David H Cohen & Co


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I’m Going to Lose my Licence but I Need it for Work, What can I do?


When you are charged with a traffic offence it may be your first appearance in Court. It can be threatening and unfamiliar.

With over 30 years of experience in assisting clients with their various traffic matters in NSW we can help you in preparing your case and appearing in Court for you. First we discuss your case in a conference, getting a statement from you on matters which may affect your charge such as your need for a licence. Other issues we can discuss include character references and the effect that losing your licence as well as a criminal conviction will have on your life. We can discuss all the options available to you in relation to your traffic matter.

What is the charge?

The Road Transport (Safety & Traffic Management) Act 1999 defines the offences which may apply relating to Drink Driving, Driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol, speeding and other dangerous driving charges and the penalties, disqualification periods which may be incurred.


The offence of Drink Driving is defined under the Road Transport (Safety & Traffic Management) Act 1999 (“The Act”).

Your licence may be disqualified or you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment.  It depends on the different categories of PCA (Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol) range recorded by the Police.

It is an offence for individuals with a prescribed concentration of alcohol to drive; attempt to drive or occupy the seat next to the holder of a learner licence who is driving a vehicle.


SECTION 10 and Keeping your licence

In some circumstances, the Court however is able to exercise a discretion not to impose any penalty but dismiss the charge under Section 10 of the Crime (Sentencing Procedure Act) 1999 and in doing so, there is no criminal conviction recorded and no disqualification or fine imposed.

We can advise you whether you about your matter and whether there is a chance of a Section 10. If you refer to the table set out below which provides different categories of drink driving offences and penalties you can see that there are a number of issues taken into account including whether it is a first offence.

Further there are a number of defences including the fact that you were not driving a motor vehicle, the breath analysis was taken at your home or outside the 2 hour time limit from when you were driving.

You can present characters references to the Court to demonstrate that the incident was totally out of character and an error of judgment. Your employer or a respected member of the community or a community association you are a member of, may be able to assist you in writing a reference to the Court.

You can also enrol in the Traffic Offenders Programme which helps to educate drivers about the impact, consequences and dangers of driving offences. If you have successfully completed such a course, the Court may take this into account when exercising its discretion in sentencing.

There is also an “Interlock Program” which allows you to drive even though a disqualification has been imposed. This is discussed after the table of charges. We can discuss this with you and see where your case fits.


If you have been convicted of a drink driving charge and received a disqualification of a driver’s licence, the Court may allow you to resume driving for the period of disqualification by allowing you to be involved in the Roads and Traffic Authority “Interlock Program” according to the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Interlock Devices) Act 2002.

The Application to enter into the Interlock Program is made to the sentencing court which will then make its determination about whether a person is eligible to enter that program.

The Court then specifies the full term of the disqualification period for the Defence and in doing so specifies the following:

1.            Reduce period of disqualification being the “disqualification compliance period”;

2.            Interlock participation period that prescribes the driver holds the interlock driver licence.


Alcohol Interlock Device

An alcohol interlock device is an electronic breath testing device connected to the ignition of a motor vehicle. Accordingly, the vehicle is not able to start unless the driver passes a breath test which is administered when the driver attempts to start the ignition.

The legislation requires a disqualification period and a minimum interlock participation period.


In New South Wales it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug (DUI). Six major drug driving offences are legislated in the Act:

1.            Having the presence of certain types of illegal substances in oral fluid, blood or urine

2.            Driving under the influence of drugs

3.            Refusing to submit to a drug test.

4.            Altering the amount of drugs before an oral fluid test

5.            Failing to supply blood or urine sample following a fatal accident.

6.            Failing on demand to provide sample of blood/urine, or alter result of drug in blood before test.

Possible outcomes from DUI charges include a fine, good behaviour bond, imprisonment, disqualification of licence or a Section 10 dismissal.

Each case is individual so talk to us so we can help you best deal with your matter. Contact us or visit our Sydney CBD office.


David H. Cohen & Co