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Traffic Offences

Drink driving


Drink driving offences are amongst the most common cases to come before the Northern Territory Local Court. In a number of situations the police have the power to test the alcohol content in a person’s breath or blood to see if the person might have been driving with an unlawful amount of alcohol in their system. 


Blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) is measured by how many grams of alcohol would be present in 210 litres of the driver's breath, or in 100 millilitres of their blood. 


For a fully licenced person driving a normal vehicle the legal limit in the NT is a BAC of 0.05. “Medium Range” drink driving requires a reading of 0.08 BAC or more. The most serious category of drink driving is “High Range”, which will be charged where the driver is shown to have had a reading of 0.15 BAC or more. 


The penalties for drink driving can be serious. Each offence has the potential to attract prison sentences, mandatory license disqualifications, and/or Alcohol Ignition Lock (AIL) license conditions. 


The laws around the power of police to test drivers, the interpretation of the results, and the timing of those tests to prove the BAC at the time of driving can be complex. Expert legal advice is always recommended in order to ensure that the legal requirements were adhered to in your case.

Car Keys

Drug Driving


A person commits an offence in the NT if they drive with a prohibited drug in their system. It is not necessary for the person’s ability to drive to have been impaired by the drug. The tests used by police are sensitive enough to pick up small quantities of a drug in a person’s saliva even if the person feels sober and safe to drive. 


There are complicated laws surrounding when and under what circumstances a person can be required to provide a sample of their saliva to the police. The consequences of a positive reading can involve disqualification of your license or even prison time. Expert legal advice is recommended to ensure that all of the appropriate steps are taken in your case. 

Paying through the Car Window

Driving Unregistered and Without a Current Compensation Contribution


A vehicle’s compensation contribution is its compulsory third party insurance. These two offences are almost always charged together as the payment for a vehicle’s compensation contribution is a component of the registration payment. That is to say, if your car is unregistered it will also be without the compulsory insurance. 

Driving Unregistered carries a prison term as its maximum penalty. Driving Uninsured involves a significant mandatory fine.

This content is intended as general legal information only and should not be considered as legal advice relevant to any particular case. Territory Criminal Lawyers takes no responsibility or liability for any legal decisions based in whole or in part upon this legal information.

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