Special-range PCA (Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol) Charges
These charges are applied to drivers who are professionals, such as truck, taxi or bus drivers. During the time of offence, if a breath test shows the level of blood alcohol to be between 0.02 and 0.05, these classes of professional drivers will be charged for Special-range PCA.
The maximum level of blood alcohol allowed for professional drivers is 0.02, and that’s why if the reading falls between 0.02 and 0.05 during the breath test, it is considered a serious breach of the applicable limit.
In any case, the charges may result in harsh penalties which may include a monetary fine up to $2,200 and suspension of licence for 12-months. These penalties can negatively impact your life, especially your work life. Your case might be transferred to court and a good Sydney traffic lawyer can help to reduce your penalties and even section 10 can lead to the dismissal of charges.
Special-range PCA: Defending the charge
People who are professional drivers or hold a P-Plate or L-Plate licence can face Special-range PCA offences even when not “under the alcohol’s influence”. As each PCA case undergoes court proceedings, you can experience leniency in drink driving charges when handled by legal representative. In case of self-representation, the court does not show any leniency.
Challenge the result
The PCA charges are imposed on people who are caught driving a vehicle when their blood alcohol level is found to be beyond the limit of licence. Professional drivers have a limit of 0.02 and P-Plate or L-Plate holders have a limit of 0.00. So, harsh treatment can’t be overruled by court if the reading of blood alcohol is found between 0.02 to 0.05. If the reading falls between 0.00 and 0.02, leniency can be expected.
However, the test results of blood alcohol are not always exact. Blood alcohol levels change over time, and visiting a police station or RBT for more testing may also consume time. Your level of blood alcohol may be 0.00 at starting and might spike up while driving.
You can challenge these readings in court because it can lead to reduced penalties and there remain chances that your charges will be dismissed. A Section 10 will save you and if it is your first offence, you are most likely to be leniently treated.
Some other options to defend for PCA charges of Special-range
- This one is hard to prove but with good character references, you can argue and prove that your blood alcohol level was 0.00 or below 0.02 when the test was held.
- If more than 2 hours have passed since you drove the vehicle, you can’t be forced by police to take a breath test. If tested after 2 hours, court will dismiss the evidence.
- A good drink driving lawyer can also take the help of “at home rule”, “duress” or “emergency” rules to defend you.
What all you can show
- Circumstances of offence like when and what quantity of alcohol was consumed and what kind of food was eaten.
- Your traffic record and character.
- Other relevant matters like how your work and life will be affected with criminal record or suspended licence.