What will happen if it’s my first time being caught drink driving?
What type of licence you are on, your blood alcohol reading, your age, your prior traffic history and any other aggravating circumstances (whether you crashed your car) will all play a part in what penalty you get for your first drink driving offence.
Even if it is your first drink driving offence, you will still have to go to Court and you will still lose your licence, even if your reading was very low (but over the limit).
If you are on a learner, probationary or provisional licence then you are not allowed to have any alcohol in your system and are considered to be on a no alcohol limit. You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers’ licence for between 3 and 9 months, a fine up to a maximum of $1,868, with a possible term of imprisonment of up to 3 months.
Any drivers, who are on an open licence, and who are caught with an blood alcohol reading of over 0.05 but under 0.09, is considered to have committed a low range drink driving offence. The Court has the discretion to disqualify their licence for between 1 and 9 months, they can issue a fine of up to $1,868, with a possible term of imprisonment of up to 3 months.
If you are on an open driver licence and are charged with a mid-range offence, being that you have a blood alcohol reading of between 0.10 to 0.149. You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence for a period of between 3 and 12 months, with a maximum fine of $2,669, with a possible term of imprisonment of up to 6 months.
Open licence holders who are caught high range drink driving, having a reading of 0.15 or greater, will be disqualified from holding or obtain a driver licence for no less than 6 months, a maximum fine of up to $3,736 and a possible term of imprisonment of up to 9 months..
It is unusual for a Magistrate to sentence a first time drink driving offender with a prison sentence, however it is within their power, and each case will be determined on its own merits. If the Magistrate believes the circumstance of a particular case warrant a penalty of a prison term, then it is within their power to order such a sentence. There are many factors that come into sentencing.