As of 20 May 2019, certain penalties will apply to drivers who commit a first-time, lower-range drink-driving offence (which can include low, special and novice range drink-driving offences).
Drivers who commit a lower-range drink-driving offence for the first time will have their licence suspended immediately, effective for three months. This will be coupled with a significant fine of $561. The same applies for drug driving.
- Low range PCA: blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to less than 0.08
- Novice range PCA: blood alcohol concentration more than zero for learner, P1 or P2 driver
- Special range PCA: blood alcohol concentration over 0.02 for special category drivers (taxi drivers, bus drivers, drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods).
This has come about due to Police frustration with the frequency of people caught with low range drug and alcohol as above being able to “get off” via the court system.
It has been the case that if you got a good lawyer and you would probably be given a good behaviour order or similar, even let off scot free. But no longer it seems.