Tougher new low range drink driving laws will be in force from the 20th May 2019, as part of the drink driving reforms within the Road Safety Plan 2021.
Police will have the power to issue an immediate, three-month licence suspension and on the spot fine of $561 for low range drink driving. This is regardless of whether this is your first or a subsequent offence. The Government believes this decision will reduce the stress on the state’s court system, even though low range drink driving offences make up only 1.9% of Local Court matters overall.
Having your licence suspended can cause a great deal of stress in your everyday life. Automatic licence suspension has the potential to increase driving while suspended offences, for instance, by people who are desperate to keep their jobs or single parents who have to pick up and drop off children. This will particularly impact people in regional and rural areas where public transport options are limited.
Can You Avoid the Licence Suspension?
Appeals against licence suspension are available in only limited circumstances. An immediate police suspension cannot be set aside or varied unless there are exceptional or compelling circumstances. Just needing your licence for work is not considered an exceptional or compelling circumstance, and there is no allowance for a ‘work licence’ in NSW.
Exceptional or compelling circumstances are those which are justified and out of the ordinary. We have had success recently in an appeal against suspension where the appellant had a family member with a terminal illness who relied upon them for care and transportation and had no alternative transport options.
If you find yourself in a situation where your licence has been suspended from low range drink driving, you will need a lawyer with experience in traffic law to assist you in your appeal.