First time drink driving offence
The penalties for a first-time drink driving offence are quite harsh in Victoria and include a fines, and in certain circumstances a mandatory loss of licence must be imposed under the Road Safety Act 1986. The level of licence suspension is much less for a first offence than for a subsequent offence and increases as the concentration of alcohol increases.
Although there is no imprisonment for a first time drink driving offence, this is not the case for second or subsequent offences, where imprisonment can become a real issue, with a maximum imprisonment of up to 18 months imprisonment for a subsequent offence ( more than two offences within the past ten years) involving a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.15.
Periods of suspension for first time drink driving offence and subsequent offences
|Concentration of Alcohol||First offence||Subsequent offence|
|less than ∙05 with Z condition||3 months||12 months|
|∙05 or more but less than ·07 < age 26||6 months||12 months|
|.05 or more but less than .07 >= age 26||3 months fined||12 months|
|·07 or more but less than ·08||6 months||14 months|
|·08 or more but less than ·09||6 months||16 months|
|·09 or more but less than ·10||6 months||18 months|
|·10 or more but less than ·11||10 months||20 months|
|·11 or more but less than ·12||11 months||22 months|
|·12 or more but less than ·13||12 months||24 months|
|·13 or more but less than ·14||13 months||26 months|
|·14 or more but less than ·15||14 months||28 months|
|·15 or more but less than ·16||15 months||30 months|
|·16 or more but less than ·17||16 months||32 months|
|·17 or more but less than ·18||17 months||34 months|
|·18 or more but less than ·19||18 months||36 months|
|·19 or more but less than ·20||19 months||38 months|
|·20 or more but less than ·21||20 months||40 months|
|·21 or more but less than ·22||21 months||42 months|
|·22 or more but less than ·23||22 months||44 months|
|·23 or more but less than ·24||23 months||46 months|
|·24 or more||24 months||48 months|
In addition to these penalties, a court may also impose other penalties such requiring a mandatory alcohol interlock device when relicensed, which prevents the offender from driving if they have alcohol in their system.
It is important to note that a drink driving conviction can also have serious long-term consequences, such as higher insurance premiums, difficulty obtaining employment, and limitations on travel to certain countries. It is recommended that you seek legal advice if you are facing charges for a drink driving offence.