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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?

A conviction for low range PCA when it is a first major offence in a 5 year period, can mean  a fine of up to $1100. It also carries an automatic period of disqualification of 6 months, however a court may reduce it to 3 months.

A second or subsequent conviction for low range PCA  is a fine of up to $2200 and 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 is a fine of up to $2200. 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.


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?

A  conviction for low range PCA  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:

  • Plead not guilty and establish one of the defences to drink driving.
  • 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 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.

What is the process?

In most cases of 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.

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