Facing a low-range drink driving charge? Understandably for many, this is a daunting time filled with many uncertainties. The first thing you should know is you don’t have to go through it alone. The team at Drink Driver Lawyer are experienced traffic lawyers, and we can guide you through this stressful process and help you achieve an outcome that is in your best interest. We’ve put together this post to share what happens after you’ve been charged with a low-range drink driving charge.

So you’ve been charged, what next?

You will be given a notice to appear in court by the police. Most of the time, the court date will be at least a month away and this gives you plenty of time to get organised. One of the first things you should be doing is seeking legal advice, this point is even more prevalent if you are a repeat offender. If you have been charged with a drink driving offence in the last 5 years and have been charged again, the penalties are harsh and representing yourself isn’t recommended. Doing so may see you receive harsher penalties.

The police will issue an automatic suspension on your driver’s licence for 24 hours. You mustn’t drive during this time, if you do and you get caught, you will be facing additional charges, and these are likely to much harsher than your original charge. In most instances, you will be able to commence driving again once this 24-hour period has passed, and you can continue to drive until your court date.

What is a low-range drink driving charge?

Although all drink driving charges are considered serious, a low-range drink driving charge is the least serious of the three. You will be charged with this offence if you have been in control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.050 to 0.079.

What is the penalty for a low-range drink driving charge?

It can differ. The disqualification period can be anything from 3 to 9 months, and the fine can be up to $2,012. The maximum penalty is a jail term of up to 3 months for first-time offenders.

If you are a repeat offender or you are facing additional charges, you can expect the penalty to be higher than this.

What happens when you go to court

Most often, people get their matter adjourned and this gives them time to organise the necessary paperwork for a Work Licence Gold Coast if required. Additionally, if people haven’t sought legal representation and want to, by adjourning they can do this before their next court date. If you have all your paperwork in order at the first court date, you may not have to have your matter adjourned.

If you have hired a lawyer, they will speak on your behalf. They will present your case in the best light to help you achieve the lowest penalty possible. The Magistrate will ask if you want to say anything before proceeding to tell you your penalty.

What happens after court

You will have to serve your penalty. You will have to pay your fine and you will be given a certain amount of time to do this. If you cannot make the payment by the due date, you can elect to have your fine referred to SPER. You will be ordered to pay an offender levy which is currently around $125. You must surrender your driver’s licence to Queensland Transport as it is an offence to be in possession of it once you have been disqualified.

When does my disqualification period start?

Your disqualification period starts straight away. You will not be able to drive from the courthouse so be sure to make alternative arrangements.

Can I apply for a work licence if I’ve been charged with a low range drink driving charge?

It’s important to know that not everyone can apply for a work licence. There are strict requirements in place when it comes to granting work licences. You have to prove that you have a job and that you need your licence to maintain your employment. You need to apply to the court for a work licence and this needs to be done before you go to court.

Those on their provisional licence or people who have been charged with a previous drink driving charge in the last 5 years are two of the many not eligible for a work licence. If you want to apply for a work licence, it’s important that you seek legal advice as soon as you can. Your lawyer can help you organise and submit all the paperwork to ensure you have the best chances of getting your application approved by the Magistrate.

Can I plead not guilty to a low-range drink driving charge?

In most instances, pleading not guilty isn’t beneficial. There are very few circumstances where a not guilty plea will be considered. If you have chosen to plead not guilty and there is sufficient evidence proving your guilt, the Magistrate will likely give you a harsher penalty than if you were to plead guilty. A lot more resources are required when pleading not guilty. The police need to collect evidence to use against you. If you know you are guilty, there is no point in trying to plead not guilty, this will be seen as time-wasting by the Magistrate and you will be the one who pays the price with a harsher and more lengthy penalty.

If you believe you are not guilty and have been wrongfully charged, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as you can. Representing yourself isn’t a good idea and you may not achieve the outcome you were hoping to by doing so. An experienced traffic lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have a possible defence or not and whether it’s worth pursuing a not guilty plea.

Speak to an experienced traffic lawyer

If you have been charged with a low-range drink driving offence, speak to the professionals at Drink Driver Lawyer. We are experts in the field and have decades of traffic law experience. Don’t leave your future in incapable hands. We’ve helped thousands of South East Queensland locals stay on the road. Contact us for an obligation-free consultation.