High Range PCA Penalties

High Range PCA penalties and the consequences of drink driving should be taken very seriously. It is not advisable to appear for yourself, without legal representation, in Court.

High Range PCA PenaltiesIf you have tested at the High Range drink driving level of 0.150 or above then that would mean there is 0.150 grams (150 milligrams) (or more) of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of your blood. This is a significant level of alcohol, such that it is accepted that it significantly impairs your behaviour.

Of course, the same level of alcohol consumption can affect different people in different ways. A group of people can consume the same amount of alcohol and have quite different BAC readings when tested at the same time. A person’s gender, height, weight, fitness, metabolic rate, liver function, how much and when they have eaten, and even fatigue can all come into play in affecting the blood alcohol reading of a person.

It is therefore impossible to estimate with any degree of accuracy, how many drinks any one particular person can have within any specified period or periods, and stay under “the limit” (of 0.05, being the threshhold for Low Range PCA). It goes without saying that to reach the High Range PCA level, you must have consumed a fairly significant amount of alcohol, and must be aware that you are well affected by alcohol and that you are without question over “the limit”.

High Range drink driving is therefore seen as the most serious of all the drink driving category offences it is therefore dealt with more severely than either the Low or Middle Range PCA drink driving offences. Heavy fines, penalties and sentences are handed down by Courts for High Range PCA drink driving charges every single day, because the risk of accident, injury or death to people in the community is so high. For repeated High Range drink driving offences, or for High Range PCA matters with aggravating factors (such as being involved in an accident, or involving speeding or other traffic infringements) the Courts do not hesitate to impose the most severe High Range PCA penalties – terms of imprisonment.

At the other end of the scale, is it possible to escape a conviction after being charged with a High Range drink driving matter? The answer is, in theory, yes, although in practice it is rare. Outcomes without convictions for high range drink driving (section 10 for High Range PCA matters) can be given by the Court only in very exceptional circumstances, as referred to in the sentencing Guideline Judgment for High Range PCA.

Penalties for Drink Driving NSW:

High Range PCA Penalties


1st Offence:

For a High Range drink driving offence where the offence is considered the 1st offence (within a 5 year period), the following penalties and sentences may apply:

  • Maximum fine of $3,300
  • Maximum term of imprisonment of 18 months
  • Automatic disqualification period of 3 years (which, in certain circumstances, can be either increased or reduced)
  • Unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • Minimum disqualification period of 12 month

2nd Offence:

For a second or subsequent High Range drink driving offence (within a 5 year period), the penalties and sentences are increased significantly, and the following High Range PCA penalties may apply:

  • Maximum fine of $5,500
  • Maximum term of imprisonment of 2 years
  • Automatic disqualification period of 5 years (which, in certain circumstances, can be either increased or reduced)
  • Unlimited maximum disqualification period
  • Minimum disqualification period of 2 years

Whilst these penalties and sentences are the basis for dealing with a High Range drink driving offence, the Court must also take into account the High Range Drink Driving Guideline Judgment.

Drink Driving Lawyers Sydney – Call us on (02) 9533 2269 – for advice and representation to minimise drink driving consequences, and ensure the penalties for High Range PCA in your case are as favourable as possible

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(02) 9533-2269


Any penalty for drink driving NSW can have very serious consequences, but especially so with an offence of High Range PCA

If you are facing Low Range PCA penalties, click here

If you are facing Mid Range PCA penalties, click here