Victorian Drink Driving Laws and Charges Explained
In Victoria, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle if you have a Blood Alcohol Level – or BAC – that exceeds 0.05 percent. These levels are further reduced if you hold a learner’s permit, a provision license – P-plates – or if you have other conditions on your license. In these cases, you are not allowed to have any alcohol in your system. Drink driving penalties in Victoria may be incurred for any breaches of these laws.
If you have broken these conditions and you drive, or attempt to drive, you can be charged with drink driving offences.
Understanding Drink Driving Legislation in Victoria
Criminal lawyers can help you to understand the different penalties that you might face. The penalties you face for drink driving will differ, depending on a number of factors including:
- The exact nature of your offence
- Your age and licence type
- Your BAC level when tested
- Previous offences of a similar nature
What are the Penalties for Drink Driving in Victoria?
Those caught driving under the influence of alcohol in Victoria face a range of penalties – from heavy fines to a loss of demerit points and driver’s license. Mandatory alcohol interlocks could also be fitted to your car, and in the most serious circumstances, you could face imprisonment.
How Can I Prepare for Court?
Whether you are guilty depends on the exact facts and circumstances of your case. Look at the ‘Details of the charge’ in your charge sheet to see what the police officer wrote about your offence. The magistrate refers to this in the courtroom.
Often the police will lay two charges. The most common charges are:
- Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle under the influence
- Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle while the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the prescribed limit.
You can tell the court that you will plead guilty to one charge and then the police will withdraw the other charge.
The prosecution has to prove that you were driving a motor vehicle and that the alcohol reading was above the legal amount. The police can use the outcome of the breath test as long as they used the right procedure in carrying out the test. To challenge this, you would need to show that the testing device was not working properly or was not used properly.
Can I Contest Drink Driving Charges?
If you have been caught drink driving and want to know your legal rights, contact a criminal defence lawyer for advice. A criminal defence lawyer experienced in drink driving charges can help you contest your charges.
Criminal lawyers are experts in this highly specialist area and can provide important representation, even if you don’t intend to fight the charges.
In Victoria, you are entitled to examine the evidence and circumstances of your charge, such as:
- When your breath test was performed
- What steps were followed in the testing procedure
- If any steps were overlooked
As well as this, communicating your side of the story through a lawyer gives you the best chance of a more favourable outcome. Even if you are not looking to contest your charges, legal representation and advice can ensure a fairer outcome for you.
For more information or further legal advice about drink driving charges in Victoria, make an appointment with a lawyer at Robert Wood and Associates. Call (03) 9762 3877 or contact us online to speak to our criminal defence lawyers about your case.
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