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DUI Offences in NSW: Your Guide to Navigating Drunk Driving Charges

There’s not much that can compete with the feeling of getting behind the wheel for the first time. That sense of autonomy, the open road stretching ahead, calling you to adventure – it’s a rite of passage; a symbol of freedom. But with great freedom comes great responsibility, and one of the most significant responsibilities as a driver is to ensure the safety of not just yourself but your passengers, pedestrians, and fellow motorists as well.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a dangerous and potentially life-altering offence in New South Wales, Australia. Alcohol and drugs can severely impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle and can lead to tragic consequences. This is why the legal system in NSW is designed to discourage wrongdoing and penalise those who choose to drive while intoxicated.

DUI offences may carry severe penalties, including hefty fines, loss of your driver’s license, and in some cases, even imprisonment. Facing such consequences can be an overwhelming and confusing experience for anyone, particularly if you are not well-versed in the intricacies of the law. That’s where we step in.

As an experienced law firm that specialises in Criminal Law and Traffic Law, we understand the complexities and difficulties our clients face when dealing with DUI charges. With a deep knowledge of the legal system in New South Wales, and a dedication to providing the highest quality representation, we will guide you from the moment you are pulled over, through the court processes that may follow, and then on to any potential penalties.

From understanding your charges to preparing for your court appearance and negotiating with prosecutors, we will be with you every step of the way. Read on to familiarise yourself with the process and feel more prepared for what’s to come. Let’s take control of your future today.

Understanding the Different Types of DUI Offences

In New South Wales, there are several categories of DUI offences, each with its own set of penalties and implications. It’s essential to understand the specific charges you might be facing in order to develop the best possible defence strategy. Here’s a brief overview of the different types of DUI offences:

1. Low Range PCA: This offence occurs when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between 0.05% and 0.079%. Low Range PCA is the least severe of the drinking-related offences but can still lead to significant penalties if convicted.

2. Mid Range PCA: If your BAC is between 0.08% and 0.149%, you’ll be charged with a Mid Range PCA. This carries more severe penalties than Low Range PCA and is taken more seriously by the courts.

3. High Range PCA: A BAC of 0.150% or higher is considered a High Range PCA, which is the most serious alcohol-related driving offence. High Range PCA carries the harshest penalties and often involves a custodial sentence.

4. Driving Under the Influence (DUI): This charge isn’t tied to a specific BAC reading, but rather relies on evidence that shows you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving, such as impaired motor skills or erratic behaviour behind the wheel.

5. Drug Driving: If you’ve been caught with drugs in your system or possessing drugs while driving, you can be charged with drug driving. This offence is not linked to a BAC, but rather the presence of illegal substances in your body.

Potential Penalties for DUI Offences

The penalties for DUI offences in New South Wales are based on factors like the type of offence, your previous driving record, and whether this is your first or subsequent offence. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the maximum penalties associated with each level of offence:

1. Low Range PCA (First Offence): A fine of up to $2,200, a 12-month mandatory interlock order, and a 3-month license disqualification.

2. Mid Range PCA (First Offence): A maximum fine of $3,300, a mandatory 12-month interlock order, and a 6-month license disqualification.

3. High Range PCA (First Offence): A maximum fine of $5,500, a minimum 2-year license disqualification, and a mandatory 24-month interlock order.

For repeat offenders, penalties can be even more severe, with longer disqualification periods, bigger fines, and even imprisonment. It’s important to note that these are only guidelines; each case is assessed individually, and the actual penalties may vary depending on the circumstances.

Building a Strong Defence Against DUI Charges

To ensure the best possible outcome when facing DUI charges, it’s crucial that you seek professional legal representation. An experienced defence lawyer will analyse the evidence against you, identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and formulate a strategy tailored to your situation. Some of the common defence strategies include the following:

1. Challenging the legality of the traffic stop: If the police did not have a valid reason for stopping your vehicle, any evidence obtained from the stop may be inadmissible in court.

2. Questioning the accuracy of breath or blood testing equipment: If the device used to measure your BAC was not functioning properly, the results could be erroneous, and the charges may be dismissed.

3. Presenting an alternative explanation for your behaviour: If you can demonstrate that factors other than alcohol or drugs contributed to your driving behaviour, such as medical conditions or fatigue, it may help to reduce the severity of your penalties.


Facing DUI charges can be an incredibly stressful and life-altering experience. However, with the right legal guidance and support, you can navigate the complexities of the NSW legal system and protect your rights. We understand the challenges you’re facing and are committed to providing the highest level of representation in your case.

Don’t let a DUI charge dictate your future. Contact Abbas & Co Lawyers today for a confidential consultation, and let our team of traffic lawyers in Bankstown assist you in regaining control over your life. We’ll help you overcome the challenges ahead and work towards the best possible outcome for your situation.

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