Sunday, 22 September 2013

What Are The Drink Driving Penalties In Victoria?

Alcohol is definitely a worldwide culprit in many road deaths. In Victoria alone, it is responsible for about a fourth of the drivers killed in road accidents each year. If you want to know the state’s drink driving laws, the offenses and corresponding penalties, read on.

The law basically states that regular drivers should have under .05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Meanwhile, professional, probationary, and learner drivers as well as previous drink driving offenders must have zero BAC. A drink driving offence is not limited to public roads and people may be charged even on private property. It is also possible to be charged even if the person wasn’t actually driving; for instance, being over the limit while sitting in driver’s seat with keys in the ignition could get someone in serious trouble with the law. Being over .05 BAC while accompanying a learner driver also makes a person liable.Drink driving penalties may involve anything from heavy fines to actual imprisonment. First offences generally only merit infringement notices. Although, subsequent offences are charged and taken to court. The same may also be true for drink driving offenses involving a higher than .15 BAC; it is up to the authorities to merely issue a traffic infringement notice or to take the offender straight to court. First-time offenders who would like to challenge the infringement notice may choose to go to court instead, but this measure could very well backfire on them. Expectedly, going to court involves more serious penalties. It’s best to consult a drink driving lawyer like Brent Casey for the most favorable option.

There are also distinct details for special cases, such as demerit points for learner and probationary drivers. Novice drivers have a five-point demerit threshold within a 12-month period and a 12-point threshold within a three-year period. Offenses equating to 10 demerit points will usually cause an automatic license suspension lasting four months.

The authorities have the power to immediately suspend a license or a learner’s permit in particular situations, such as in cases of learner drivers with a BAC of .07 or higher or licensed drivers with a higher than .10 BAC. The same is true for repeat offenders. The suspension period varies from case to case.

Penalties are distinctly heavier when the court is involved, which is why choosing to do so is done upon expert professional advisement. Fines are steeper and license cancellation periods, much longer. It all depends on various factors such as the BAC and the number of times a person has already been apprehended for drink driving.

Drink driving is definitely a serious offense and should be dealt with accordingly, hence the severity of the penalties involved.

About the author:
Calvin John Mcphee is an educational consultant who spends likes to spend his spare time writing. He is interested about topics related to law and constantly searches the internet for information. His current interest is on drink driving charges and their penalties. He found the articles at very helpful.
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