Local Sydney Law Firm Warns of Increased Breath Testing

Did you know that when COVID restrictions came into full effect, some Australian states suspended Random Breath Testing and Mobile Drug Testing due to pandemic related public health concerns? Now, as Sydney COVID restrictions ease, RBTs and MDTs are back on the streets with a ‘new’ normal.

The New South Wales Government’s Road Safety Plan 2021 will set “harsher penalties in 2021 if you drive with a combination of illegal alcohol and illicit drugs in your system.” This could produce a massive increase in drink driving offences and drug offences coming into 2021.

As well the Government plans to have “Increased penalties for driving under the influence – Swift, strong and certain penalties for lower range drink driving and drug presence first offenders – Alcohol interlocks for mid-range offenders – doubling mobile drug testing to 200,000 tests by 2021 and adding cocaine testing to the regime.”

What is Mobile Drug Testing (MDT)?

Mobile drug testing is a roadside test which detects the use of four common illegal drugs; ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and speed. In 2020 police tested 200 000 individuals in NSW alone.

Since May 20th 2019, drivers who are found with drugs in their system face a minimum fine of $561 and an immediate three-month suspended license, even for first-time offenders. Do you have a first-time drug driving offence? You may want to consider hiring a professional driving offence lawyer in Parramatta.

Unlike Random Breath Testing, where a positive result signals that alcohol is currently in the body’s system. MDTs detect past and current presence of drugs within a driver’s system. So, a driver can test positive even if they are not physically impaired at the time, resulting in a prosecution.

What is Random Breath Testing (RBT)?

Random breath testing measures the amount of alcohol in the body of a driver and is also conducted on the side of roads. Today, police conduct about 5 million random breath tests each year in NSW alone.

In addition, every police vehicle is a mobile RBT and MDT, and the police have the power to:

  • Stop drivers at random to test for alcohol and drugs, without provocation
  • Arrest drivers who test over the legal drinking limit, 0.05 for open licence holders, or with any detection of drugs
  • Require a driver to take a sobriety and drug test in certain circumstances
  • Breath test and saliva test any driver or passenger/s involved in a crash

Drink driving is a serious offence; it is also an offence to refuse to take a breath test. If you are caught drink driving, police will take you to the police station for a secondary test; if you fail again, you will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Do you need a DUI lawyer in Parramatta? You may consider hiring a professional driving offence lawyer.

If you refuse a breath test, you will incur a fine, possible loss of points and even prison time—these consequences and penalties vary according to the offence and the state. Even if you refuse a test, the police can still take you to the station for an official test, which can be used in a court against you.

Section 10 for Mid-Range Drink Driving or Low Range Drink Driving

The Section 10 Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 is given when “a court is satisfied that it (a section 10) would reduce the likelihood of the person committing further offences by promoting the treatment or rehabilitation of the person”.

In other words, a Section 10 dismissal is where the court decides that a person is guilty but is not convicted, and the matter is dismissed in order to promote their positive rehabilitation.

If a Section 10 dismissal is given, the offence is not recorded, there is no conviction, no penalty, no loss of licence, no loss of demerit points and no criminal recording.

In modern society, being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), even with a mid-range drink driving offence or a low range drink driving offence, is considered a major traffic offence and a serious criminal offence. This makes obtaining a Section 10 for such cases exceedingly difficult.

However, an effective traffic offence lawyer can potentially prove that under a Section 10 dismissal, a person should avoid a conviction of the drink driving offence due to uncontrollable circumstances. In particular, there are several ways that The Defenders traffic lawyers in Sydney increase our defendants’ chances to obtain a Section 10 for mid-range drink driving or low-range drink driving.

How Do I Get Out of a DUI and Drink Driving Offence?

A professional driving offence lawyer will be able to explain your traffic offences in a straightforward manner so that you can fully grasp the charges you are faced with and the possible implications of those charges. For example, if you commit a high range drink driving offence, a drink driving lawyer will be able to educate you about the nature of the violation you have committed in a way that is easy for you to understand, as well as clearly outlining the drink driving penalties that you may face.

When searching for a reputable criminal defence lawyer to defend your traffic offence case, it is imperative that you find a lawyer who has both experience and a high success rate in helping their clients to achieve positive outcomes. Whether you are facing drink driving penalties, a speeding offence or any other type of driving offence, experience in the field of traffic law is imperative in providing you with the best possible defence.

Benjamin Leonardo are outstanding driving offence Lawyers. They understand the strain driving offence cases have on their clients and families alike and provide sympathetic, non-judgemental expert advice and support to their clients. With offices in Sydney and Parramatta, conveniently located near both the local and district courts, they will make the process of your legal defence transparent and manageable. Having defended more than 3,800 cases and with a success rate of over 90%, Benjamin Leonardo Driving Offence Lawyers in Sydney & Parramatta, provide their clients with informed legal advice and flexible payment terms. If you have been charged with a driving offence, please contact Benjamin Leonardo on (02) 9283 3033 for your first Consultation.