truck-icon-red-banner

Same day local dispatch

australia-icon-red-banner

Australian owned

Breathalysers

1-3 year warranty

breathalyser

Australia's industry specialist

Low Range PCA: Definition, Charges & Penalties

25 July, 2023

A person holding a bottle of alcohol while driving.

Low range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) measures alcohol in a person’s blood while driving. In most Australian states and territories, the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) for low range PCA is 0.05 to 0.079. If someone has a low PCA, they could get penalties and charges. These might include fines, losing demerit points, suspension of driver’s license, and using an interlock device. Moreover, the offenders may have to attend an alcohol education program or participate in other activities.

Drink driving poses significant risks to both drivers and others on the road. It is illegal to drive with a BAC above the legal limit. However, many people underestimate alcohol’s impact on their driving abilities. Even if someone feels “fine” after a few drinks, alcohol still compromises their reaction time, coordination, and judgement. This article will provide information on low PCA, including the associated charges and penalties.

Definition of Low Range PCA

In many places, there are certain BAC levels known as “low range PCA” that are not allowed for drivers. It is essential to remember that the legal limit for BAC varies depending on the country or area. Generally, low PCA involves BAC levels between 0.05% to 0.079%, depending on the jurisdiction.

Detecting drivers with low PCA contributes significantly to road safety. Its objective is to reduce the number of crashes caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. Studies have shown that drivers with a BAC above 0.05% have a significantly higher risk of crashing. Therefore, individuals should observe the legal limit and avoid drink driving. Alternatively, they can use any form of public transportation to get home safely.

Drivers caught driving with a low PCA could face penalties and consequences. However, they have the option to seek legal advice to understand their situation better and handle the legal process efficiently. Experienced traffic lawyers can offer guidance on defending against the charges, considering mitigating factors, and reducing the penalties.

Laws in Australia

  • Driving with a BAC of 0.05% or higher is illegal and can lead to penalties like fines, licence suspension, and demerit points.
  • Subsequent offenders or those involved in accidents may face harsher penalties, including longer licence suspension and jail sentences.
  • For drivers holding a learner or probationary licence, a zero BAC legal limit applies.
  • Drink driving offenders might have to attend mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs as part of their penalty.
  • Police can perform random breath tests (RBTs) to check for drivers’ alcohol levels. Refusing to undergo a breath test can result in penalties and charges.

Police officer conducting a checkpoint

Charges and Offences Involving Low Range PCA in Australia

The charges and offences for driving with a low range PCA involve a BAC that falls between 0.05% and 0.079%. For learner and probationary drivers, any BAC above zero constitutes an offence. Being caught with a low PCA can lead to legal consequences and court proceedings, with penalties varying depending on the circumstances.

The process for dealing with drivers caught with a low PCA involves a police officer conducting a roadside breath test. If the driver’s BAC registers in the low range, they may receive an infringement notice or face immediate license suspension. In more serious cases, drivers must attend court hearings to face formal charges.

For drivers caught with a low PCA, there are several options or remedies they may consider. They can seek legal advice and representation to navigate the court process effectively. Drivers may choose to contest the charges if they believe there are valid defences or procedural errors. Alternatively, some may opt to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution to potentially reduce the charges or penalties.

How to Prevent Getting Charged

Following some simple advice can help prevent getting drink driving charges. Firstly, people should not consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel to avoid a penalty notice. This involves making responsible choices and opting for alternative transportation options if they plan on drinking.

Secondly, if individuals choose to drink, it is crucial to wait until they are completely sober before driving. They can determine this by using personal breathalysers, like BACtrack, which provides an accurate measurement of their BAC levels. By regularly monitoring their alcohol levels, they can ensure that they are within the legal limit before operating a motor vehicle.

A gravel used in court for low-range PCA offences

Penalties for Low Range PCA

In general, the penalties for a low range PCA offence include finesdemerit points, and licence disqualification. The exact penalties can differ between states. They typically involve a monetary fine of several hundred dollars and a licence disqualification ranging from three to six months. Repeat offenders may face longer disqualification periods or more severe penalties.

Drivers who are caught with a low PCA may also be charged with other offences. These include failing to stop for a random breath test or driving dangerously. These offences can carry much harsher penalties than those associated with low PCA. Moreover, the penalties for low PCA may be more severe for drivers who hold only a learner’s permit.

Penalties may undergo potential changes, and it is advisable to seek advice from legal professionals. Furthermore, drink driving offences can lead to the imposition of an interlock device. This device mandates the driver to provide a breath sample before starting their motor vehicle. Typically, authorities require an interlock device for a specified period after the licence disqualification period expires.

Interlock Devices

An interlock device is a breathalyser integrated into a motor vehicle’s ignition system. It prevents the motor from starting if the driver’s breath sample contains alcohol. This device is installed in the cars of the offenders. It acts as a safeguard, ensuring that the driver is sober before operating the vehicle.

When the interlock device is mandatory, the driver must blow into the device to measure their BAC levels. If the BAC reading is above the limit, the car will not start. Additionally, random retests are required while driving to ensure continued sobriety. The interlock device provides a solution to reduce subsequent offences.

Conclusion

In Australia, authorities charge individuals with low range PCA when caught driving with a BAC of 0.05% to 0.079%. The objective of enforcing these limits is to enhance road safety and reduce alcohol-related accidents. Drivers convicted of low PCA may face penalties such as fines, licence suspension, demerit points, and an interlock device. Seeking legal advice from experienced traffic lawyers is crucial for understanding individual circumstances and potentially mitigating penalties.

Preventing low PCA drink driving charges requires responsible decision-making and adherence to the law. The most effective approach is to avoid consuming alcohol before driving altogether, opting for alternative transportation when necessary. If drinking occurs, individuals must wait until they are completely sober. They can utilise personal breathalysers like BACtrack to ensure their BAC levels are within the legal limit. By doing these, drivers can avoid the consequences of low PCA charges.

0
    Shopping Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Shipping options will be updated during checkout.

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Driving Restrictions? (P Platers, Zero Tolerance etc)

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?