Low-Range Drink Driving

This article is for general information only and should not be relied on for specific legal advice.  The author will not be held responsible for any action that a person takes as a result of interpretation of the contents of this article.  It is important to seek specific advice from a qualified and experienced lawyer for any legal problem.  

What is Low-Range Drink Driving?

It is an offence in every state and territory of Australia to drive whilst alcohol is present in your system above the legal limit.  Some states and territories have slightly different rules.  This article outlines the position in Queensland in relation to Low Range Drink Driving.  It is also known as being over the general alcohol limit but not under the mid alcohol limit. 

You are found to be Low Range Drink Driving when you are driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between 0.050% and 0.099%.   

Low range drink driving is the holds a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment for a first offence or a fine up to 14 penalty units. 

The penalties increase if it is a second or subsequent offence within a 5 year period. 

When charged with Low Range Drink Driving your licence will be suspended by the police for a period of 24 hours.  As long as your licence is otherwise valid, you will be able to continue to drive until the charge against you is determined in Court. 

You may be eligible to make an application for a s.87 Restricted Work Licence.  

what is mid range drink driving

The Law:

Section 79(2) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (Qld) states; 

Offence of driving etc. while over general alcohol limit but not over middle alcohol limit Any person who, while the person is over the general alcohol limit but is not over the middle alcohol limit— 

(a) drives a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or 

(b) attempts to put in motion a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or 

(c) is in charge of a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; 

is guilty of an offence 

Elements of the Offence:

It is the duty of the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant has committed the offence.  Every charge has a number of elements that the Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  For the charge of Drink Driving the Prosecution must prove; 

  1. Defendant – The Prosecutor has to prove the identification of the offender;
  2. Did Drive or was in charge of a motor vehicle;
  3. A Vehicle – as defined under the legislation;
  4. On a Road or Road Related Area;
  5. Blood Alcohol Concentration – with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.050% or over but under 0.100%

Maximum Penalty for Drink Driving - Low Range:

There is a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment or a fine of 14 penalty units. 

Disqualification:

There is a mandatory disqualification period of your drivers licence of a minimum period of 1 month and maximum period of 9 months.  The actual length of the disqualification will be at the discretion of the Magistrate.  

You may be eligible to make an application for a restricted work licence if;

You are the holder of a current open class Queensland Drivers Licence; and

You have not had any previous disqualifications, suspensions (except SPER) or cancellations of your drivers licence in the last 5 years; and

You need your drivers licence for work purposes.  

Convictions:

In Queensland, if a person is convicted of Drink Driving – Low Range, then the court could impose one of the following penalties:

  • Jail (suspended, parole or actual time);
  • Intensive Corrections Order;
  • Probation;
  • Community Service Order;
  • Fines.

The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant.

Possible Defences:

There are a number of defences available to charges at law.  Not every defence is available to every charge.  You will need to seek specific legal advice to see if you have a defence available to you for this charge.  Some of the common defences available in criminal charges are;

  • Necessity;
  • Mistake of Fact;
  • Public Safety;
  • Self Defence or defence of another person;
  • Intoxication;
  • Provocation;
  • Accident;
  • Duress;
  • Compulsion;
  • Insanity;
  • Automatism

The charge Drink Driving – Low Range will be heard in the Magistrates Court in Queensland.  The charge will be heard and determined by a Magistrate alone whether you plead guilty or not guilty.  There is no jury in the Magistrates Court.  

You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer. 

Brooke Winter Solicitors

Low-Range Drink Driving Lawyer

If you are charged with a criminal offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over the phone advice. We have a solid reputation as expert Criminal Lawyers and can represent you in court.  

Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court. 

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