Australian Government is very strict about drunk and drug driving. There are strict laws to control this practice among Australians, and if anyone is caught driving drunk or while being under the influence of a banned drug substance, they will be treated as serious offenders. After catching that person, the police and law courts enforce those strict road laws against the person. The reason is simple. A person driving a car under the influence of drugs will cause harm to not only themselves but also the other road users around.
Here we discuss the various consequences of being charged if you are caught driving in the mentioned condition.
What Is The Current Legal Situation?
The state police departments have become stricter than before. They have increased the number of tests. As an immediate effect, more police vehicles now carry the necessary equipment to conduct roadside drug testing. So, now the chance of getting caught and charged with drink and drug driving is more if the level of the substance is considerably high in your body system. Those who get caught face serious penalties, which may include paying hefty fines, licence suspension or even permanent termination, criminal conviction, and based on the level of offence, even prison sentence.
Being charged with any of the offences can result in a very depressing experience. So, we always recommend looking for highly qualified traffic offence lawyers who can give you valuable legal advice. They can help you save your licence and stop the court from sending you to a criminal conviction.
Following are the key points of this law.
- For both learning and professional drivers, the standard legal blood alcohol concentration or BAC is 0.00. This standard also applies to the drivers who had been previously caught and charged with drunk driving offences. The set limit of BAC is 0.05 for other road users.
- If the police find you exceeding the standard limit while driving, the authority will first send you an infringement notice based on the police’s statement. You can also get a call from the authority to appear in court. If it is proven that your BAC level was considerably high, your licence will be subject to suspension. And, thus you will not be able to drive on the road after that.
- If you are found guilty by the court based on the available evidence and subsequent judgment procedure, the suspension will be imposed on your driving, too, for at least 2 years. If the court finds that your offence level exceeds the standard, your fine will increase, and a criminal conviction will be waiting for you. Such a verdict can pose serious challenges in your later professional career.
- When the licence suspension period ends, the court may give orders to install an interlock device in the car. It implies that you will need to submit a BAC sample of the 0.00 limit before and during every time you go for a drive. For the most serious case, you may face imprisonment.
The key points of the law are as follows.
- If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving and get caught, you may face deep trouble. In general, drugs refer to those substances that are banned by the law. If such an illicit substance is found in the driver’s body system, the driver will be treated as a serious offender, no matter the concentration level.
- However, there will always be a chance to defend yourself if the traced substance is legal or a prescription or non-prescription drug. Even if they find that you have been taking an illegal drug in proper dosage as per your doctor’s consultation, no charges will be imposed on you without knowing that it is banned.
- The penalty for drug driving also differs according to the drug substance amount traced in the offender’s body system. Against the first offence, a significant amount of fines the licence suspension will be imposed. And against subsequent crimes, you may have to bear more hefty fines, your licence may get disqualified for 2 years, and if the offence is more serious, you may be imprisoned for 18 months.
What Are The Charges For Which You May Face Punishments?
If you are caught for both drug and drink driving, the court will decide which charge they will pursue. You may be charged for either drink or drug driving or both. Also, if you refuse to take the breathing test and do not cooperate with the police in the roadside drug test, charges will be put on you.
What Are The Factors Considered In The Legal Proceedings?
The court considers several factors while giving the verdict. These factors include observations, impaired driving, overt acts, presence of drugs in the vehicle, lack of balance, and a breath test. Other factors that are considered include following proper procedure in:
- Breath-testing within three hours of driving.
- Recording video during the drug assessment.
- And accompanying a police officer to the police station.
Why Should You Contact A Lawyer?
Drug driving lawyers are experienced in their field and know all the tricks to save their clients. If your rights get affected by the strict legal procedure taken by the police, drug driving lawyers in Perth can raise questions about it. They can also help you avoid prison sentences and licence disqualification.
The laws are also detailed and complicated. Thus, in case of improper representation in court, the verdict may be pretty harsh. The court may also prohibit you from driving for a large period. These are the reasons you should always think of seeking help from a lawyer.
To go through such a time-consuming and complicated legal procedure, you should consider hiring the best professional lawyer for your case. Traffic Lawyers Perth WA is the top-ranked lawyer firm in Perth to help you with the best possible guidance.