The offences involving dangerous driving are contained in s 52A Crimes Act 1900. There are two basic offences depending upon the consequences of the driving: s 52A(1) where death is occasioned, and s 52A(3), where grievous bodily harm is occasioned. There are aggravated forms of each of the basic offences. The matters of aggravation are set out in s 52A(7).
There is a defence available to any of the offences provided in s 52A(8).
There is a structure of offences that deal with occasioning death resulting from driving. Manslaughter “stands at the very pinnacle of that structure as the most serious offence” (The case of R v Robert Borkowski  NSWCCA 102).
Dangerous driving causing death
If you were driving intoxicated, at dangerous speed, or in a manner dangerous to the public and you caused you caused somebody to die, you will be guilty of this offence. Dangerous driving causing death s52A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.
To be guilty of this charge, the prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, all the following elements:
- Your vehicle was involved in an impact with another person;
- The impact resulted in death;
- You were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or you drove at a speed or in a way that was dangerous to others.
For your driving to be ruled dangerous it has to cause a real or potential danger to the public.
The maximum available sentence is life imprisonment.
Dangerous driving causing GHB
Grievous bodily harm is a serious injury. It is an injury that has significant effects, or that permanently disfigures or disables. If the person suffered major cuts or broken bones, you may be at risk of being charged with the dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
If the manner of your driving causes GBH, you are guilty of this offence and face up to seven years in prison or 11 years if the offence is aggravated.
Sec 52A(iii) of the Crimes Act states that a person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle
- Under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or
- At a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or
- In a manner dangerous to another person or persons.