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Low range PCA

What is Low Range PCA?

The offence of Low range PCA is committed when a person drives a motor vehicle on a road with a blood alcohol reading above 0.05 but less than 0.079.

What are the penalties for Low Range PCA?

If you are convicted of low range PCA and it is your first major offence in a 5 year period, the penalty is a fine of up to $1100. Your licence will automatically be disqualified for 6 months however a court may reduce it to 3 months.

If you are convicted of low range PCA and it is your second offence the penalty is a fine of up to $2200. Your licence will automatically be disqualified for 12 months however a court may reduce this to 6 months.

If it is your second alcohol related offence in a 5 year period the penalty is a fine of up to $2200. Your licence will be disqualified for between 1 and 3 months and you will then be subject to an interlock order for 12 months.

LOW RANGE PCA

FIRST AND SECOND OFFENCES

Offence Fine Imprisonment Minimum Disqualification Automatic Disqualification
Low Range PCA 1st offence: $1100
2nd offence: $2200
N/A 1st offence: 3 months
2nd offence: 6 months
1st offence: 6 months
2nd offence: 12 months

Where a prior conviction (within the past 5 years) was alcohol related:

Offence Initial Disqualification Period Minimum Interlock Period Disqualification Period if exemption order made
Low Range PCA Minimum 1 month
Maximum 3 months
12 months Automatic 12 months
Minimum 6 months

Will I lose my licence?

The police can now  immediately suspend your licence for 3 months. The RMS also has the power to suspend your licence for 3 months.

If your low range PCA matter is  dealt with by a court and you are convicted, this  will mean a loss of  licence for at least the minimum period specified. There is no such thing as a ‘work licence’ or ‘restricted licence’ in NSW. The only way to keep your licence is to avoid a conviction.

How do I avoid a conviction?

There are only two ways to avoid a conviction:

  • If the court exercises its discretion to not record a conviction and deals with your matter as a conditional release order (CRO) which was previously known as a ‘section 10’.

Does a charge of Low Range PCA show up on a criminal record?

Low range PCA is a criminal offence, this means if you are convicted at court it will appear on a criminal record.  As a result, it will also appear on police background checks. In some cases this may affect employment, travel to certain countries, or the ability to obtain particular licences.

Even if you are given a penalty notice by police for a low range PCA offence, it will still be considered a second or subsequent offence if you are charged with a further alcohol  related offence within a 5 year period.

What is the process?

If the police issue you wth a penalty notice  and you chose to pay the fine, you will not be required to attend court. The police may also issue you with an immediate licence suspension notice. If this occurs you will not be allowed to drive from the date of the notice. You will however have the option of appealing the licence suspension.

If you are charged with low range PCA the Police will release you and give you a yellow slip called a field court attendance notice (Field CAN).  The court date, court location, and the type of charge  are all listed on the Field CAN.  The police may also give you another yellow piece of paper called a ‘written notice of pleading’. Do not fill that in until you’ve spoken to a lawyer.

Why choose Marsh Blom Lawyers?

We are specialist traffic and criminal lawyers. All our lawyers are experienced and results orientated. We have extensive courtroom experience and we represent clients in drink driving matters at courts all over NSW. In most drink driving matters we are able to offer a competitive fixed fee for our services.  If you’ve been charged with low range drink driving, seek advice from one of our specialist drink driving lawyers immediately.

Changes to drink driving laws coming soon

From May 2019 if you drive with Low Range PCA the police will be able to issue you with an on the spot fine of $561 and an immediate licence suspension of 3 months. You will only be issued with a fine if you have not been convicted of, or issued with a penalty notice for an alcohol or other drug related driving offence within the last 5 years.

Can I still have my offence dealt with at court?

You will be able to elect to have a penalty notice dealt with at court and ask to have no conviction recorded. However, it is important to remember that if you are convicted of the offence, the penalties for  low range PCA when it is a first major offence in a 5 year period will  increase from $1100 to $2200. It will also carries an automatic period of disqualification of 6 months, however a court will be able to reduce it to 3 months.

The fine amount for a second or subsequent conviction for low range PCA  will also increased from $2200 to $3300. There will also be an automatic period of licence disqualification for 12 months, however a court may reduce this to 6 months. If it is a second alcohol related offence in a 5 year period the penalty will be a fine of up to $3300. Your licence will also be disqualified for between 1 and 3 months and you will then be subject to an interlock order for 12 months.

Low Range PCA Penalties from May 2019

If issued with a penalty notice by police and it is a first offence:

Offence Fine Imprisonment Disqualification Immediate police suspension
Low Range PCA $561 N/A N/A 3 months

Where convicted after court election or second or subsequent offence:

Offence Fine Imprisonment Minimum Disqualification Automatic Disqualification
Low Range PCA 1st offence: $2200
2nd offence: $3300
N/A 1st offence: 3 months
2nd offence: 6 months
1st offence: 6 months
2nd offence: 12 months

Where a prior conviction (within the past 5 years) was alcohol related:

Offence Initial Disqualification Period Minimum Interlock Period Disqualification Period if exemption order made
Low Range PCA Minimum 1 month
Maximum 3 months
12 months Automatic 12 months
Minimum 6 months

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