Glossary – Criminal & Traffic

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  • Owner Onus Principle– You as the owner  of a motor vehicle will be deemed to be guilty of all offences (including parking and speeding offences) involving your vehicle unless it can be proven your vehicle was either stolen or unlawfully used; you supply the operator of the vehicle at the relevant time; or you supply evidence that the identity of the person in charge of the vehicle at the relevant time is not able to be ascertained.
  • Driving under the Influence (DUI): DUI’s are administered in situations where it is not possible to get an accurate reading of your blood alcohol level due to factors including too much time elapsing between your driving of a vehicle and the breath test being administered, the police suspect you have been driving on a road whilst intoxicated and the police were unable to obtain a breath or blood sample or because the reading was inconclusive. DUI’s are not always alcohol related- they can be brought where the police believe a person has been driving under the influence of any illegal drug or intoxicating substance.
  • Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA): A PCA will be issued where an individual is found to have a blood/alcohol level which exceeds legally permissible levels following a formal breath analysis by Police or a Hospital blood test.
  • Driving under the influence of Drugs: It is an offence for a person whilst there is present in his or her oral fluid, blood or urine any prescribed illicit drug, morphine or cocaine to drive a motor vehicle; occupy the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the vehicle in motion; or occupy the seat of a motor vehicle next to the holder of a learner licence who is driving the vehicle.
  • Careless Driving: It is an offence to drive a vehicle without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road. A person must not drive on a road negligently or furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public. The level of care and attention required is taken to be the level that a reasonable and prudent driver would exercise in the circumstances.
  • Demerit Points: Driver’s in NSW are regulated by a point penalty system. Each fully licensed driver is awarded 12 points. Points are deducted from a driver for every indiscretion, with the number of points dependant on the severity of the infringement.  On declared periods usually around public holiday long weekend periods the demerit points for all speeding, seat belt, child restraint and helmet offences are doubled, and all other offences increase by 1 demerit point.
  • Speeding: You will be deemed to be speeding if your vehicle is travelling in excess of the proscribed legal limit.
  • Jay-Walking: Failure to use designated pedestrian cross walks to obey pedestrian traffic signals.
  • Occupant: Person or persons inside a motor vehicle irrespective of whether the motor vehicle is in motion.
  • Breathalyzer: A device used by Police offices which indicates a persons blood/alcohol level.
  • Special Hardship License: Application made to the court when you have accumulated too many demerit points to enable you to keep driving for work purposes.
  • Disqualified Driving: offence of driving when your license has been suspended or revoked.
  • Work License: Application made to the court when you have been caught drink driving to enable you to keep driving for work purposes.
  • Driver Disqualification: The court cancels your licence and orders you not to drive.
  • Drug Impairment Assessment: A test that police can order an individual to do if they suspect you are driving whilst affected by drugs.
  • Infringement Notice: Money you have to pay for minor offences including parking and traffic offences (also known as ‘on the spot’ fines).
  • Court Attendance Notice: formal notice to a person charged with a criminal or traffic offence to attend court to answer the charges. Court attendance notice can be issued for a wide variety of criminal and traffic offences.