Due Care

Due Care

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle without due care or attention, or without reasonable consideration for others.

What court will hear the matter

This is a summary offence and will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

What the prosecution must prove

The prosecution must prove that:

  • you were driving a vehicle;
  • the vehicle was on a road; and
  • you did not exercise the care and attention required in the circumstances.


There are a range of possible defences including, but not limited to, the following:

  • you were not driving;
  • you were not driving on a road;
  • your driving was appropriate in the circumstances;
  • mechanical defect;
  • minor error of judgment;
  • duress;
  • mental impairment.

Pleading guilty

Deciding whether or not to plead guilty has significant implications and should be made after discussing your case with our lawyers. If you decide to plead guilty to the offence, our lawyers can assist you to get the best possible results.


The maximum penalty that can be imposed for driving without due care depends on whether or not the offence is aggravated.

An aggravated offence is where one of the following applies:

  •  you were attempting to escape pursuit by a police officer;
  • you were racing;
  • you were disqualified from driving;
  • there was prolonged bad driving;
  • you were drink driving and had a blood alcohol reading of more than 0.08 grams;
  • you were drug driving;
  • you were driving at more than 45 kilometres per hour over the speed limit; or
  • you had an illicit drug in your system.

The maximum penalty for a basic offence of driving without due care is a $2,500 fine and 3 demerit points. The maximum penalty for an aggravated offence is 1 year imprisonment. You will also be disqualified from holding a driver's licence for at least 6 months.

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