Infringement notices and demerit points
Infringement notices are another enforcement tool. They impose administrative fines and are a cheaper and faster alternative to prosecution for breaches of the regulations.
Because they still require the criminal standard of evidentiary proof and may require further investigation, they are generally only issued for strict liability offences. Enforcement Manual, Chapter 8 - Infringement Notices - (Administrative Fines)
If a holder of a civil aviation authorisation, served with an infringement notice (AIN), chooses to pay the fine they will incur demerit points but will not be subject to any further criminal proceedings in relation to that offence.
If a recipient of an AIN elects to have the matter dealt with by the court, it will be open to the prosecutor to charge the recipient with other offences arising out of the same matter. If convicted or found guilty, a holder will incur demerit points in relation to each offence.
The Demerit Points Scheme is a system set up under Division 3D of Part III of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and provides a staged approach for dealing with a holder who has multiple, or repeated, breaches of strict liability, regulatory offences. Under the Scheme, demerit points are incurred for such breaches on payment of a fine under an infringement notice or on a conviction or finding of guilty by a court. After a predetermined number of points have been accumulated within a specified period of time, all the holder’s authorisations, of that particular class, must be suspended or cancelled. As the period within which accumulation of demerit points may be counted against the holder is determined by the legislation, this largely removes the scope of CASA’s discretion. Enforcement Manual, Chapter 10 – Demerit Points Scheme