Drink Driving in NSW, Australia

Before the advent of specialised instrumentation for the measuring of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in an individual, the common charge brought against the drink driver was DUI.

This expression which simply means Driving Under the Influence of intoxicating liquor has become a generic term for Drink Driving.

Since the early Seventies, in Australia, various instruments were created for the measuring of alcohol in one’s breath at the roadside, such as the ampoule which contained yellow crystals which when the breath was passed through, turned green. If the colour changed above a certain line on the ampoule, the driver was considered to have an alcohol level above the permissible concentration and was then arrested and taken to the police station where he was submitted to a scientific instrument which gave an accurate reading of his BAC.

In our modern society, much has changed. Police have powers to pull any driver over and breath test him, claiming it to be a Random Breath Test. Police are also armed with far better equipment for roadside breath testing, which is also far more accurate than in previous years.

DUI now has a more extended meaning than 30 years ago, and for some years now has included those who drive under the influence of not only alcohol, but also those under the influence of Drugs. (See web page on DUI )

The more usual expression now for the Drink Driver who is caught and charged by the Police is PCA. This simply means that such person has driven a motor vehicle with the prescribed concentration of alcohol.

In New South Wales we have five distinct concentrations which are prescribed as a “range” and are as follows:

  • (a) Novice Range PCA
  • (b) Special Range PCA
  • (c) Low Range PCA
  • (d) Middle Range PCA and
  • (e) High Range PCA

For further information on these offences refer to the various topics listed on the website of Proctor & Associates who are expert drink driving lawyers in Sydney. Please contact us by phone on 02 9687 3777 or email info@proctorlaw.com.au.

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