Can You Get A Drink Driving Ban Reduced

Can You Get A Drink Driving Ban Reduced?

In short yes, it is often possible to reduce a drink driving ban period for drink driving. However, the options depend on whether the police issue a penalty notice or send you to court.

Penalty Notice

Most drivers caught drink driving will be suspended from driving on the spot by police.

If the police choose to give you a penalty notice instead of sending you to court for the offence, then that suspension will be for a set period of 3 months. You can appeal against this suspension, however, it can only be reduced if you have an exceptional need for a licence, which is a need that goes beyond those that apply to most people – like for work and family.

Sometimes the police don’t issue an immediate suspension. In those cases, Transport for NSW will suspend your licence after you pay the fine. Again, this suspension can be appealed. The good thing about these appeals is that you don’t have to show an exceptional need for a licence. So it can be much easier to convince a magistrate to reduce the suspension.

Court

For more serious categories of drink driving, the police will give you a court attendance notice. In that case, your suspension will stand until your charge matter is heard. At that time, a magistrate will make a decision about how long you should be off the road, and the time you have already been suspended will usually be counted.


For matters that go to court, the magistrate will choose a disqualification period that falls within a range that is written in the legislation. Each category of drink driving has either an automatic disqualification period that can be reduced to a minimum or maximum and minimum periods. Some categories also require a minimum period of time spent in the alcohol interlock program after disqualification is served. Those periods are:

| Category | First Offence | Previous offence within 5 years

| Special Range PCA – 0.02-0.049 | Minimum: 3 months Automatic: 6 months   | Minimum: 1 month Maximum: 3 months Then interlock for a minimum: 12 months

| Low Range PCA – 0.05 to 0.079 | Minimum: 3 months Automatic: 6 months   | Minimum: 1 month Maximum: 3 months Then interlock for a minimum: 12 months

| Mid Range PCA – 0.08 to 0.149 | Minimum: 3 months Maximum: 6 months Then interlock for a minimum: 12 months  | Minimum: 6 months Maximum: 9 months Then interlock for a minimum: 24 months

| High Range PCA – 0.15+ | Minimum: 6 months Maximum: 9 months Then interlock for a minimum: 24 months | Minimum: 9 months Maximum: 12 months Then interlock for a minimum: 4 years

So, when you go to court for drink driving, you can get your drink driving ban reduced to the minimum period for your offence.

Things that help achieve this include completion of a traffic offenders’ program and evidence about your good character and need for a licence.

You may also have heard of “section 10”, or “non-conviction” or “Conditional Release Orders”. If a magistrate chooses not to record a conviction for your matter, then you will be able to go and get a new licence immediately. This is a difficult outcome to achieve, but not impossible and will come down to the specific factors in your case and how well you prepare.

No two drink driving matters are the same. For a personalised assessment of your matter and advice about how to keep your time off the road to a minimum, give Ainsley Law a call today and speak with one of our experienced drink driving lawyers. Our team at Ainsley Law are more than happy to chat with you.

Please call us today at 0416 224 601 or leave an enquiry.