The offence of drug driving is becoming increasingly common in NSW. It is taken very seriously and may result in a criminal conviction. It is an offence dealt with under the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) (“the Act”).
Section 111(1) of the Act states:
- Presence of prescribed illicit drug in person’s oral fluid, blood or urine A person must not, while there is present in the person’s oral fluid, blood or urine any prescribed illicit drug:
- Drive a motor vehicle, or
- Occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion, or
- If the person is a holder of an applicable driver license (other than an applicable provisional license or applicable learner licence) occupy the seat in a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who is driving the vehicle.
If you have used or attempted to use a motor vehicle whilst there are drugs present in your system, then you may also be charged under section 112 of the Act. These provisions closely mirror section 111(1) of the Act above.
A ‘prescribed illicit drug’ is defined in section 4 of the Act to be:
- Ecstasy; and
A ‘motor vehicle’ is defined under the definition of ‘vehicle’ in section 4 of the act to be:
- Any description of vehicle on wheels (including light rail vehicle) but not including any other vehicle used on a railway or tramway; or
- Any description of tracked vehicle (such as a bulldozer), or any description of vehicle hat moves on revolving runners inside endless tracks, that is not used exclusively on a railway or tramway; or
- Any other description of vehicle prescribed by the statutory rules.
It is difficult to defend a drug driving charge as the Police generally have concrete evidence of an illicit drug present in your blood. The only way to dispute such a charge is if you are able to prove that the drug reading is a false positive.
There are two (2) types of penalties for this offence:
- Infringement Notice – Police will issue you with an infringement notice, which is a $561 fine (as at 28 November 2019). You will then receive a letter in the mail from the Road and Maritime Services (“RMS”) stating that your license will be cancelled for three (3) months.
- Court Attendance Notice – this is a more serious penalty and means that you will need to go to Court to defend the charge. If you are found guilty and a criminal conviction is recorded against your name, then your license will be automatically disqualified.
Contact JB Solicitors today so that we may assist.