Traffic & Driving Offences

Traffic, License & Driving Offences

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Traffic Driving

There is no element of impairment necessary for this offence. It is sufficient for the drug to be present in your system while you are driving a vehicle. Many people, particularly after smoking marijuana, can be caught days later with traces of the drug still in their system.

Police drug testing of drivers is normally via a simple “lick” test conducted at a roadside stop.

It is often the case that police do not abide by the strict rules and procedures governing these types of roadside tests and many cases are dropped as a result. There are also defences such as honest and reasonable mistake and whether you were forced to drive under duress or due to necessity.

For a first offence, the maximum penalty is a fine of $2,200 and a 6 month licence disqualification, which the court can reduce to a minimum of 3 months.

  1. Use or attempt to use a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other drug

  2. PCA

  3. Licence troubles and driving

  4. Licence appeals

  5. General driving and traffic offences

NSW Traffic & Driving Stats

Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences 2016 – 2021*

Our Senior Criminal Lawyers

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Managing Director

Jaswinder strives to simplify and demystify complex legal
matters, to explain them logically and without “jargon”.
He resolves and commits to the best possible commercial
outcomes for his clients.

Mathew Nott

Mathew Nott

Practice Area Head Criminal Law Division

Mathew handles the tough charge negotiation with police and brings innovate thinking to defending our clients in Court. His record is outstanding. He will stand shoulder to shoulder with you from the beginning to the end of your matter.


If police are unable to get a conclusive blood alcohol reading from you this is the fallback charge. The penalties are similar to that of a prescribed content of alcohol charge.

This charge is not confined to alcohol. You can be charged with DUI if it is believed that you were driving while impaired by consumption of prescription medication, illegal drugs or alcohol.

A DUI charge can be used in situations such as a motor vehicle accident where somebody involved drives away from the scene and is breath tested at their place of residence after the event. Police may not consider this an accurate reading of blood alcohol content.

These charges often rely upon witness statements deponing that the accused was driving in a fashion that would indicate a level of impairment that could be attributed to the intake of alcohol or drugs.

A person convicted of driving under the influence of a drug and causing death is liable for a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail (or 14 years if there are circumstances of aggravation such as speeding).

Mobile Phone Use Driving

Police and the government are determined to stamp out mobile phone use while driving. The penalties reflect this. There are defences to mobile phone use and our expert lawyers can assist you to determine the best approach to your legal issue.

The fine for illegal mobile phone use is $349 or $464 if detected in a school zone. There is a five demerit point penalty for illegal mobile phone use, which increases to 10 demerit points during double demerit periods.

The legal meaning of the word “use” is very broad. The offence can be found in the Road Rules NSW 2014. It is a complex area of law and often people do not know what they can and can’t do as unrestricted licence holders.

For example, you cannot touch your phone, it can only be operated for music or audio functions if you can do so without touching any part of the phone, (e.g. Bluetooth controls).

Functions including video calling, texting, emailing, social media, web browsing and photography are prohibited unless parked. You must be parked out of the line of traffic. However, the ignition does not need to be turned off.

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*© NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics