If you have been charged with a Novice Range PCA offence, you should obtain legal advice. The Courts treat this offence very seriously, but the circumstances of the offence are especially relevant to the outcome. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
Novice Range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) means a concentration of more than zero grams, but less than 0.02 grams, of alcohol in 210 litres of breath or 100 millilitres of blood. Section 110 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) sets out the offence. It applies to novice drivers, including learner, provisional and interlock licence holders and persons who do not hold a licence.
The offence provides that a novice driver must not, while there is present in the person’s breath or blood the novice range prescribed concentration of alcohol, drive a motor vehicle, or occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion.
The maximum penalty is $1,100 in the case of a first offence, or $2,200 in the case of a second or subsequent offence. Disqualification periods also apply. In the case of a first offence, the automatic disqualification period is 6 months and the minimum is 3 months.
In the case of a second offence, the mandatory alcohol interlock program applies. The disqualification period is 1 – 3 months with a minimum interlock period of 12 months. During the interlock period, you can only drive with an interlock device fitted to your car which requires a breath test before the car will start. If you are exempt from the interlock program because you do not have a car or have a certain medical condition, then the automatic disqualification period is 12 months and the minimum is 6 months.
A particular statutory defence applies in these matters, namely if defendant proves to the Court’s satisfaction that the presence of a novice range PCA was not the result of:
- The consumption of an alcoholic beverage (otherwise than for the purposes of religious observance);
- The consumption or use of any other substance (for example, food or medicine) for the purpose of consuming alcohol.
As such, it is important to obtain legal advice to maximise your chances of a good outcome at Court.
If you are seeking legal advice, contact us for a free initial consultation.