– section 49 of the Road Safety Act 1986
Drive while impaired by drugs is when you are under the influence of drugs and are driving a vehicle. Or you refuse to comply with a drug test after being stopped while driving. Often people are charged with this who had taken drugs a number of days prior.
Examples of Drive While Impaired By Drugs
- Driving a car after taking illegal drugs
- Being stopped by the Police for a drug test and refusing to take the test
What are some of the possible defences to a Drive While Impaired By Drugs charge?
- You did not take any illegal drugs
- You took other legal medication (i.e. sinus medication) that has shown up as illegal drugs
- There has been an error in the taking of your sample
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.
Questions that are asked in cases like this:
- Were you on any medication at the time?
- Did you take any illegal drugs before driving?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge
There is a maximum penalty of a fine of 12 penalty units for anyone found guilty of drug driving as a first offence, including a licence disqualification of at least 12 months.
For a second time offence, the maximum penalty is a 6 month disqualification and up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 120 penalty units.
For the third or more time offence, the maximum penalty is 18 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 180 penalty units.
New regulations that came into effect from 31 January 2018 mean that Victorian offenders will face Victorian driving penalties should they be caught interstate.
The offence of driving while impaired by drugs is a charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
“Did you take drugs and drive?”
What is the legal definition of Drive While Impaired By Drugs?
Driving while under the influence of an illicit drug.
The section that covers this offence is section 49 of the Road Safety Act 1986.1
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
You will lose your license for a period of time and receive a fine. In cases where it is more than the second time you are charged with this offence you may face imprisonment for some months.
Other Important Resources
- Drink Driving Lawyers: Driving While Impaired By Drugs
- VicRoads: Drug driving penalties
- FindLaw: Driving While Impaired By Drugs (Drug Driving)
- The role of drugs in road safety