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Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics Police Checks Do drink driving offences show up on a police check?

Do drink driving offences show up on a police check?

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A police check is the most credible report of a person’s convictions, sentencing and other reinteractions with the Australian courts. It contains all their conviction records that are releasable under the State;’ legislation.

The police check discloses all the records of charges and cases treated in court. Therefore, if a drink driving offence is handled in court, police checks will disclose the court's decision and sentencing.

What is a drink driving offence?

A drink driving offence may be handled;
  1. On the spot by a traffic/Police official, or
  2. In court by a Magistrate/District Court.

Where the Drink Driving or DUI offence is handled depends on several factors, including;

  • The severity of the case; BAC levels for PCA offences;
  • Aggravating circumstances; the presence of a child in the car, driving without a license, manslaughter;
  • Whether the accused chooses to contest the penalty/ticket in court.

Under Australian traffic laws, drink driving offences belong to two categories;

Prescribed Content of Alcohol (PCA) offences

It is a serious offence if you are caught driving with BAC levels above 0.00 while holding any of these licenses;

  • Professional Drivers License; Taxi, CPV drivers, and co
  • Learners Permit
  • Probationary Driver's License
  • Other Special Licenses

Depending on the BAC levels and other factors, the Police official may impose an immediate license disqualification with fines. However, if you contest the matter in court and the court finds you guilty, the Magistrate will;

  • Order a license disqualification (but considers other factors)
  • Impose a fine
  • Register a conviction record against the individual
  • Depending on the BAC level, the court may impose an imprisonment term
  1. Driving with BAC levels between 0.05 – 0.08

If a driver is caught driving at such BAC levels, the Police will impose penalties such as fines, warnings, for first-time offenders. However, these fines will be heavier for subsequent offenders and may lead to prosecution in court.

If the matter is charged to court, the court will record all sentencing in the offender’s criminal records. And may impose an imprisonment term for subsequent offenders depending on the factors of the offence.

  1. Driving with BAC levels (0.08 – 0.149)

The Police or other Traffic officials will severely punish those operating a vehicle at such BAC levels. Usually, the official may seize the license on the spot, especially for repeat offenders.

Also, the Police may charge you to court for driving at such BAC levels or if you choose to contest the matter in the court.

All the court results and proceedings will be registered in your Criminal records and shown in a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

  1. Driving with a BAC level above 0.15

It is the most severe form of drink driving offence, and it is treated in a Magistrate or District Court. The Police have the right to immediately seize the license of any driver caught with such BAC levels pending the completion of the matter in court.

The court will impose heavy fines and will usually impose imprisonment terms, especially for repeat offenders.

All fines paid, sentencing, convictions, and imprisonment terms are recorded in the offender's Criminal records.

How does the Police/Court determine a PCA?

The Police authorities usually have mobile test centres by the roadsides. The drivers they flag down for suspected drink driving must take the breathing tests through the apparatus they provide. Drivers should also know that the test results are almost irrefutable evidence in the court.

If the breath test reveals that the driver has BAC levels outside the PCA, the Police or traffic official will impose the required penalties.

Challenging the penalties/Charge of a Police

The driver can challenge the test result or penalties imposed by the Police in court. If you think the test is wrongly done or faulty or the penalties are harsh you can contest them in court.

The court ruling on the matter can be any of these;

  • Uphold the objection

If the court upholds your challenge, the penalty is struck out, and your license is returned (if seized). Also, there is no mention of the charge on your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check results.

  • Issues a reduced sentence

The court will also issue a reduced sentence if it finds merit in your appeal. The court will then issue a reduced penalty which may or may not be recorded in your criminal history.

  • Disqualifies your objections

The court can strike out your appeal if it concludes you were guilty of the drink driving offence. The court will then uphold the previous penalty, or adjust the penalties. And they are disclosed in your Police/Criminal records.

Does a DUI offence show in a police check?

Driving Under the Influence is a punishable offence which the Police official confirms by physical examination of the driver. Some of the actions the Police/Traffic official use to determine a DUI offence are;

  • Haphazard/Reckless driving,
  • Excessive speeding,
  • Slurred/Incoherent speech,
  • Presence of Alcohol and other intoxicating substances.

The Police may impose heavy fines or charge a DUI offender to court, especially in aggravated cases.

The court will impose at least;

  • Minimum fines,
  • Minimum imprisonment terms,
  • Record a Criminal conviction in their Police/Criminal records.

Therefore, irrespective of the degree of the Drink Driving Offence, a PCA and DUI offence will show in a criminal record if handled by the court. It is a traffic offence on a police check.

Do Tickets or Traffic Records show in a police check?

No, all your tickets, including fines do not show up in a police check or your criminal records. However, they will remain in your Traffic records with the Police authorities.

These records cannot be disclosed to the public but can be tendered as evidence in a court proceeding.

The traffic record contains;

  • Traffic infractions,
  • Tickets,
  • Parking fines,
  • Speeding tickets,
  • And other minor road offences.

Do other Drink Drive related offences Show in a police check?

Other offences committed concerning a drink driving charge will attract appropriate penalties. And are disclosed in your nationally coordinated criminal history check records. Some of them include;

Attacking a Police officer on duty

It is a serious offence to attack a Police officer, and even worse while on a drink driving charge. The Offence of attacking a Police officer carries an imprisonment term depending on the degree of the assault.

Refusing to take a breath/blood test

If you refuse to take an on-the-spot breath test or a blood test at the station, you will be charged to court. All of the court sentencing on this matter will be recorded in your criminal history.

Engaging in a Police Chase

If you refuse to obey a Police order to stop and instead engage in a car chase, you will be charged with a serious criminal offence. And it will include other damages and infractions during the chase.

Refusing to appear in court for your Drink Driving Charge

If you refuse to appear in court on the date of your hearing, the court will impose the penalties in your absence and may charge you separately for contempt of court.

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