Offences: Drink driving (0.16%) – driving while under the influence of alcohol pursuant to section 79(1)(a) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act.
Court: Caboolture Magistrates Court
Solicitor: Jack Bendall
Date: September 2021
Police responded to a traffic crash on a busy highway. Upon arrival, police observed significant damage to the front of the vehicle and located our client in the drivers seat.
Our client was subsequently charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol with a reading of 0.16%.
Our client sought our advice prior to the first mention of his matter. At that time our client raised concerns regarding potential consequences that may arise following a conviction of this charge.
Firstly, our client raised serious concerns regarding a lengthy licence disqualification period, noting that he may need a licence for work purposes in the near future.
Secondly, out client raised concerns regarding the status of his visa, noting that he was residing in Australia on a temporary visa and was concerned that a conviction could jeopardise his ability to retain it.
At this time we provided detailed advice to our client regarding our client’s concerns by addressing as the charge itself, the circumstances surrounding the offence and options available to him.
We advised that the court must impose a minimum 6 month licence disqualification, and that our client would be subject to the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program following the disqualification period. We addressed aggravating factors that surrounded the charge, in particular that our client had caused significant damage to his own vehicle and was taken to hospital to attend to injuries he sustained, and advised that the Court could impose a much lengthier disqualification period.
To address these aggravating factors we advised our client to undertake the QTOP program to increase his understanding of his social commitments, traffic laws and the serious consequences that can result from drink driving.
Submissions at Court
Mr Bendall appeared for our client at first mention of his matter. Our client pleaded guilty at this time and Mr Bendall provided detailed submissions to the court.
Mr Bendall noted from the outset that our client considered himself fortunate that no one was killed as a result of the crash and outlined that significant impact that our client will suffer due to the loss of his licence.
Mr Bendall noted extensive mitigating factors on our client’s behalf, including:-
Mr Bendall ultimately submitted that the appropriate penalty in the circumstances was a fine and the mandatory minimum period of six months driver licence disqualification. Mr Bendall also urged the court to exercise their discretion not to record a conviction for the offence.
The Court’s Decision
The Court ultimately accepted Mr Bendall’s submissions and imposed the following orders:-
This was an exceptional result in the circumstances and illustrates the benefits of seeking advice from experienced lawyers who can provide timely, accurate advice and prepare and present persuasive arguments in court to ensure the best possible result can be obtained.
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.