Penalties For Drink Driving
Drink driving is a serious offence in Western Australia, and the penalties are significant if you’re caught with a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realise how much they will suffer if they get caught drink driving, and they do it anyway. Aside from putting themselves and other road users at risk, most drink drivers get caught eventually – it’s not worth taking the risk!
If you’ve been caught driving under the influence, you might find that you’ve had your drivers licence suspended or disqualified. There’s little you can do when this happens, but it’s worth speaking to a criminal lawyer to discuss your options.
What Are The Penalties For Drink Driving In WA?
The penalties for drink driving in Western Australia vary according to the level of the offence. These are outlined briefly below:
First time offenders
First time offenders will be issued with an infringement if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is between 0.05 and 0.08, or between 0 and 0.02 for drivers who have a zero limit. For drivers with a zero limit, a BAC between 0.02 and 0.05 will result in a $100 fine and a loss of three demerits. For drivers with a normal licence, the penalties are:
- For a BAC of 0.05-0.059, $400 fine and 3 demerits.
- For a BAC of 0.06-0.069, $400 fine and 4 demerits.
- For a BAC of 0.07-0.079, $400 fine and 5 demerits.
If your BAC is above 0.08 (or 0.02 for zero limit drivers) you will have to attend court. You will receive a significant fine and anything from 3 to 10 months licence disqualification depending on your BAC.
Second and subsequent offences
Although the penalties for a first time drink driving offence are severe, second and subsequent infringements carry much greater penalties. If you’re caught driving under the influence a second time, the minimum fine is $500 with 6-8 months licence disqualification. The maximum penalty for BAC readings higher than 0.15 include fines of up to $5000, 30 months licence disqualification, or up to 18 months imprisonment.
What Can I Do If I’ve Been Charged With Drink Driving?
As you’re probably beginning to imagine, being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious matter. Aside from the financial penalty, licence disqualification can have far reaching consequences on both your social and professional life.
If you have recently been caught drink driving, it could be worth speaking to a qualified criminal lawyer to determine whether or not you can get your charge downgraded. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a special licence if you’re required to drive for work purposes. It never hurts to explore your options!