The NSW government have introduced a new offence of Drink Driving / PCA combined with the presence of an illicit drug in oral fluid or drug driving.
For matter where you are charged and/or convicted for the first time in five years, this charge will only apply to middle and high range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA).
For a second or subsequent offence within the last five years, this offence will apply for any level of Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) and positive oral fluid sample.
What penalty could I be facing for a combined offence (Drink Driving / PCA and Illicit drug in Oral Fluid)
This offence can be quite complicated in the sense that, it is effectively combining two existing offences of Drink driving and drive with illicit substance presence in oral fluid sample.
When you are pulled over you will effectively be given two tests, one for illicit substances and another for a breath test. If you are positive for both tests, then the driver is place under arrest for the combined offence.
If your sample is sent to the lab and no illicit substance is detected the Police will only proceed with the relevant PCA offence and vis versa if you pass the breath analysis the Police will only proceed with the illicit substance offence.
Regardless, of which offence category you fit into there is an immediate licence suspension for any combined offence charged.
At Catron Simmons Lawyers, we can offer you qualified advice best suited for your situation to ensure the best outcome for your matter.
|Combined Offence – First Offence|
|Mid Range PCA + Illicit Substance||High Range PCA + illicit substance|
|Maximum Imprisonment||18 Months||24 Months|
|Minimum Disqualification||12 Months||2 years|
|Automatic Disqualification||2 years||4 years|
|Interlock Period (minimum)||12 months||2 years|
Combined Offence – Second Offence
|Low, Novice & Special Range + Illicit Substance||Mid Range PCA + Illicit Substance||High Range PCA + illicit substance|
|Maximum Imprisonment||18 Months||2 years||2 years|
|Minimum Disqualification||18 Months||2 years||3 years|
|Automatic Disqualification||2 years||4 years||6 years|
|Interlock Period (minimum)||12 months||2 years||4 years|
In circumstances of aggravation especially involving High Range PCA the guideline judgement would still apply, meaning it is unlikely that you will be able to avoid a conviction in most circumstances. The reason for this is due to the seriousness of the offence and a Guideline Judgement from the NSW Criminal Court of Appeal. This judgement held that section 10 (CRO without conviction) would be rarely utilised.
The guideline judgement also outlines cases or scenarios where the court would consider a custodial sentence such as where a collision occurs etc.