A ‘major offence’ is relevant to traffic offences. The definition of a major offence is found in section 4 of the Road Transport Act (see below).
It’s important to know whether an offence is a major offence, because it affects the penalty imposed by a Court. For example, if you’ve previously committed a major offence, such as negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm, it will mean that the penalty is more serious for a future traffic offence, such as mid range drink driving. As a result, the drink driving offence becomes a “second or subsequent offence”. Therefore, the maximum penalty increases from $2,200 and 9 months imprisonment, to $3,300 and 12 months imprisonment.
Major Offence Road Transport Act Definition
A major offence includes the following:
- A driving offence that resulted in the death or bodily harm of another
- High range drink driving, mid range drink driving, low range drink driving and novice range or special range drink driving
- Driving with a prohibited drug present in blood
- Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a prohibited drug
- Negligent driving occasioning death or grievous bodily harm
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