Offences and penalties

Offences and penalties related to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in NSW.

High range PCA (0.15 or above), refuse breath analysis, a blood sample and/or alter concentration in the blood

Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $3,300 $5,500
Maximum prison term 18 months 2 years
Minimum disqualification 12 months 2 years
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 3 years 5 years
Immediate licence suspension Yes Yes

Mid range PCA (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to less than 0.15)

Penalties First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $2,200 $3,300
Maximum prison term 9 months 12 months
Minimum disqualification 6 months 12 months
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 12 months 3 years
Immediate licence suspension Yes Yes

Low, novice or special range PCA

  • Low range PCA: blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to less than 0.08
  • Novice range PCA: blood alcohol concentration more than zero for learner, P1 or P2 drivers
  • Special range PCA: blood alcohol concentration over 0.02 for special category drivers
Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $1,100 $2,200
Maximum prison term N/A N/A
Minimum disqualification 3 months 6 months
Maximum disqualification 6 months Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 6 months 12 months
Immediate licence suspension No No

Drive under the influence of alcohol or another drug

Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $2,200 $3,300
Maximum prison term 9 months 12 months
Minimum disqualification 6 months 12 months
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 12 months 3 years

Cannabis, speed/ice or MDMA/ecstasy in oral fluid, blood or urine

Drive with the presence of any of the following drugs in oral fluid, blood or urine:

  • Active THC (Cannabis)
  • Methylamphetamine (Speed/ice) or
  • Methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy').
Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $1,100 $2,200
Minimum disqualification 3 months 6 months
Maximum disqualification 6 months Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 6 months 12 months

Morphine or cocaine in blood or urine

Drive with the presence of any of the following drugs in blood or urine:

  • Morphine (unless proven for medicinal use)
  • Cocaine.
Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $1,100 $2,200
Minimum disqualification 3 months 6 months
Maximum disqualification 6 months Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 6 months 12 months

Refuse to provide samples

Refuse to provide oral fluid sample or refuse or fail to submit to providing a blood sample when unable to provide an oral fluid sample.

Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $3,300 $5,500
Maximum prison term Not applicable 18 months
Minimum disqualification 6 months 12 months
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 3 years 5 years

Introduce or alter the amount of a drug in oral fluid or blood

Wilfully introduce or alter the amount of a drug in oral fluid or blood after being required to provide an oral fluid or blood sample.

Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $3,300 $5,500
Minimum disqualification 6 months 12 months
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 3 years 5 years

After a fatal accident

Refuse to submit to taking of a blood or urine sample after involvement in a fatal crash or wilfully introduce or alter the amount of a drug in blood or urine after involvement in a fatal crash.

Penalty First offence Second or subsequent offence
Maximum court- imposed fine $3,300 $3,300
Maximum prison term 18 months 2 years
Minimum disqualification 6 months 12 months
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order) 3 years 5 years
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