novice range drink driving?

When you are accused of any drink driving offence you will need to go to court. You can choose to either plead innocent or guilty and a judge will decide what, if any penalties to impose. Factors including your previous driving history and any other relevant circumstances will be taken into consideration at this time.

If you have been accused of novice range drink driving it is a good idea to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Being disqualified from driving or having to pay hefty financial penalties could significantly impact your life. Having access to the right legal professionals might lessen the damage caused to you from a drink driving conviction, particularly if it is not your first offence. Click here for drink driving lawyers in Sydney who may be able to assist with your particular case.

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