Drink Driving – It’s Criminal Liability And Other Legal Ramifications

What is drink driving?

Drink driving or drunk driving, as other countries call it, generally means driving under the influence of alcohol. However, it actually includes other series of offences. Here are some major circumstances as grounds for getting drink driving-related charges:

  • drink driving
  • drug driving
  • exceeding prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA)
  • refusing a breath test and/or analysis
  • refusing to accompany to the police station
  • refusing a blood or urine test, and
  • driving under the influence (DUI)

While there’s a distinction between a PCA and a DUI, you could still end up liable even if you weren’t actually driving.

What is its criminal liability?

In cases of minor accidents, the offender may just be slapped with a negligence charge. However, it could become an issue of criminal liability if a victim dies and if it is argued that the driver chose to drive knowing that he or she was drunk. As a result, the offender may have to face a bigger court case, additional compensation for the victims, and even gaol time. The legal ramifications can really hit the offender’s finances, not to mention the suspension, or worst, the revocation of his or her driver’s licence. As a matter of fact, the offender automatically gets his licence disqualified even without the order of a court when he or she is convicted.

To be charged with such an offence differs in each country. In different parts of Australia alone, the criminal justice system differs in its standards for criminal liability when it comes to drink driving. You may find that some states imposed less severe penalties while others have heavier ones.

The strictest in handling such an offence in Australia is the state of Victoria. In fact, you do not even have to be driving to be charged with a drink driving offence.

What happens to an offender?

PCA offences are divided into five categories – novice, special, low, middle, and high. Depending on the severity of the offence, the court can shorten or lengthen the disqualification period.

If you are charged, your licence is automatically suspended for 24 hours upon being pulled up by the police while over the limit. Some charges involve more than a 24-hour suspension, and the offender is prohibited from driving until everything is finalised in court. But there are also certain situations where it is possible to get a special licence while waiting to go to court.

What is the best way to get your license back?

There are different steps to getting your license back depending on your case and other factors. The best way to make sure your case is handled effectively to your advantage is to consult your drink driving lawyer. This will help you know what you’re up against and even allow you to minimise penalties. To learn more, click here.