In New South Wales, drink driving offences are typically
considered traffic offences rather than criminal offenses. However, this
distinction can depend on the specific circumstances of the offence and whether
it is a repeat offense or involves aggravating factors.
For a first-time drink driving offence in NSW, the penalties
generally involve fines, license suspension, and demerit points, but may not
result in a criminal record. Instead, the offense is recorded on the
individual’s traffic record. However, the penalties for drink driving can
increase significantly for repeat offenders or for those with high blood
In some cases, particularly if the drink driving offence is
severe or involves aggravating factors such as reckless driving or causing harm
to others, it is possible for the offence to be treated as a criminal matter.
This can result in more serious legal consequences, including the possibility
of a criminal record, imprisonment, and other penalties.
It’s important to note that laws and regulations can change,
and the treatment of drink driving offenses can vary based on individual
circumstances and the discretion of the courts. Therefore, individuals facing
drink driving charges in NSW must seek legal advice from qualified
professionals to understand the potential consequences and options available to
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*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 13th December 2023.
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