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Caught drug driving? You need an experienced drug driving lawyer

If you have been charged with drug driving in Melbourne, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. A drug driving infringement can result in your license being immediately suspended or cancelled, affecting your future and the lives of those you love.

Even if you haven't used drugs recently, they can still be present in a driver's system for days or even months. This means that drug driving charges often catch our clients by surprise.

We can help clients charged with drink or drug driving in Melbourne, along with any other traffic law offence. With so much on the line, we're dedicated to bringing you the best legal advice and representation, making sure your best interests are always looked after.

Need legal advice now? Call 03 8590 8370 to book your free consultation with a drug driving lawyers in Melbourne today!

What are drug driving offences?

According to the Road Safety Act 1986, it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Unlike with alcohol, you cannot have any amount of drugs in your system.

Drug driving laws are outlined in Section 49 of the Road Safety Act. The 'prescribed illicit drugs' is defined in Section 3(1) as methylamphetamine, MDMA and cannabis. Certain prescription drugs may also impact a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle; if you are impaired by any drug to such an extent that you are unable to maintain proper control, you will be charged with a drug driving offence.

Drug driving charges may include:

(1)(ba) Driving while impaired by a drug

(1)(bb) Driving with any amount of prescribed illicit drugs in the blood or oral fluid

(1)(ca) Refusing a drug impairment assessment

(1)(eb) Refusing to give oral sample

(1)(h) Testing positive for prescribed illicit drug within 3 hours after driving (Oral sample)

(1)(i) Testing positive for prescribed illicit drug within 3 hours after driving (Blood sample)

(1)(j) Testing positive for prescribed illicit drug and exceeding alcohol limits within 3 hours after driving (Blood sample)

This means that it is not only driving under the influence of drugs that can get you in trouble – if you refuse roadside drug testing from police officers, you may also be charged. If you have both drugs and alcohol in your system, you may be charged with drink and drug driving.

What is the sentence for driving on drugs?

The Victoria police and legal system take drug driving offences very seriously. To decrease drug driving, the government has put severe drug offence penalties in place.

If you are found guilty, the maximum penalty may involve fines, imprisonment, licence suspension and a criminal record. The different drug driving penalties are outlined below.

For a first drug driving offence, you may receive:

  • Immediate license suspension
  • A minimum of 12 months license cancellation
  • A fine of 12 penalty units
  • Potential conviction recorded

For a second offence, you may receive:

  • Immediate licence suspension
  • A minimum of 2 years license cancellation
  • A fine of 120 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment
  • Potential conviction recorded

For any subsequent drug driving offences, you may receive:

  • Immediate licence suspension
  • A minimum of 2 years license cancellation
  • A fine of 180 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment
  • Potential conviction recorded

If you are charged with failing a roadside drug test, the maximum penalties are as follows:

  • First offence (Infringement notice) –
  • A fine of 3 penalty units and a 6 month license suspension
  • First offence (Court summon) – A fine of 12 penalty units, a minimum 6 month license suspension and a potential conviction recorded
  • Second offence – A fine of 60 penalty units, a minimum 12 month license suspension and a potential conviction recorded
  • Subsequent offences –A fine of 120 penalty units, a minimum 12 month license suspension and a potential conviction recorded

Do I need a lawyer for drug driving?

While it isn't mandatory, consulting an experienced drug driving lawyer will give you the best chances of a successful outcome. As this is a very serious offence, you'll want the expert advice and support a lawyer can provide.

What court deals with drug driving?

If you are charged with drug driving, your case will be heard in the Magistrates Court.

How do I get out of a drug driving charge in Victoria?

There are a few defences you can use in order to lessen or avoid drug driving charges. These include:

  • The drug found in your system was a legal drug prescribed by a doctor and you had no awareness that it could impact your driving
  • The police officer who took your saliva sample did not follow proper procedure
  • The blood test or saliva test was conducted more than 3 hours since you last drove

Your criminal lawyer will explore the circumstances of your case to determine how to best defend you.

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

Depending on the evidence against you and other circumstances, a guilty plea may result in a lighter sentence and save the cost of court. Our experienced criminal lawyers will go through all of your options with you to ensure that you can make the best decision for yourself and your loved ones.

Talk to an experienced criminal lawyer today

Need help with drug driving, drink driving, or any other criminal or traffic law area? Our team is here to help! We strive to be the best drug driving lawyers in Melbourne, helping our clients get the best outcome possible for their cases.

To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with our criminal defence lawyers, call 03 8590 8370 or use our online contact form here.

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