What is Special Range PCA?
Special Range PCA is a lesser-known offence, and applies to certain drivers who are caught with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 up to 0.05. These include:
- Taxi drivers.
- Bus drivers.
- Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
- Heavy vehicle drivers (exceeding 13.9 tonnes).
- Drivers who are disqualified or suspended.
- Drivers whose licence has been cancelled.
- Anyone who has not been granted a licence.
- Learner licence holders.
- Provisional P1 or P2 licence holders.
What are the penalties for Special Range PCA?
Potential penalties for this offence include:
|First major offence within 5 years|
|Minimum disqualification||3 months|
|Automatic disqualification||6 months|
|Second major offence within 5 years|
|Minimum disqualification under Interlock||1 month|
|Maximum disqualification under Interlock||3 months|
|Interlock period||12 months|
Disqualification periods will be harsher if you are exempted from the Interlock program, however the courts rarely grant an exemption.
How severe is the charge against you?
The courts may take a dim view of professional drivers who have been charged with drink driving. As with any drink driving offence, the fines and loss of licence are punitive. A conviction can also prevent you from getting certain types of jobs or even travelling to certain countries. Nyman Gibson Miralis can assist you with an application to avoid a conviction under section 10.
Traffic Offender Intervention Program
The Traffic Offender Intervention Program is a voluntary course that is designed to provide information on traffic laws, and the consequences of breaking them. Participation in the course is taken into account by the court when deciding on penalties.
If you have committed a second Special Range PCA offence in five years, the court will require you to have an Interlock device fitted to your vehicle. The device will stop you from being able to turn your ignition on if you have alcohol on your breath, and is installed for 12 months.
What happens next?
If you have been charged with this offence, particularly if you drive for a living and therefore rely on your licence, it’s vital to seek legal advice immediately.
At Nyman Gibson Miralis, one of our drink driving lawyers can explain the penalties you might face, and provide advice on potential defences and any action you should take once you have been charged.