Our Services  / Drink Driving

High Range PCA

If you’ve just been charged with High Range drink driving then you’re bound to have a lot of questions. Read on for an overview of High Range PCA or feel free to contact us if you’d rather talk to a dedicated traffic lawyer for personalised advice.

Hidden
What is High Range PCA?

The offence of driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.150 or more.

What if I’m not guilty?

There are a number of defences that might be relevant to your situation. Please contact us to discuss how these might apply to you.

What happens if I plead guilty to High Range drink driving?

The Court will decide what (if any) penalty to impose.

Don’t worry that if you plead guilty the magistrate won’t hear your side of the story.

During the sentencing proceedings the magistrate will give your lawyer the chance to explain what happened, what type of person you are and the impact that the case and any penalty will have on you. The magistrate will consider all of those things when deciding what penalty to impose.

With the right preparation you can reduce the penalties that the magistrate would otherwise impose.

Read on for more about what to expect at your sentence hearing.

What are the penalties for High Range PCA?

High Range PCA – First offence 

Section 10 dismissal

  • without conviction,
  • without a fine, and
  • without a disqualification period.
or

Conviction

  • with a fine of up to $3,300,
  • with a disqualification period of 6 to 9 months,
  • followed by participation in the interlock program for a minimum period of 24 months that can be increased as the Court sees fit,
  • with a Gaol term of up to 18 months.

High Range PCA – Second or subsequent offence in 5 years

Section 10 dismissal

  • without conviction,
  • without a fine, and
  • without a disqualification period.
or

Conviction

  • with a fine of up to $5,500,
  • with a disqualification period of 9 to 12 months,
  • followed by participation in the interlock program for a minimum period of 4 years that can be increased as the Court sees fit,
  • with a Gaol term of up to 2 years.

The penalties for High Range PCA are some of the harshest that the Local Court can impose. 

Ordinarily, a person will receive a criminal conviction, a fine and licence disqualification, followed by participation in the Alcohol Interlock Program

The penalties become more serious if there are ‘aggravating factors’ present. An aggravating factor is something that makes the offence worse. For example: a crash, a very high reading, passengers in the car, or previous drink driving offences. 

Where there are aggravating factors the Court will usually consider penalties such a good behaviour bonds and community service and Gaol. 

For an honest assessment of the likely penalty in your case please contact us.

What is the Alcohol Interlock Program for High Range PCA?

Drivers licenced under the Alcohol Interlock Program are required to have breathalysers installed in their cars. For the duration of their participation in the scheme they have to blow 0.00 before their cars will start.

Any person convicted of High Range PCA must participate in the Alcohol Interlock Program unless they are exempted by the Court.

The Court can only exempt a person if:

  • they don’t have access to a vehicle in which to install the breathalyser; or
  • they have a medical condition that prevents them from using the device.

Read on for more information about the Alcohol Interlock Program.

Can I get my licence back pending Court?

Usually the police suspend a driver’s licence immediately when they are charged with High Range PCA.

While it is possible to appeal against the immediate police suspension, it is very difficult to get your licence back pending your court date.

You can read more about appealing the immediate Police suspension here.

Can I get a section 10 for High Range drink driving?

It is extremely rare to get a section 10 for High Range PCA.

A section 10 is an order where the magistrate finds you guilty of the offence, but releases you without a criminal conviction or further punishment. The police licence suspension is also lifted.

The Court will not usually grant a section 10 for a High Range PCA because the offence is just too serious.

Read on for more information about section 10

Contact us for an honest assessment of the likely penalties in your case and to discuss whether yours might be one of the rare instances where a section 10 dismissal for a charge of High Range PCA is appropriate.

Will I get a criminal record for High Range PCA?

If you are convicted of High Range Drink Driving, you will receive a criminal conviction and criminal record.

There are two ways to avoid this:

  • Be found not guilty.
  • Be found guilty, but no conviction recorded (section 10).

What happens on my first court date?

Often there is not much time between now and your first court date. There is no need to be concerned about this, as the Court will normally allow you more time to prepare.

On the first court date, the magistrate will ask what you are planning to do with your case. You can do one of three things:

  • Enter a plea of ‘guilty’ and either ask that the magistrate give you a penalty that day or ask for more time to prepare.
  • Enter a plea of ‘not guilty’ and your matter will be adjourned to a later date for hearing.
  • Ask for an adjournment to get some legal advice.

High Range PCA Legislation

 The offence of High Range PCA is contained in:

  • Section 110(5)(a) of the Road Transport Act 2013
  • Section 110(5)(b) of the Road Transport Act 2013
  • Section 110(5)(c) of the Road Transport Act 2013

The Law Part codes are:

  • Law Part Code 79166 – Drive with high range PCA – 1st off
  • Law Part Code 79167 – Drive with high range PCA – 2nd+off
  • Law Part Code 79168 – Attempt to drive with high range PCA – 1st off
  • Law Part Code 79169 – Attempt to drive with high range PCA – 2nd+off
  • Law Part Code 79171 – Licensed driver, high range PCA sit next to learner -1st off
  • Law Part Code 79170 – Licensed driver, high range PCA sit next to learner -2nd+off

The standard description on a Court Attendance Notice is:

  • Drive with high range PCA – first offence
  • Drive with high range PCA – prior offence
  • Attempt to drive with high range PCA – first offence
  • Attempt to drive with high range PCA – 2nd+off
  • Licensed driver with high range PCA sit next to learner – first offence
  • Licensed driver with high range PCA sit next to learner – prior offence

 

Ainsley Law

Sydney
Level 1, 299 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Parramatta
Suite 19, 103 George Street
Parramatta NSW 2150

Hours

Monday8:30am–5:30pm
Tuesday8:30am–5:30pm
Wednesday8:30am–5:30pm
Thursday8:30am–5:30pm
Friday8:30am–5:30pm
SaturdayClosed
SundayClosed

Contact us

0416 224 601

Find us on Facebook

Find us on Linkedin

Pin It on Pinterest

Menu