High range drink driving, often known as driving with a high range prescribed concentration of alcohol, takes place when a driver or motorcycle rider is detected with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.15 grams per 210 liters of breath or 100 milliliters of blood.
For individuals facing their first high-range drink driving offence, the maximum penalties for this charge consists of:
1. A potential prison sentence of up to 18 months.
2. There is an automatic disqualification period of 9 months, with the minimum being 6 months.
3. Following this, a 24-month interlock device requirement for your vehicle will be imposed.
4. A fine of $3,300.
For individuals facing their second high-range drink driving offence, the maximum penalties for this charge consists of:
1. A potential prison sentence of up to 2 years.
2. There is an automatic disqualification period of 5 years, with the minimum being 2 years.
3. A 48-month interlock device requirement for your vehicle will be imposed.
4. A fine of $5,500.
Various legal defences that apply to general criminal cases are also applicable to high range drink driving cases. These defences include:
2. Duress, and
When you present evidence of a legal defence, the burden then shifts to the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defence does not apply. If they fail to do so, you are entitled to an ‘acquittal,’ meaning a verdict of not guilty.
Since drink driving is considered a ‘strict liability offence,’ meaning the prosecution doesn’t need to prove a specific mental state like intention or recklessness, the defence of an ‘honest and reasonable mistake of fact’ is also available.
To establish this defence, you must convince the court, based on the balance of probabilities, that you genuinely believed you were not driving with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit, and that your belief was reasonable given the circumstances.
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