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Middle Range PCA

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

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What is Middle Range PCA?

The offence of driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of between 0.08 and 0.149.

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 Mid 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 Middle Range PCA?

Mid 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 $2,200,
  • with a disqualification period of 3 to 6 months,
  • followed by participation in the interlock program for a minimum period of 12 months that can be increased as the Court sees fit,
  • with a Gaol term of up to 9 months.

Mid 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 $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 12 months.

The penalties imposed for Mid Range drink driving vary greatly. This is because the seriousness of each case varies greatly (e.g. some are a lower reading detected by RBT, whereas at the other end of the spectrum, some have a higher reading, with a crash and prior drink driving convictions).

In less serious cases the magistrate usually imposes a criminal conviction, a fine and licence disqualification followed by participation in the Alcohol Interlock Program.

In more serious cases, people are sentenced to prison.

In particularly compelling and well presented cases, magistrates sometimes choose not to record convictions. Those drivers avoid criminal records, fines, gaol and are back on the road immediately.

Contact us to discuss your matter and how we can help position you to obtain the best outcome.

What is the Alcohol Interlock Program?

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 Mid 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;
  • they have a medical condition that prevents them from using the device; or
  • In the case of a first offence, that the order would cause severe hardship.

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 Mid Range PCA.

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

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

If you need your drivers licence, please contact us for advice about whether you may qualify to have your licence returned to you.

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

It is possible for a charge of Mid Range PCA to be dismissed under section 10.

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. Any operating police licence suspension is also lifted.

If the magistrate dismisses your matter under section 10 you may be required to enter into a conditional release order. This is a good behaviour bond, or promise to the Court, that you will not commit any other offences for a period of time.

To get a section 10 for a Middle Range PCA there needs to be a very good reason why leniency is appropriate in your case. Relevant factors include:

  • You have an unusual explanation for why you were drink driving
  • A conviction and penalties would have an unusually harsh impact on you
  • You have an exceptionally good traffic record
  • You are of particularly good character and contribute to the community
  • You have a particular need for your licence

Read on for more information about section 10

For an honest assessment of your chances of receiving a section 10 contact us.

Will I get a criminal record for Mid Range drink driving?

If you are convicted of Middle 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 without 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.

Middle Range PCA Legislation

 The offence of Middle Range PCA is contained in:

  • section 110(4)(a) of the Road Transport Act 2013
  • section 110(4)(b) of the Road Transport Act 2013
  • section 110(4)(c) of the Road Transport Act 2013

The Law Part Codes are:

  • Law Part Code 79161 – Drive with middle range PCA – 1st off
  • Law Part Code 79160 – Drive with middle range PCA – 2nd+off
  • Law Part Code 79162 – Attempt to drive with middle range PCA – 1st off
  • Law Part Code 79163 – Attempt to drive with middle range PCA – 2nd+off
  • Law Part Code 79165 – Licensed driver middle range PCA sit next to learner-1st off
  • Law Part Code 79164 – Licensed driver middle range PCA sit next to learner-2nd+off

The standard description on a Court Attendance Notice is:

  • Drive with middle range PCA – first offence
  • Drive with middle range PCA – prior offence
  • Attempt to drive with middle range PCA – first offence
  • Attempt to drive with middle range PCA – prior offence
  • Licensed driver with middle range PCA sit next to learner – first offence
  • Licensed driver with middle range PCA sit next to learner – prior offence

 

Ainsley Law

Sydney
Level 1, 299 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Parramatta
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