What is heavy vehicle drink driving?

A “heavy vehicle” is a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass greater than 13.9 tonnes. This term is also used to refer to a motor vehicle with a trailer, where the gross vehicle mass is greater than 13.9 tonnes. It is important to understand that the mass of a vehicle means its “maximum loaded mass” as specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Heavily vehicle drivers are required to have a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than other fully licensed drivers. All heavy vehicle drivers must have a BAC of less than 0.02.


What are the penalties for heavy vehicle drink driving?

Heavy Vehicle Drink Driving Penalties NSW
First major offence within five years
Maximum fine$2,200
Minimum licence disqualification3 months
Automatic disqualification (in the absence of specific court order)6 months
Second major offence within five years
Maximum fine$3,300
Minimum licence disqualification under interlock order1 month
Maximum licence disqualification under interlock order3 months
Interlock period12 months

As set out in the above table, if this is your second or subsequent alcohol-related driving offence, you will be subjected to an interlock order. This means that an interlock device will be fitted to your vehicle, and you will not be able to turn on the engine unless you provide a breath sample free of any alcohol.

There are limited grounds upon which you can ask the court to consider you exempt from an interlock order. If the court makes an interlock exemption order, your licence will instead be disqualified for 12 months.


Traffic Offender Intervention Program

It might be appropriate for you to participate in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program. If you participate in this program, the court may take this into account when determining your sentence.


How can we help you?

We provide expert advice and representation to people facing heavy vehicle drink driving charges.

Contact us if you require assistance.

Heavy Vehicles and Drink Driving Articles