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Drink driving

Drink driving is taken very seriously by the Court. The Court views its responsibility to protect the community as paramount, and if you are charged with drink driving, then you need to seek immediate legal advice.

The following information relates to offences committed after 30 April 2018.

Elements of the offence

The prosecution must prove

  • that the Accused was driving or in control of a motor vehicle
  • that the Accused had a blood alcohol reading above the legal limit.

Will I have to go to court?

A drink driving charge will be tried summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.

Maximum penalty:

If found guilty drink driving, the Court will have regard to the nature and circumstances of your driving, your past history and the level of intoxication in determining your penalty. In addition to your penalty, the Court must cancel and disqualify you from driving:

  • If you are required to drive with zero alcohol (such as a P plate drivers or taxi driver) and your reading was less than 0.0, the law says the Magistrate must cancel your licence and disqualify you from driving for at least three months.
  • If you have received a road side infringement notice for drink driving from a police officer and you are
    • Over 26 years old,
    • Hold a full unrestricted licence; and
    • Your reading is under 0.07 the minimum licence cancellation is three months.

If your reading was 0.070 per cent or more, your licence will be cancelled and you will be disqualified from driving in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic). You can find a copy of the VicRoads table here.

If you have been to Court previously for drink or drug driving, the penalties are more severe.

There is no maximum period of disqualification and the Court will have regard to the circumstances of the case and your personal circumstances when determining whether to impose a longer disqualification order against your licence.

A Magistrate also has the power to impound or forfeit your motor vehicle on police application.

 What do I do now?

To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in navigating the Court process.

Contact our office today to speak to an accredited criminal law specialist, on (03) 9077 4834 or at