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  • Home Resources & Technical Articles Driving & Traffic Offences Serious and Major Traffic Offences Serious and Major Traffic Offences and Penalties in Victoria (VIC)

    Serious and Major Traffic Offences and Penalties in Victoria (VIC)

    In Victoria, traffic offences are not tolerated and are punishable under the law. The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and the Road Safety Act 1985 (Vic) are the principal laws which provides for traffic offences in Victoria. Most Victorian drivers are not aware of these laws and their penalties. For this reason, several drivers are always found guilty of offences that they may have committed intentionally. As a Victorian, you must know these laws and their provision, as ignorance is not always an excuse in law. Let us look at some of Victoria's major and serious traffic offences and their penalties.

    If you get a conviction for a serious or major traffic offence in a Victorian court, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome on the results of your criminal background check in Victoria.

    Culpable Driving Resulting in Death

    In Section 318(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), the law provides that it is an indictable offence to drive a vehicle guiltily and thereby cause the death of another person. Section 318(2) of the act states what try law considers culpable driving. A person is said to drive a vehicle culpably if they drive:

    • In a reckless manner that is deliberately and unjustifiably driving in such a way that another person faces significant bodily harm or even death.
    • In a negligent way, failing to observe the standard of care that a reasonable man would ordinarily have followed in such circumstances.
    • While under the effect of alcohol which affects their ability to have adequate control of the vehicle.
    • While influenced by a drug which affects their ability to control the vehicle.
    Penalty

    Any person found guilty of this offence is liable to a level 3 imprisonment maximum of 20 years. The offender will also be liable to a level 3 fine or both.

    Dangerous Driving Which Leads to Death or Serious Injury

    Section 319(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) provides that It is a crime in Victoria to drive a vehicle at a speed or in a manner that poses a great risk to the public and leads to the death of another person. This is considered an indictable offence.

    Penalty

    The punishment for this offence is level 5 imprisonment which is a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

    Section 319(A) of the act provides that where such driving results in the severe injury of another person, such offender will be liable to a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.

    Driving Dangerously While Being Pursued by the Police

    Under Section 319AA(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) it is an offence to drive a vehicle dangerously or in a negligent manner when you know or ought to reasonably know that:

    • A police officer directed you to stop the vehicle.
    • The vehicle is being pursued by a police officer.
    Penalty

    Any person found guilty of this is liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years.

    Driving Unlicensed

    It is an offence to drive in Victoria without a licence. Such an act can prevent you from making an application for a licence for a particular period. Section 18(1) of the Road Safety Act 1987 (Vic), provided for this. It indicates that a person may not control a car unless the person:

    • Carries a driver's licence or a beginner's licence, which authorises you to operate that
    • particular type of vehicle.
    • Holds a driver's licence or permit, which gives you authority to operate that vehicle.
    • You have been authorised by the regulations to drive that type of vehicle.
    Penalty

    Any person found guilty under this section will be liable to a penalty not surpassing 60 penalty units or to a not more than 6 months imprisonment.

    Speeding Offences

    In Victoria, driving your vehicle above the speed limit stipulated for you is an offence. Note that you can be indicted with the offence of speeding If the police officer believes you to have:

    • Driven over the speed limit by 25km/h
    • Driven above 130km/h
    Penalty

    You will be liable for 10 penalty units where you drive less than 35km/h above the speed limit. Your driver's permit may also be revoked for at least three months.

    • If you drive at 35km/h or more, but below 45km/h above the speed limit, you will be charged 15 penalty units. The court can also cancel your licence for at least 6 months.
    • The court can suspend your licence for at least 3 months if you are found guilty of driving 130km/h or above. Your licence may also be suspended for at least 12 months. You will be liable to pay 20 penalty units for where you drive 45km/h or more above the speed limit.

    Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

    In Victoria, it is an offence to operate a vehicle affected by Heaven. Any person whose blood alcohol concentration level is higher than the proper amount, such a person has committed an offence.

    Your driver's licence can be revoked if you are found guilty of this offence.

    In some cases, where your licence has been cancelled for drinking while driving, an alcohol interlock will be attached to your vehicle. It is a device used to gauge the quantity of liquor on the driver's breath and stops the vehicle from coming on where the person has been taking any alcoholic substance. This usually lasts for at least 6 months before you may be cleared and your licence reinstalled.

    Will a serious or major traffic offence in Victoria show up on a nationally coordinated criminal history check?

    If an individual is found guilty of a serious or major traffic offence in a Victorian court, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of a police check.

    Individuals can obtain a background check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

    Sources

    Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) - https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/in-force/acts/crimes-act-1958/294 https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/in-force/acts/crimes-act-1958/294

    Road Safety Act 1985 (Vic) - https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/in-force/acts/road-safety-act-1986/214

    Legal Aid Victoria (Possible Outcomes for Traffic Offences) - https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/possible-outcomes-traffic-offences

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