High Range Drink Driving

Whether you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs both come with penalties across the different Australian states. For people with a full license to drive if your blood alcohol is over 0.05% then you will get a citation. If you are on a provisional or learner license then you have to stay under 0.02%. This means even just one drink can put you over your legal limit. Consuming alcohol reduces how fast you can react and can lead to serious accidents resulting in injuries and death. It is reported that in this country a quarter of all deaths on the road is caused by alcohol consumption. You are four times more likely to get into an accident with high-range drink driving which is when you will require the best lawyers for drink driving offences.

High range blood alcohol content

A high range BAC is when it is more than 0.15%. While you might get a penalty for a lower BAC reading, with readings in the high range you face more severe punishments, punitive as well as financial. There is a max fine of $3,300 for a first offence, after that, it goes up to $5,500. For a first offence, the max sentence you might see is 18 months but after that, it is 2 years. In almost all serious cases of drink driving a license disqualification of three years happens. In some cases with a lawyer drink driving expert, you might get a reduced first offence license disqualification down to 12 months. Further offences see a five-year disqualification though it can be reduced to 2 years in some cases.

Max penalties are not always used

The above penalties are the maximum that a court might impose but it is important to know that real gaol time and custodial sentences are often given to drunk drivers especially when it has happened more than once. If you have been in trouble in the last five years for relevant driving offences then the third time you become a habitual offender. You have your license taken away for 5 years to 10 years. It varies between areas of Australia.

In Western Australia, there is a minimum of $900 fine for the first time and a max of $2500. Second offences have a $2100 minimum then a $3500 max. Offences after that are $2100 minimum and $5000 max. License disqualification is 10 months then 30 months then for the third a life disqualification. You need the best lawyers for drink driving offences.

In Southern Australia, people lose their license for 12 months if convicted with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.15%. For people facing serious offences, an interlock device may be installed on their car which takes their BAC before the car can be started.


How much alcohol is present in your blood is affected not just by how much you drink. It depends on what you drink, when you drank, whether you ate, your general health and your body weight too. To reach a level of high range drink driving where you will need a lawyer drink driving expert you generally need to drink around four to six drinks.

Bio – McNally & Gleeson Lawyers is a leading Melbourne criminal law firm. Established in 1994, and formally Michael J Gleeson & Associates, we specialise in all police and criminal matters and pride ourselves on our persevering commitment to our clients. We represent our clients in police and criminal charges from bail applications through to plea hearings, contested criminal trials and final appeals.

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By Michael Caine

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