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.
  • Speeding.
  • 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

How expensive is the Traffic Offender Intervention Program?

There are different organisations authorised to conduct the program and prices vary, typically costing around $150-$200.  Previously, some providers have delivered the course free of charge.

What is the length of the program?

The course is usually delivered over two days, across two weeks. This is to allow time for you to self-reflect.

Am I eligible to participate?

You are eligible to be referred by the Local Court to participate in the TOIP if:

  • You are a “traffic offender”. This means that you have pleaded guilty to or have been found guilty before the Local Court, of an offence against road transport legislation,
  • You have not yet been sentenced for the traffic offence,
  • A suitable approved program is available for you to attend,
  • You enter an agreement to participate in the program, and
  • The court considers that you are suitable for participation in the program.

In determining your eligibility, the Local Court will consider:

  • The extent to which your character, criminal history, age, health, and any mental condition would prevent your participation in the program or disrupt the conduct of the program,
  • The nature of the offence you committed,
  • Any extenuating circumstances in which the traffic offence was committed,
  • The impact of the offence on the community and any victims,
  • Your history of convictions for traffic offences,
  • Whether you have previously participated in an approved traffic course, and
  • Any other matter the court considers relevant.

How do I attend the program?

You or your legal representative can apply for you to attend the TOIP. Alternatively, the magistrate may refer you of their own accord.  The magistrate can adjourn your case to give you time to complete the course.

The program is delivered by a number of approved program providers. You can find a list of registered providers on the NSW Local Court Traffic Offender Intervention Program webpage.

How can we help?

We are experienced in successfully defending drink driving and traffic offences in NSW.

Book a free consultation or call us on 1300 668 484 for 24/7 legal advice.