If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a traffic offence, the court may give you a more lenient sentence if you participate in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program. If you complete the course, a certificate will be sent to the court and it can be considered by the magistrate when determining your sentence.
What does the NSW Traffic Offenders Program teach you?
The Traffic Offender Intervention Program (TOIP) is a Local Court-based educational program targeting traffic offenders.
The aim of the TOIP is to communicate the consequences of bad driving and poor decisions. Participants are provided with the information and skills necessary to develop safer driving behaviours and positive attitudes towards driving.
The course usually covers topics such as:
- The legal system.
- Substance abuse (alcohol and other drugs).
- Organ donation.
- Victims of traffic accidents.
- Defensive driving.
- Sentencing options.
At the completion of the course, a certificate is sent to the sentencing court. The court will consider whether the person has gained insight into their behaviour through the program, and this can impact the sentencing outcome.
Who attends the TOIP?
Magistrates will often require offenders who have been found guilty of a traffic offence in NSW Local Courts to attend the TOIP. Relevant traffic offences may include
- Drink driving.
- Drug driving.
- Disqualified, suspended or cancelled driving.
- Dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.
We often recommend that our traffic clients attend the program.
What are the benefits of attending the program?
The potential benefits of attending the TOIP have been recognised by the Court of Criminal Appeal in the Guideline Judgment for High Range Drink Driving, acknowledging that:
- The course may have educational value,
- There is a degree of humiliation for the people that have to attend the course, and
- The “offender” may be made to appreciate the consequences of their conduct.
Participation in the program will not guarantee that a charge will be dismissed with a section 10. However, it may impact upon the ultimate fine and period of disqualification imposed.