Court: Ipswich Magistrates Court
Date: March 2018
Our client was disqualified from driving in October 2016 as a result of a low-range drink-drive offence. In an eight month period our client was charged five times for driving whilst disqualified. In October 2017 our client was convicted of driving whilst disqualified by Court order and a suspended sentence was invoked. Our client was sentenced to four months imprisonment, released on parole on the day of sentence. One month after our client was convicted and whilst on parole, our client was again charged with driving under the influence and driving whilst disqualified by Court order.
Our client entered a plea of guilty after obtaining legal advice. Character references were tendered on his behalf. Our client’s good character and longstanding involvement in the community was well documented by his character references. In addition, submissions were made on our client’s exemplary work history in showing the court that absent our client’s traffic history he was an otherwise contributing member of society. A pre-sentence psychological report and alcohol rehabilitation attendances were tendered. Submissions were made that with adequate supervision and counselling our client’s risk of further re-offending could be minimised.
Submissions to prosecutions resulted in amendments to the circumstances of the driving under the influence offence, without which the penalty our client received would likely have been significantly greater.
In relation to the summary offences our client was convicted and fined $500.00. This amount was referred to the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry.
As a result of committing a further offence whilst on parole, our client’s parole was automatically cancelled with our client being ordered to serve the remaining three months of his previous sentence. In relation to our client’s sixth disqualified drive offence, he was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of four months, with a concurrent term of one month for driving under the influence. In effect this meant our client was sentenced to a period of seven months imprisonment. Whilst our client ultimately received a custodial sentence, as a result of our submissions the Court ordered that he be eligible to apply for parole on the day of sentence. In the circumstances this was an excellent result and allowed our client to immediately apply to the parole board for release.
A disappointing feature of this matter was that our client had appeared unrepresented on his first offence, unaware that he was potentially eligible for a work licence. Five of our client’s disqualified driving offences occurred in transit to and from work, something that could have been avoided with appropriate legal advice and a valid work licence. This highlights the necessity of obtaining legal advice prior to taking action in court.
It is a serious offence against the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act to drive a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol. The maximum penalty under s 79 of the Act is 28 penalty units or nine months imprisonment. This penalty increases to 60 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment for repeat offenders. The maximum penalty for driving whilst disqualified by Court Order is 60 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for contravening a direction is 110 penalty units or one years imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for fare evasion is 40 penalty units or six months imprisonment.
This is a summary of an actual case. Details have been omitted to protect the privacy of our client. We select cases which are informative and no guarantee is provided that similar results are achievable in all cases. Every case is different and you should obtain legal advice specific to your matter and circumstances.