Drug Driving Penalties

Drug Driving Penalties

Drug driving is one of the Driving Under the Influence offences – in this case driving under the influence of a drug, and drug driving penalties attract fines (and/or imprisonment periods) and disqualification from driving periods. There are also Drug specific offences of driving with the presence of certain specific drugs in your oral fluid, blood or urine.  The offences carry automatic disqualification periods (“ADP”), and also have a minimum disqualification period (“MDP”). The automatic disqualification period (ADP) may in certain circumstances be reduced, or increased, by the Court, but there is no discretion in relation to the minimum disqualification periods (MDP). Several of the offences carry possible terms of imprisonment.

Whether it is your first or a subsequent offence (within a five year period), is of considerable significance in terms of outcome – as different penalties apply to each category.  The table refers to maximum fines and maximum periods of imprisonment that may apply. And to be clear, the first or subsequent offence refers to offence of this type – so if you have had a PCA offence relating to alcohol or other offence relating to alcohol within the past 5 years and you have now been charged with driving under the influence of a drug, this will be a subsequent offence – not a first offence.

Drug Driving Penalties – Table

(Within 5 years)
(Previously convicted of offence within 5 years)
Driving under the Influence of a DrugFine: $2,200
Imprisonment: 9 mths
ADP: 12 months
MDP: 6 mths
Fine: $3,300
Imprisonment: 12 months
ADP: 3 yrs
MDP: 12 months
Drive with the presence of cannabis, speed/ice
or MDMA/ecstacy in oral fluid, blood or urine
Fine: $1,100ADP: 6 mths
MDP: 3 mths
Fine: $2,200ADP: 12 months
MDP: 6 mths
Drive with the presence of morphine or cocaine in blood or urineFine: $1,100ADP: 6 mths
MDP: 3 mths
Fine: $2,200ADP: 12 mths
MDP: 6 mths
Refuse to provide samples (oral fluid or blood)Fine: $3,300ADP: 3 yrs
MDP: 6 mths
Fine: $5,500
Imprisonment: 18 months
ADP: 5 yrs
MDP: 12 mths
Wilfully introduce or alter the amount of a drug in oral fluid or bloodFine: $3,300ADP: 3 yrs
MDP: 6 mths
Fine: $5,500ADP: 5 years
MDP: 12 mths
After a fatal accident – Refuse to submit to taking of
a blood or urine sample 
OR Wilfully introduce or alter the amount of a drug in blood or urine
Fine: $3,300
Imprisonment: 18 mths
ADP: 3 years
MDP: 6 mths
Fine: $5,500
Imprisonment: 2 yrs
ADP: 5 yrs
MDP: 12 mths

As you can see, drug driving related penalties are complex and with potentially very serious impacts on your life.  If you have been charged with a drug driving offence, it would be in your interests to seek legal representation to ensure the best possible outcome when you attend Court.


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