In South Australia there are a few different offences which tend to be lumped under a broad banner of “drink driving”. There tends to be a spike in the incidences of these offences around the Christmas / New Year period and it’s a good idea to get some advice before your Court date.
Driving with a Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol
This is a pure-and-simple drink driving charge; sometimes called “PCA” charges.
The elements of this offence are that a person was driving or attempting to set a vehicle in motion with a prescribed concentration of alcohol in their blood.
There are three categories of PCA offences, each relating to your blood/alcohol concentration reading and carrying a different penalty range. The penalty ranges are affected by whether the driver has previous PCA offences within a certain period.
Category 1 Offence
- A reading less than 0.08
Category 2 Offence
- A reading between 0.08 and 0.15
Category 3 Offence
- A reading more than 0.15
Driving Under the Influence
Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) states that a person must not drive a vehicle or attempt to put a vehicle in motion while so much under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug as to be incapable of exercising effective control of the vehicle.
What does all of that mean?
Firstly, there is no requirement for a specific reading for your blood alcohol concentration for a charge of driving under the influence – although the presence of alcohol or a drug is required.
Secondly, the alcohol or drug has to affect your ability to maintain effective control of the vehicle. If a police officer observes a driver swerving in and out of a lane or some other form of bad driving, this can be used as evidence that the driver was under the influence to the extent that their control of the vehicle was compromised.
As with the PCA charges, there are different penalty bands for first offences and subsequent offences – and as with all criminal charges, the penalty which applies to you will depend on your personal circumstances and history.
If you need advice regarding a criminal matter, you can contact us on 8523 8400 (Gawler) or 8211 6500 (Adelaide) to arrange an appointment for an initial no obligation consultation. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com and we will contact you.