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Drink Driving Penalties

Drink Driving can carry with it some serious charges, but the severity of the penalty depends on many factors, such as your Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC), whether it is your first offence or a repeated offence and various other factors. See below for information on typical penalty ranges for those charged with drink driving offences in Queensland and New South Wales.

Drink Driving Penalties in Queensland

Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Potential Licence Disqualification Period

Max. Fine Amount

Max. Imprisonment Term

In between 0.00 and 0.05 BAC (for learner, probationary or provisional licence holders, or drivers of specific motor vehicles such as taxis, buses etc).

3 - 9 months

$1,706

3 months

Between 0.05 and 0.10 BAC

1 - 9 months

$1,706

3 months

Between 0.10 and 0.15 BAC

3 - 12 months

$2,438

6 months

0.15 BAC and over

Minimum 6 months

$3,413

9 months

Suspensions

A 24 hour suspension of licence will apply if your BAC is less than 0.10.

On the other hand, your licence will be immediately suspended if: 

Repeat Offenders

Repeat drink driving offenders may face harsher penalties, such as vehicle impoundment, lengthy licence disqualification periods, large fines and imprisonment.

*This information is taken from the Queensland Government website.

Drink Driving Penalties in NSW - First Offence

Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Licence Disqualification Period

Max. Fine Amount

Max. Imprisonment Term

Immediate Suspension?

Low Range between 0.05 and 0.08 BAC; Novice drivers or Special category drivers (below 0.02)

3 - 6 months (Automatic disqualification of 6 months in the absence of a specific court order)

$1,100

N/A

No

Between 0.08 and 0.15 BAC

Minimum 6 months (Automatic disqualification of 12 months in the absence of a specific court order)

$2,200

9 months

Yes

0.15 BAC and over

Minimum 12 months (Automatic disqualification of 3 years in the absence of a specific court order)

$3,300

18 months

Yes

Drink Driving Penalties in NSW - Second Offence

Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Licence Disqualification Period

Max. Fine Amount

Max. Imprisonment Term

Immediate Suspension?

Low Range between 0.05 and 0.08 BAC; Novice drivers or Special category drivers (below 0.02)

6 months (Automatic disqualification of 12 months in the absence of a specific court order)

$2,200

N/A

No

Between 0.08 and 0.15 BAC

Minimum 12 months (Automatic disqualification of 3 years in the absence of a specific court order)

$3,300

12 months

Yes

0.15 BAC and over

Minimum 2 years (Automatic disqualification of 5 years in the absence of a specific court order)

$5,500

2 years

Yes

*This information is taken from the NSW Government website.

What Now? 

If you've been charged with a drink driving offence on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Tweed or Northern NSW area, you need to speak to an experienced lawyer or you could be facing maximum fines, licence disqualification periods or imprisonment. Contact McMillan Criminal Law today to discuss your matter.