Challenging a driving fine: Learner or Provisional driver

Challenging a driving fine: P1, P2 & Learner Licences

Find out how penalties may be imposed when Learner and Provisional licence holders commit a traffic offence.

Driving offences‘ are a broad range of offences in New South Wales that the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) legislates. They include PCA (Prescribed Content of Alcohol) offences and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges.

A driver who accumulates seven (7) or more demerit points (P-2 driver) or 4 demerit points (P-1 or Learner driver), will find the that RMS will suspend their licence. They may appeal against the suspension.

Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA) limits for P1, P2 AND LEARNER LICENCE

  • Learner or provisional driver (L or P platers) – 0.0 – no alcohol
  • With an alcohol limit of 0, anything over that has classification as “NOVICE”.

Suspensions & Penalties

The demerit points system is a program that encourages safe and responsible driving. Its introduction means that there is a non financial as well as monetary penalty for offences.

Demerit points are penalty points that you get if you commit certain driving or riding offences. All drivers and riders start with zero demerit points. If you do not break any road rules, you continue to have zero demerit points.

  • Speeding offences for learner driver and P1 provisional driver which are at least 4 demerit points.
  • Higher speeding offences
    • If you are speeding by more than 30km/h, an additional 3 month suspension may be added
    • If you are speeding by more than 45km/h, a 6 month suspension may apply.
  • Mobile Phone offence: 4 demerit points 
  • If you drive while suspended:
    • If you drive while your licence is suspended you may receive heavy penalties. These range from a prison sentence and disqualification from driving.
  • A NSW Police officer can, at the time of issuing a Court Attendance Notice for a charge of a drink driving offence, immediately suspend your drivers licence for a period of 3 months.

  • If you have a suspension for unsafe driving behaviour holding  a P2 provisional driver licence – you will have to hold your P2 licence for an extra 6 months.

Appealing a suspension

If you choose to appeal, you must do it no later than 28 days after you receive a suspension or refusal notice. 

Whilst police powers continue to grow, you can appeal the issuing of immediate licence suspension and penalty notice by electing to have a magistrate in the Local Court determine the matter.

Should you receive an on the spot suspension and fine, we recommend that you speak with a driving offences lawyer to take steps to prepare your matter for Court. It’s critical to act quickly if you get an immediate licence suspension. This is because the suspension will remain in force, and you cannot lawfully drive until your matter finalises before court. Or your licence suspension period concludes (whichever being earlier).

Importantly, a Court has the discretion to impose differing periods of licence suspension and penalties for a drink driving offences. In some circumstances, if the Court does not record a conviction, no licence suspension follows.

What is the Court Process for appealing a suspension

What will the court take into account: 

  • the circumstances of the offence
  • the charged person’s traffic record
  • whether the charged person needs the licence for work, personal, other circumstances 

Potential outcome: 

  • appeal dismissed
  • appeal allowed
  • suspension will be varied

Our traffic lawyer expertise

Examples of how we have assisted clients in their traffic and driving cases can be found below. Click the Driving Offences Cases Box to find out more!

You can see by these that we have a wealth of experience in defending clients in a range of traffic and driving matters. Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281 to book a free initial appointment with an experienced criminal lawyer. Alternatively, you can drop us a message through our contact form.

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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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