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  • Drink Driving & DUI Penalties in Western Australia (WA)

    Driving is a very attentive task and requires everyone operating a vehicle to be of sharp mind and alertness. It is a serious road and traffic offence to operate a vehicle in WA under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

    The penalties for a drink driving offence while holding a WA license are;

    • Infringement with loss of demerit points
    • Notice to appear in a Magistrate to debate your penalties.

    The BAC is the system the Traffic officials use to determine the amount of Alcohol in the system when the driver is stopped. It stands for Blood Alcohol Concentration.

    Who gets an infringement or demerit loss penalty?

    The punishments for drink driving offences usually vary depending on the BAC levels they were driving at.

    Those driving at the following BAC levels will only receive infringements fines as punishments

    • 0.05 to 0.0079 BAC or
    • Have a BAC level of 0.02 while you are on a zero limit

    However, all drinking offences outside of these BAC levels will have to attend court in WA for appropriate hearings and fines. Where the magistrate finds them guilty of the drink driving offence, the driver is disqualified from driving for a stipulated time and may be required to pay a fine. These offences will only get wiped from a person's criminal record after appropriate time has lapsed as per Western Australia’s spent convictions scheme.

    Driving at BAC levels above 0.08

    If you are caught operating a vehicle at BAC levels above 0.08, the official has the authority to seize your licence till the matter is finalized in court. The person will have to make another arrangement on how to get to their destination.

    The Road Traffic Act of 1974 contains all guides and legislations, including penalties for drink driving offences in Western Australia.

    Who should drive at a Zero (0.00) Alcohol limit?

    The Road and Traffic Act of WA stipulates that the following category of people should drive at zero BAC levels on WA Roads;

    • Novice drivers
    • Holders of extraordinary licenses
    • Recently disqualified drivers
    • Taxi drivers
    • Buses and Heavy vehicle drivers

    If you are on a zero driving limit but caught with a 0.02 BAC level, you will receive an infringement fine of $100 and a 3 demerit point loss.

    Other drivers must drive at BAC levels less than 0.05 or face the same penalties of a $100 fine and 3 demerit points.

    Penalties for drink driving offences in WA for first-time offenders

    There is a varying magnitude of punishments for drink driving offenders in the WA depending on the BAC levels and other aggravating degrees. These penalties are given in a Magistrate or WA District court depending on any factor.

    The punishment an offender gets can vary depending on whether they are first/subsequent offenders.

    1. For Infringement cases
    2. You will only get an infringement penalty if that was your first time committing a drink driving offence.

      • BAC levels 0.05-0.059
      • Any driver caught driving at BAC levels within these ranges will receive an infringement fine of $400 and a 3 demerit point,

      • BAC levels 0.06 – 0.069
      • Any driver caught driving at BAC levels within such range will get an infringement fine of $400 with 4 demerit points.

      • BAC levels 0.07-0.079
      • If a Driver’s BAC level falls within this range when driving and an official apprehends them, they will get infringement fines of $400 and a loss of 5 demerit points. However, the driver can opt to challenge the infringement in a magistrate court. If they are found guilty, they will have to pay a penalty fine of $500.

    3. For matters handled in court
    4. Some drink driving cases are heard in court due to the severity of the matter. These offences usually include drink driving charges for BAC levels above 0.08. It should be noted that all drink driving related offences show up on national police checks in WA.

      • For those with a Zero Alcohol limit or special license
      • If you have a zero limit BAC order to operate a vehicle and you are caught driving at BAC levels above 0.02 but below 0.05, you will receive a fine of $150 to $300, and 3 months license disqualification.

      • BAC levels between 0.08 and 0.089
      • The penalties for driving at such BAC levels are;

          ✔ 6-month license disqualification

          ✔ Minimum fine of $500

      • BAC levels between 0.09 and 0.11
      • Driving a vehicle at such BAC level attracts penalties of;

          ✔ 7 months license disqualification

          ✔ Minimum fines of $550

      • BAC levels of 0.11 to 0.13
      • Driving at such an insane amount of BAC attracts a penalty of;

          ✔ 8-month disqualification from driving

          ✔ Minimum fine of $650

      • BAC levels of 0.13 to 0.15
      • Any driver caught handling a vehicle at such BAC levels will get a penalty of;

          ✔ 9-month license disqualification

          ✔ Minimum fines of $750

      • BAC levels higher than 0.15
      • Driving at a BAC level within or above this amount will attract penalties of;

          ✔ Minimum of 10 months disqualification

          ✔ Minimum fines of $900

    Penalties for subsequent drink driving offences charge

    A second or subsequent drink driving offence is one where the offender has a drink driving charge within the large 20 years. The more offences you commit within that period, the stiffer the penalties you will get, including an indefinite licence suspension by the official.

    Second offenders having the following levels of Blood Alcohol levels are;

    • BAC levels (0.05 – 0.069)
      • ✔ Minimum fines of $500

        ✔ 6-8 month disqualification

    • BAC levels (0.07 – 0.079) & (08 – 0.089)
      • ✔ Minimum fines of $600

        ✔ 8-10 month disqualification

    • BAC levels of 0.09 - 0.11
      • ✔ Minimum fines of $900,

        ✔ Disqualification period of 10 – 13 months

    • BAC levels of 0.11 – 0.13
      • ✔ Minimum fines of $1200

        ✔ Disqualification periods of 14-17 months

    • BAC levels of 0.13 - .149
      • ✔ Minimum fines of $1600

        ✔ Disqualification of between 18 – 30 months

    • For BAC levels higher than 0.15;
    • The offender gets a minimum ban of $2100 to $5000

      A disqualification period of 30 months; third and or subsequent offences can lead to a life ban from driving.

      The Magistrate can also replace the fines for a maximum imprisonment term of 18 months.

    Interlock devices

    Most second or subsequent offenders within 5 years must install an interlock device. The interlock device requires the person to take a breath test into a bag before they "start" a vehicle. This interlock device will prevent block operating of the vehicle if the BAC levels are above pre-recorded

    Driving under the Influence of Drugs

    It is also a more serious offence to be caught driving with illicit drugs in your car or under the influence of drugs. The WA Police will authorize an automatic licence disqualification of 24 hours if you are caught with certain drugs; Cannabis, Ecstasy, Meth, etc.

    • First offenders can get punishments as high as $1250 fines and/or 3 demerit points
    • Second and subsequent offenders get punishments between $1250 and $2000 with/or 6 months disqualification.

    The only exception to this offence is where the drugs found in the vehicle is for medicinal purposes.

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