What is Special Range Drink Driving / PCA?

Special Range Drink Driving / 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 Drink Driving / PCA?

Potential penalties for this offence include:

First major offence within 5 years
Maximum fine $1,100
Minimum disqualification 3 months
Automatic disqualification 6 months
Second major offence within 5 years
Maximum fine $2,200
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. Our expert drink driving lawyers 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.

More information about Traffic Offender Intervention Program


Interlock program

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.

More information about the Interlock program


What happens next when charged for Special Range Drink Driving / PCA?

If you have been charged with a Special Range Drink Driving / PCA 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.