Traffic Law > Traffic Offences > Driving under the influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence (dui)

Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Another Drug- Section 112 of Road Transport Act 2013

Drive a motor vehicle, occupy driver’s seat and attempt to put vehicle in motion or supervise a learner driver under the influence of alcohol or any other drug

Maximum Penalties
Penalty First offence Second or Subsequent offence
9 months
12 months
Minimum disqualification
6 months
9 months
Maximum disqualification
9 months
12 months
Alcohol interlock order
24 months
48 months
Disqualification period of exempted from interlock
Automatic 12 months Min: 6 months
Automatic 5 years Min: 2 years
Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

The prosecution is not required to prove that you were affected by a specified amount of alcohol, but only to prove that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or affected by drugs or alcohol while you were driving. 

For the to be established, the prosecution must prove the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You drove the motor vehicle or supervised a learner driver, and
  •  At the relevant time you were under the influence of alcohol or any other drug (including prescription drugs- for example: Valium).

Defences to this charge:

  • Duress that is, you were coerced or threatened into driving under the influence
  • Necessity– that is, you drive under the influence to avoid serious injury or death- for example: medical emergency
  • Honest & Reasonable Mistake of Fact-that is, you honestly and reasonably believed you were not under the influence

Pleading Guilty

It is important that you speak to an experienced traffic lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.

If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence. 

Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment

The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.

The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.

Types of Penalties

Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:

Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.

Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references and any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.

These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.

If you have been charged with AVO or contravene AVO, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced AVO lawyers who will review the allegations and advise you of your options and the best way forward.