If you’ve been charged with drink driving, it will be one of three charges: low range drinking, mid-range drink driving, or high range drink driving. Mid-range drink driving is the second most serious offence of the three. In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about a mid-range drink driving charge and the potential consequences that come along with it.
How is a mid-range drink driving charge determined?
The police will pull you over and ask you to provide a sample of your breath via a breathalyser. This test will give the officer a reading of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC comes back with a reading that is over 0.10% but, under 0.15%, you will be charged with a mid-range drink driving offence.
What happens next?
Once you have provided a sample of your breath and it’s determined that you have been driving while over the legal limit, you’ll be then escorted to the nearest police station or booze bus for a second test. This equipment is more sophisticated and can give a more accurate indicator of your BAC. This will then be your formal reading. From here, your driver’s licence will immediately be suspended and will remain suspended until your matter is heard in court. You will be given a notice to appear in court by the police.
Do I have to go to court?
Yes, you do. All drink driving charges must go before the court. A Magistrate is who will determine your penalty. The police do not do this.
Am I eligible to apply for a work licence?
Yes, you can apply for a work licence if you have been charged with a mid-range drink driving charge however, there are some conditions around eligibility. Some of them include:
- You mustn’t have been charged with a similar offence in the last 5 years.
- You must have a job, needing a car to see friends, get to the shops etc doesn’t count.
- You weren’t an L or P plate driver at the time of the offence.
- You held a current open drivers licence when the offence occurred.
There are many more boxes that need to be ticked when determining whether you are eligible for a work licence or not, and you need to have the correct paperwork in order before your court date to apply. If you need your licence for work and you’ve been charged with this offence, it is worth seeking legal advice as soon as you can.
What is the penalty for a mid-range drink driving charge?
Mid-range drink driving is considered a serious offence here in Queensland. For a first offence, the maximum penalty is a 6-month jail sentence and/or 20 penalty units.
For second-time offenders, the same penalty applies as a first-time offence although, you will not be eligible to apply for a work licence, the fine may be more, and the disqualification period may be longer.
If you have been charged with this offence for a third time in 5 years, the maximum penalty is 9-month imprisonment.
In general, for first-time offenders, the disqualification period can be anything from 3 to 12 months, and the fine can range from $1593.90 to $3187.80
Repeat offenders will have to have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock device fitted to their car for 12 months once their disqualification period has ended.
Can I get a criminal conviction from a mid-range drink driving charge?
You’ll likely get a traffic conviction recorded against you. If you have been charged with other offences in conjunction with your mid-range charge, you could be facing serious charges, especially if you have injured someone or damaged property. This can be detrimental to your future when attempting to travel overseas or applying for a new employment position.
Are there possible defences to a mid-range drink driving charge?
There are very few circumstances where a not guilty plea will be considered by the Magistrate. Here are some possible defences to a mid-range drink driving charge:
- You were not the driver at the time. The police must be able to prove that it was you behind the wheel.
- Establishing that the test was done unlawfully.
- Disputing the reading that you have been charged with.
- The breath test was taken after 2 hours of you allegedly driving.
- In an emergency.
- Under duress.
There are other situations where you may have a possible defence. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice as soon as you can.
Do I need a lawyer when charged with mid-range drink driving?
While you don’t need a lawyer to represent you for your mid-range drink driving charge, it is highly recommended that you do. Drink driving is a serious offence that the courts here in Queensland take a tough stance on. Going to court unprepared may see you receive the harshest penalties that can not only affect your life now but well into the future. Traffic lawyers deal with these types of cases every day, and they can compile a strong case on your behalf. They’ll fight to get you the best outcome from the day.
If you’ve been charged with a mid-range drink driving charge here on the Gold Coast, turn to our highly skilled team of traffic lawyers here at Drink Driver Lawyer Gold Coast. We can help you to stay on the road and get on with your life. Contact us today!