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Disqualification periods for PCA offences

Prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) Under s 9 of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (NSW) (the Act), it is an offence for individuals with a prescribed blood alcohol concentration to:

  • drive;
  • attempt to drive;
  • or occupy the seat next to the holder of a learner licence who is driving a vehicle.

The Act identifies four categories of PCA offences:

  1. special range PCA applies to special category drivers4 with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.02 and 0.049 g/100 mL
  2. low range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.079 g/100 mL
  3. mid range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.08 and 0.149 g/100 mL
  4. high range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.15 g/100 mL.

Table 1: Maximum penalties and disqualification periods for PCA offences

 PCA Offence

Fine

Imprisonment

Disqualification

 

(penalty units)5

(months)

period

 Special range

10

No

Automatic 6 months

 (first offence)

  

Minimum 3 months

 Special range

20

No

Automatic 12 months

 (second or subsequent offence)

  

Minimum 6 months

 Low range

10

No

Automatic 6 months

 (first offence)

  

Minimum 3 months

 Low range

20

No

Automatic 12 months

 (second or subsequent offence)

  

Minimum 6 months

 Mid range

20

9

Automatic 12 months

 (first offence)

  

Minimum 6 months

 Mid range

30

12

Automatic 3 years

 (second or subsequent offence)

  

Minimum 12 months

 High range

30

18

Automatic 3 years

 (first offence)

  

Minimum 12 months

 High range

50

24

Automatic 5 years

 (second or subsequent offence)

  

Minimum 2 years

The Act distinguishes between first offences and second or subsequent offences. Under the Act, offences are considered second or subsequent if the person was convicted of a major traffic offence (including any PCA offence) in the previous five years. Major offences include any offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), dangerous or negligent driving offences under the Act, PCA offences, driving under the influence of drugs, refusing to submit to testing for drugs or alcohol, or the aiding and abetting of the commission of any of the above crimes or offences.

The maximum penalties applicable to each category of PCA offence are set out in Table 1.

Disqualification

In addition to the penalties outlined above, s 24 of the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 empowers a court to disqualify from driving any person convicted of a major traffic offence under the Act. Section 25 provides that persons convicted of certain major offences (including any PCA offence) are automatically disqualified. A court may, however, order a longer or shorter disqualification period than the minimum disqualification periods specified in s 25. The disqualification periods for each category of PCA offence are set out in Table 1 above.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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