Drink Driving Lawyer – Novice Range PCA in NSW – “ZERO ALCOHOL”

On 3rd May 2004 new provisions commenced in respect of drink driving which required learner drivers and provisional drivers to have a zero alcohol blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Such drivers were alluded to as “Novice Drivers” owing to their lack of experience and it was decided that such should have no alcohol in their blood.

Indeed, in the second reading speech in the Legislative Council on 16 March 2004, the Minster, Michael Costa stated “The purpose of this bill is to improve the safety of vulnerable young drivers by sending a clear message to the holders of learners and provisional licences that alcohol and driving simply do not mix.”

In support of this Bill, he also stated – “There is now overwhelming evidence that a blood alcohol concentration [BAC] as low as 0.02 impairs driving skills for novice drivers.”

The Bill was assented to on 24 March, 2004 and commenced on 3 May 2004. It is now incorporated into Section 110 (1) of Road Transport Act 2013 which states:

Section 110 (1) states:

A novice driver must not, while there is present in the driver’s breath or blood the novice range prescribed concentration of alcohol:

  • (a) drive the motor vehicle, or
  • (b) occupy the driving seat of the motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion.

The act also provides a “Defence” to this charge as follows:

S.110(9):  It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) if the defendant proves to the court’s satisfaction that, at the time the defendant engaged in the conduct that is alleged to have contravened the subsection, the presence in the defendant’s breath or blood of the novice range prescribed concentration of alcohol was not caused (in whole or in part) by any of the following:

  • (a) the consumption of an alcoholic beverage (otherwise than for the purposes of religious observance),
  • (b) the consumption or use of any other substance (for example, food or medicine) for the purpose of consuming alcohol.

For further information on these offences contact us at Proctor & Associates – Accredited Specialists in Criminal Law.

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