In NSW the limit that allows you to drive is set on 0.05. This has not changed and is not impacted by
the new rule introduced on 20 May 2019.
What has changed?
From 20 May 2019, NSW police officers under the new rule will be able to issue drivers who commit
a lower-range drink driving offence either:
An infringement notice; or
a court attendance notice for the offence.
Drivers who commit a lower-range drink-driving offence for the first time will have their licence
suspended immediately, effective for three months. This will be coupled with a significant fine
NSW currently has three blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits: zero, under 0.02 and under 0.05.
It depends on the category of your licence and the type of vehicle you are driving.
Zero BAC applies to the following:
Learner drivers or riders
Provisional 1 and 2 drivers or riders
Visiting drivers or riders holding an overseas or interstate learner, provisional or
You must be alcohol-free while driving or riding if zero alcohol limit applies to you.
There are four categories of PCA (drink driving) offences:
- Special range PCA – BAC of between 0.02 and 0.049 g/100 mL
- Low range PCA – BAC of between 0.05 and 0.079 g/100 mL
- Mid-range PCA – BAC of between 0.08 and 0.149 g/100 mL
- High range PCA – BAC of over 0.15 g/100 mL.
Research has shown that alcohol affects different people in different ways and two people who drink
same amount of alcohol can have different BACs. One should not attempt to guess their blood alcohol concentration as it may not be accurate.
It is always recommended that if you plan to drive, you must not drink any alcohol.
Is there a Defence?
From my experience, a person will very rarely plead not guilty to, or defend, a PCA charge mainly
because it might not be economical for the accused to defend the charge or the accused may not have been advised that they may have a potential ground of defence.
Call us on (02) 9891 2636 to seek legal advice.
By Ajay SINGH – Principal Lawyer & Nationally Accredited Mediator
LL.M (Applied Law) – Major in Family Law & ADRP
Call us for an obligation free consultation on (02) 9891 2636
By: Ajay Singh – LL.M & Nationally Accredited Mediator.