Drink Driving Lawyers Melbourne

Our criminal defence solicitors are highly experienced in representing Drink Driving offenders in Victoria

  • Depending on your licence type, driving with any, or a certain amount of alcohol in your system is illegal
  • There are different levels of Drink Driving offences and it is important to understand the possible penalties of your charge
  • James Dowsley & Associates has many years of experience in providing advice and court representation for all severities of Drink Driving charges

Need immediate assistance in relation to a Drink Driving charge or offence?

Call James Dowsley & Associates 24/7 on (03) 9781 4900

JDA Legal Criminal Law Expert Drunk Driving

The Process of a Drink Driving Charge

The crime of Drink Driving is usually identified by a breath test at a roadside booze bus or after being pulled over by the police.

In the case that your breath test result indicates a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than the legal limit for your licence type, these steps may follow:

  • For certain offences, the police may immediately suspend your licence until your charges are heard in court
  • This means you cannot drive as soon as the suspension is put in place – so you may need to find another way home
  • They may impound (confiscate) your vehicle immediately
  • You may be asked to return to the police station for a secondary breath test
  • Your charges, if laid, will be clearly explained to you and you will receive a summons to attend court on a certain date
  • You will have a hearing and be required to plead guilty or not guilty
  • If found guilty, the judge will impose a penalty, which can range from a small fine and loss of licence to time in jail

Types of Drink Driving Charges

According to Victorian laws, as laid out in the Road Safety Act 1986, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.05 or higher for most drivers.

Anyone with a zero BAC licence, such as P Platers, must have no detectable alcohol in their breath test. 

Penalties for breaching the drinking conditions of your licence include loss of licence, a fine, installation of an alcohol interlock device in your vehicle, and attendance to a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program. 

The severity of your charge and punishment depends on several factors including:

It is not a defence to say you thought you were under the limit, however JDA’s Drink Driving lawyers may be able to identify defences that relate to your case and represent you in a court of law.

See below for details on the levels of Drink Driving charges in Victoria.

BAC below .05

For those with a learner’s permit, P plates, or a zero alcohol condition, driving with any alcohol in your system, even if you have a  BAC under .05, is illegal.

If you’re caught with any alcohol in your system, you may face the following penalties:

  • A fine
  • Cancellation of your licence or permit
  • Compulsory attendance to a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • Having an alcohol interlock system installed in your vehicle for a certain amount of time
  • Having a zero BAC limit for at least three years

Subsequent Drink Driving offences may incur higher penalties, even if your BAC is low range.

BAC of .05 to .069

For those with a regular full licence it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .05 or higher. Penalties include:

  • A fine
  • Being prohibited from driving for a certain amount of time
  • Cancellation of your licence or permit
  • Compulsory attendance to a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • Having an alcohol interlock system installed in your vehicle for a certain amount of time
  • Having a zero BAC limit for at least three years

Whether you are under 26 years of age, may impact the length of the penalties imposed.

Secondary or subsequent Drink Driving offences will likely result in higher penalties.

BAC from .07 to below .15

If the tests reveal you have a BAC of 0.7 or above, but below .15 you may be required to:

  • Pay a fine
  • Be disqualified from driving for a certain amount of time
  • Attend a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program
  • Have an alcohol interlock system installed in your vehicle for a certain amount of time
  • Have a zero BAC limit for at least three years

If you are caught Drink Driving more than once, the penalties will likely increase.

BAC of .15 or more

In the case that your breath test reveals a BAC of  .15 or higher you will incur similar penalties as above, as well as being required to attend an Intensive Drink and Drug Driver Program.

If this is a secondary or subsequent offence you may face harsher penalties.

Serious offences that may relate to Drink Driving:

  • Negligently Causing Serious Injury arising from the driving of a motor vehicle
  • Culpable Driving causing death
  • Dangerous Driving causing death or serious injury
  • Visit Driving & Traffic Offences for more information on related road crimes

Other non-BAC Drink Driving related offences include:

  • Refusing a breath test
  • Failing to stop at a booze bus
  • Driving under the influence of other prohibited substances

Need a Criminal Lawyer in Melbourne for
a Drink Driving Charge?

Call James Dowsley & Associates any time of day for expert advice on a Drink Driving charge. Our line is open 24 hours a day:(03) 9781 4900.

