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Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or of Any Drug (DUI)

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

drive under influence liquor drugs DUI

A DUI is when you drive and have drugs or alcohol in your system. You can still have drugs or alcohol in your system if you drank alcohol or took drugs the day before you were tested.

Examples of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or of Any Drug (DUI)
  • A man was at a festival and took drugs for three days. On the last day he did not take any drugs and drove home. He was stopped by the Police and still had drugs in his system
  • A woman met her friend for drinks and they shared one bottle of wine, she did not have much to eat. When she was pulled over she was above the limit.
What are some of the possible defences to a Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or of Any Drug (DUI) charge?
  • You did not have any alcohol or drugs in your system and there must have been a mistake in the sample.
  • You were on medication that has been picked up by the test.

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:
  • Did you take drugs in the days before the test?
  • Are you on any medication?
  • How much did you have to drink?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

There is a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 25 penalty units for anyone found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of any drug as a first offence.

If you are caught testing positive to traces of illegal drugs then your licence will be disqualified for 6 months and you must attend a drug driver behaviour change program.

The maximum penalty for a second time offence is 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of 120 penalty unit.

For subsequent offences, 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 under the influence (DUI) is the sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

“Were you drink or drug driving?”
What is the legal definition of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or of Any Drug (DUI)?

Driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.

The Law

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

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

You are likely to get a fine or a Community Corrections Order for a first time offence. If you have been found guilty of this offence before and you have other charges, then you may receive a prison sentence.

Other Important Resources
Case Studies

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

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he or she—
(a) drives a motor vehicle or is in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of any drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the motor vehicle; or