Northern Territory Drink Driving Law

Published in May 29, 2015 Updated on Dec 12, 2022 4 min read 228 views

Drink Driving Lawyers Northern Territory

In most cases drink driving in the Northern Territory will result in a loss of licence. There is no special work licence available if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, if you are charged with drink driving it could affect your employment, and ability to earn a living. Almost all drink driving offences in the Northern Territory will result in you having to appear in the Magistrates Court. 

On your first appearance you will receive the Charge, the Precis which sets out the alleged facts, and a copy of your criminal record. These documents should be reviewed by a lawyer, as they will determine how you plead, type of penalty, the minimum licence disqualification period, and whether you should admit to all the facts.

Penalties and Suspensions DUI in NT

There are a range of fines, and suspension periods for drink driving, which depend on your blood alcohol level after your breath test, and your traffic history.  For first time offenders with a low range drink driving offence, which is between 0.05 and 0.08, you may only receive a fine by way of a traffic infringement notice, and won’t have to go to court, nor will you lose your licence as there is no compulsory disqualification period. For subsequent offences the suspension period will be between 3 to 6 months, with a possibility of 6 months imprisonment. 

There is a compulsory licence disqualification of a minimum of 6 months for medium range drink driving offences, which relates to those with a blood alcohol level of between .08 and .150. Subsequent offences will result in a 24 months licence suspension, or 12 months licence suspension and 12 months with a compulsory alcohol ignition interlock. High range drink drivers with a blood alcohol of over .15 can expect to lose their licence for 12 months for their first offence, and up to 30 months for subsequent offences.

You can also elect to serve 18 months suspension and 12 months with an alcohol ignition interlock. If it has been less than 3 years since your last offence you will incur a compulsory suspension of 5 years.  If you are an L or P plate driver, or under the age of 18, then your blood alcohol level is meant to be zero. If you are caught driving you will receive a suspension of between 3 to 6 months.

There is no special work licence in the Northern Territory for a DUI offence.

Drink Driver Program NT

All drink driving offenders, except low range, have to complete a drink driver program known as Back on Track, before they can reapply for their licence. There are two components to the course. Whether you need to complete both modules will depend on your blood alcohol reading, and your previous history.  The list of accredited course providers, and their locations can be found on the Department of Transport’s website.  The Back on Track Drink Driver Program is designed to educate, and change attitudes and behaviour of drink driving offenders.

Unit 1 costs approx. $250.00 and is covered over a day and a half. Unit two costs and approx. an additional $70, and is completed in half a day.  The fees will vary between course providers, and so may the length of time it takes to complete the course.  You can do the course at any time during your suspension period. When your suspension is finished you must take the course certificate into the Motor Vehicle Registry before you will be issued with a new licence.

Interlock Scheme NT

As a range of initiatives to increase road safety in the Northern Territory, all repeat drink driving offenders, except those with a low range offence, will participate in the Alcohol Ignition Lock Program (AIL).  This program requires you to have an electronic breath testing device connected to the ignition of your car. A microcomputer within the AIL system will prevent your car from being started if it detects alcohol on your breath.  While you are driving the AIL may sound an alarm which will require you to pull over, and perform a retest.

You will also have to take your vehicle in for the AIL to be serviced at regular intervals. All failed results are recorded, and if five or more within a month you will be required to attend a service centre for a violation service.  At the end of your AIL period the number of violations will be reviewed, and you may be required to have the interlock on for an extended period of time.  The cost of the interlock installation, removal, and scheduled serving varies between suppliers, and you should check the costs and requirements before agreeing to participate in the AIL program.

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