Drink Driving

Charges: Careless Driving and Drink Driving, Exceed Prescribed Content of Alcohol (Ex PCA). Heidelberg Magistrates Court.

Facts: The client was a woman in her mid-fifties who had been driving for 36 years and had an impeccable driving record. She was travelling near Rosanna, when her vehicle collided with another vehicle, causing damage to both vehicles.

She was breath tested and recorded a blood alcohol reading of .186. She was charged and released and a Section 51 notice was served on her, which immediately suspended her driving license.

Results: Upon attending Heidelberg Court, we conducted a summary case conference with the prosecution, who agreed to accept pleas of guilty to two alternative charges, namely, Driving Too Close to a Vehicle and Ex PCA (section 49(1)f ). The charges of Driving Under the Influence and Careless Driving were withdrawn.

After hearing the plea in mitigation, the Magistrate recorded a finding of guilty without conviction. The client was fined $1200 and disqualified from driving for 18 months, effective from the date of the incident.

This was a great outcome for three reasons. Firstly, the Magistrate only took the client’s drivers licence for the minimum period of 18 months, backdated to the time of the Section 51 notice.

Secondly, our solicitor got the more serious charge of Driving Under the Influence withdrawn. Driving Under the Influence carries with it more severe penalties and a minimum period of 24 months off the road. The client did 6 months better than that.

Lastly, the solicitor also got the charge of Careless Driving withdrawn which carries 3 demerit points, relevant for when the licence is returned.