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Driving While Exceeding the Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (Section 49.1.b)

– section 49(1)(B) of the Road Safety Act 1986

drive exceed PCA

This offence is when you have too much alcohol in your system. Alcohol affects people differently so depending on your weight and what you have eaten you could be above or below the limit in different situations and at different times.

Examples of Driving While Exceeding the Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (Section 49.1.B)
  • A man meets his friend at the pub after work, he doesn’t have any dinner and has 2 pints of beer in 2 hours and then drives to his friend’s house.
  • A woman goes to her friend’s house for a quick visit, she has just been to the gym and doesn’t eat anything. She has 2 glasses of wine in one hour and drives home.
  • A man goes to a restaurant and has a 3 course meal. He drinks half a bottle of wine and then drives home.
What are some of the possible defences to a Driving While Exceeding the Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (Section 49.1.B) charge?
  • This is a difficult charge to defend unless you are sure that you did not drink any alcohol and there must have been a mistake in the sample. Or if you were not driving the car.
  • This is an offence that has highly technical defences based on the conduct of the Police and the testing equipment.

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 driving?
  • How much did you drink before driving?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty depends on the concentration of alcohol in your blood and if this is your first offence or a subsequent offence.

For a first offence the maximum penalty is a fine of 12 penalty units.

For a second offence the maximum penalty is 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 60 penalty units if the concentration of alcohol is less than 0.05ml. 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 120 penalty units if the concentration of alcohol was more than 0.15ml.

For a subsequent offence the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 120 penalty units if the concentration of alcohol was less than 0.05ml. 18 months imprisonment and /or a fine of 180 penalty units if the concentration of alcohol was more than 0.15ml.

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 drink driving is the sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

“Were you drink driving?”
What is the legal definition of Driving While Exceeding the Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (Section 49.1.B)?

Driving while being over the legal limit of alcohol present in the blood or breath.

The Law

The section that covers this offence is section 49(1)(B) of the Road Safety Act 1986.1

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

You are likely to lose your license and receive a fine. If you have been found guilty of this offence before you could also face imprisonment for some months. There are many reasons what people drink drive and explaining the specifics of your circumstances is how you may get a lesser penalty.

Other Important Resources
Case Studies

 


[1] Road Safety Act 1986 – Section 49(1)(B)

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he or she—

(b) drives a motor vehicle or is in charge of a motor vehicle while the prescribed concentration of alcohol or more than the prescribed concentration of alcohol is present in his or her blood or breath; or