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Refuse Breath Test

The charge of refusing a breath test drink driving is the sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

There is a maximum penalty of 12 penalty units for anyone found guilty of refusing a breath test drink driving as a first offence; 120 penalty units or a 12 month imprisonment for a second offence and 180 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment for a subsequent offence.

New regulations that came into effect from 31 January 2018 mean that Victorian offenders will face Victorian driving penalties should they be caught interstate.

This charge is generally laid in situations where a person refuses to undergo a preliminary breath test when required to do so.

In essence to prove this charge the Police must show that the accused refused to undergo a preliminary breath test when required to do so.

Defences to this can be a factual dispute or that when the person was asked to undergo a preliminary breath test more than 3 hours had passed since the person last drove, was an occupant of or was in charge of a motor vehicle.

You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged.

Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

This is legislation that comes from section 49(1)(c) of the Road Safety Act 1986.


Further information on Refuse breath test

Possible Defences

In a case of Refuse breath test, the following defences may be applicable to the charge:


What penalties can be imposed for a charge of Refuse breath test?

  • Deferral of Sentencing
  • Without Conviction Order
  • Adjournment of the Charges on Undertaking (Good Behaviour Bond)
  • Fine
  • Community Corrections Order
  • Suspended Prison Sentence
  • Term of Imprisonment


What is the legislation for the charge of Refuse breath test?

The legislation for this offence can be found on section 49(1)(C) of Road Safety Act 1986.

Case Studies

Media Articles

Media article related to the charge of Refuse breath test:

Further Info


Need further legal advice on this charge?
Contact one of our lawyers specialising in cases of Refuse Breath Test – Drink Driving, Shaun Pascoe.