If you have had your licence suspended by a Court in the Northern Territory you may need to complete a Drink Driver Education course before you can get your licence back. Depending on whether it is your first or second offence and how high your blood alcohol content is, will determine if you need to complete one or two units of the course. The purpose of the course is to reduce the incidence of drink driving, change driver behaviour and reduce recidivism, enhance road safety and encourage those who have alcohol problems to seek assistance.
What does the drink driver education course consist of?
The course consists of two units. The first unit goes for one and half days, while the second unit is an additional half a day. There are many providers throughout the Northern Territory depending on your location, and the course must be booked directly with them. The locations include Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Central Dessert Shire, MacDonnell Shire, Roper Gulf Shire, Victoria Daly Shire, Barkly Shire, West and East Arnhem Shires and Tiwi Islands. The prices vary between providers, but are around $250 for unit 1 and $70 for unit 2. The course can be completed at any time during your suspension period, so it is a good idea not to leave it to the last minute. The courses are only held at certain times throughout the year, and in some instances there may be a waiting period to attend.
The aims of the course is motivate you to change offending behaviour, inform you about the laws, encourage you to understand the effects of drink driving on the wider community, help you to build skills and strategies to avoid similar situations, inform you of the effects of alcohol on the body, and to provide access to support services if required. At the course you will be breath tested and must return a 0.0% reading, if you fail you will not be able to attend and will have to rebook. You will also be assessed either verbally or in writing during the course. At the completion of the course you will be given a certificate to show which units you have completed.
Who has to do the drink driver education course?
The table below outlines which units you will need to complete depending on which offence you have committed.
|Offence||Blood Alcohol Content||1st Offence||2nd Offence|
|Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||Any Level||Unit 1||Units 1 & 2|
|Low range||0.05% to 0.08%||If court ordered||If court ordered|
|Medium range||0.08% to 0.15%||Unit 1||Units 1 & 2|
|High range||0.15% +||Units 1 & 2||Units 1 & 2|
|Refusing to give a breath sample||Any level||Units 1 & 2||Units 1 & 2|
How do I get my licence back?
Once you have served the suspension period and completed the driver education course, you can take the certificate you received to any Motor Vehicle Registry or remote police station to reapply for your licence. In most instances when you get your licence back you will be on the same type of licences as before. However, if you have had your licence suspended for more than 5 years you will have to pass the road rules test for your L plates and a driving test to get your licence back, which may require you to be on P plates. If you are under 25 and not held a licence for three years you will also have a condition placed on your licence which will require you to have a 0.0% BAC. If this is your second drink driving offence the court may also have ordered that you have an alcohol ignition lock placed on your vehicle for a certain period. For more information about whether you need to complete the drink driver education course, or if other licence conditions will be imposed, you can call the MVR on 1300 654 628.