LawTalk Blog

The silly season is nearly upon us so what is the real cost of drink driving?

dink driving offences

It's a Friday night and an after work drink has turned into several.  You drove into work that day and really would prefer to wake up tomorrow with your car in your drive way.  You know it's against the law to drink drive but you've spent most of you money on the drinks at the pub and would prefer not to spend even more money on a taxi.

Do not risk it!

Alcohol causes more road crashes than any other single factor in Australia.  We all know that alcohol slows our brain functions and our reaction times.  In 2012, 40% of fatal crashes involved alcohol and or drugs as a factor.  Not only is drink driving a risk to you but it is to all other road users and the community as a whole.

If you were involved in a fatal car accident while drink driving, you would be facing very serious criminal charges and likely sent straight to gaol after being sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence.

I have no doubt that police will be ramping up their breath testing stations and will likely have major blitz' as Christmas and New Years Eve approach.  This, combined with the fact that now all police vehicles can conduct breath and drug tests, increases the likelihood that you will get caught if you choose to break the law.

Another factor is related directly to your hip pocket.  Leading up to Christmas the last thing you want to be doing is forking out expensive court fines and fees.  Here is a breakdown at what you would be up for:

Fine for exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol - $900 to $2,900

Court fees - $240

Victims of crime levy -  $160

Prosecution fee -  $100

Impounding fee -   $994

TOTAL - $2,394 to $4,394

The costs continue to accrue if you committed a serious drink driving offence.  A serious drink driving offence is:

  • a second or subsequent offence, within a period of 5 years, of driving with a BAC at or above 0.08
  • driving with a BAC at or above 0.15
  • driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquor (so intoxicated that you are incapable of exercising effective control over your vehicle)
  • refusing to provide a sample of breath or blood for the purpose of alcohol testing.

For people who have previously committed a serious drink driving offence, once they get their licence back they will be subjected to the mandatory alcohol interlock scheme.  The scheme requires drivers to have an alcohol interlock (a small breath-testing device that you need to give a 0 blood alcohol reading for before your car will start) fitted to their car for the same period that they were disqualified for.  The yearly fee is to be covered by the driver and can be $ 2,200 - $1,500 a year plus an annual administration fee of $180.

Suddenly the $40 cab fee is looking far more appealing when you could potentially have to pay thousands of dollars, have the inconvenience of having your licence disqualified and have the live the consequences of seriously injuring or killing someone in the event of an accident.



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