What is the offence?

If you drive a motor vehicle and you have a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08 but less than 0.15 you are guilty of an offence.

For this offence, you are driving if you:

  • Drive a motor vehicle; or
  • Occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion; or
  • Occupy the passenger seat of a motor vehicle as the supervisor of a learner driver who is driving the vehicle

If you have a blood alcohol level of less than 0.08 or more than 0.15 then you are guilty of a different offence (being low range or high range) and should see our other pages about drink driving.


What is the potential penalty?

The maximum financial penalty for a first offence is $2,200, and for a second or subsequent offence it is $3,300.


The maximum jail sentence for a first offence is 9 months, and for a second or subsequent offence it is 12 months. 


You do not lose any demerit points for drink driving offences.  



The automatic licence disqualification period for a first offence is 12 months, with a minimum disqualification period of 6 months.  For a second offence within 5 years the automatic disqualification period is 3 years, with a minimum disqualification of 12 months.  There is no maximum disqualification period, that is, the Court could disqualify you for life.


You will suffer a licence suspension unless the court exercises it’s discretion pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes Act to not enter a conviction.  


Another possible defence is to apply for the Court to deal with you under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act, whereby you submit a treatment plan from a psychiatrist for an underlying mental health issue (which might be depression or PTSD or alcoholism).  We have a separate article regarding section 32 applications and you should read more about this option in that article.


We can discuss whether or not you are likely to be dealt with under section 10, or section 32, or if you will lose your licence then for how long, during our free, no obligation first interview.  


Has your licence already been confiscated or suspended?

If you licence has already been confiscated or suspended you only have a short period of time (28 days) to appeal that decision.  Follow this link for more information.