Request a Free Consultation

Key contacts

Speak to our criminal law specialists
Adrienna Kisvarda
Adrienna Kisvarda
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
(03) 9781 4900 - adriennak@jdalaw.com.au
Kymberley Skillen
Kymberley Skillen
Criminal Defence Lawyer Dandenong
03 8788 5600 - kyms@jdalaw.com.au
Melainie Vinton
Melainie Vinton
Criminal Defence Lawyer Dandenong
03 8788 5600 - melainiev@jdalaw.com.au
Scott Kaiser
Scott Kaiser
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
Scott was admitted into the Legal Profession in September 2019
03 9781 4900 - scottk@jdalaw.com.au
Stacey Stanley
Stacey Stanley
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
03 9781 4900 - staceys@jdalaw.com.au
Ben Hanley
Ben Hanley
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
03 9781 4900 - benh@jdalaw.com.au
Lorna Williamson
Lorna Williamson
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
03 9781 4900 - lornaw@jdalaw.com.au
Anthony Maselli
Anthony Maselli
Criminal Defence Lawyer Melbourne
03 8602 1400 - anthonym@jdalaw.com.au
James Dowsley
James Dowsley
Principal & Accredited Criminal Law Specialist
James has been involved in the Criminal Justice System as a Lawyer for over 25 years and gained his Specialist Accreditation from the Law Institute of Victoria in 2002. Being a dedicated advocate for clients human rights, James has a passion for defending his clients in the Australian Courts.
03 8602 1400 - jamesd@jdalaw.com.au
Shaana Wilk
Shaana Wilk
Criminal Defence Lawyer Moorabbin/Highett
Since completing her Articles of Clerkship in Criminal Law and Commercial Litigation at Birch Ross & Barlow Solicitors, Shaana has practiced solely within the Criminal Law jurisdiction. Joining the JDA family in 2010, Shanna began her at our Frankston office. Since 2012 Shanna has been the sole solicitor at our Moorabbin/Highett office.
03 9555 4442 - shaanaw@jdalaw.com.au
Domenic Care
Domenic Care
Accredited Criminal Law Specialist – Criminal Defence Lawyer - Melbourne
Domenic Care joined James Dowsley & Associates in 2013. He appears regularly in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Children’s Court of Victoria for matters including plea hearings, contested bail applications and appeal hearings.
03 8602 1400 - domenicc@jdalaw.com.au
Kieran Reynolds
Kieran Reynolds
Accredited Criminal Law Specialist – Criminal Defence Lawyer
Kieran joined the JDA family in 2015 having worked at several large Criminal Law firms since 2004. He regularly appears in both the Magistrates Court and County Court in a diverse range of matters. Kieran was admitted as an Accredited Criminal Law Speciality in 2009 and has maintained his Specialist Accreditation every year since. He is committed to ensuring that the rights of his clients are upheld in court.
03 8602 1400 - kieranr@jdalaw.com.au
Brett Barratt
Brett Barratt
Criminal Defence Lawyer - Melbourne
Brett joined the JDA family in 2013 as a law clerk. He has since then worked as a paralegal at our Dandenong office between September 2015 and March 2016. Commencing as a Lawyer at our Frankston office in March 2016. He appears regularly on behalf of clients facing a range of summary and indictable criminal matters in the Magistrates’ Court. Brett also instructs counsel and assists in the preparation and running of complex indictable criminal cases in the County Court.
03 8602 1400 - brettb@jdalaw.com.au
Jackson McLeod
Jackson McLeod
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
Having previously interned at the Victorian Law Reform Commission, JobWatch Victoria and Refugee Legal and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Jackson has dedicated his career to providing access to justice to those who need it most. He regularly appears in the Magistrates’ Court and has instructed in the County Court. Jackson applies his keen attention to detail and broad knowledge of the law to all of his matters, and capably and professionally handles pleas, bail applications and case conferences at the Magistrates’’ Court.
03 9781 4900 - jacksonm@jdalaw.com.au
Bridie O’Malley
Bridie O’Malley
Criminal Defence Lawyer Dandenong
Bridie joined the JDA family in 2014 commencing as a volunteer law student, assisting in the formation of our Intervention Order section. Graduating to become a paralegal at our Dandenong office in 2016 and joining our team of lawyers in 2017.
03 8788 5600 - bridieo@jdalaw.com.au
Sally Abel
Sally Abel
Business Manager
03 8788 5600 - aghk@jdalaw.com.au
Lucy Mcphail
Lucy Mcphail
Office Manager
03 8788 5600 - lucym@jdalaw.com.au