New Drink Driving Laws – Know Your Rights
You would have seen the news that on 20 May 2019 the law in New South Wales changed which gave the Police powers to immediately suspend the licence of anyone charged with low-range drink driving for 3 months with an on the spot penalty notice and a fine for $561.
Previously you would get a Court Attendance Notice and be ordered to Court where you would persuade the Magistrate as to what the penalty would be.
Don’t be fooled! You still have the right to challenge your drink driving offence at court.
Every citizen has the right to challenge a penalty notice including the Police decision to immediately suspend your drivers licence.
However, it is not a decision you should take lightly. The new laws means that if you are issued with a penalty notice you have not committed a criminal offence, only a traffic offence even though it is drinking driving. If you take it to Court and are convicted, you will have a criminal conviction.
Alternatively, if you do take the matter to court, and you are successful, you will have no drink driving matter at all and most importantly, you will have your licence returned to you.
This is often very important for people that need their licence for work.
Magistrates recognise that sometimes good people make small mistakes and often that low range drink driving can be half a beer that you have just before you hoped in the car. Or that you should have waited an extra half hour the next day after a big night out.
It is important that despite what the media say that you realise that you can still challenge drink driving offences. Just as important is that you have quality legal advice and understand how you challenge it quickly and efficiently. Such an appeal for your licence is not a decision to be taken lightly and you need someone who regularly appears in such matters.
Should you want such advice, please do not hesitate to contact our Criminal Law team by speaking to either John Vizzone – firstname.lastname@example.org or Isabelle Worrad – email@example.com or phone 9667 1271.