Failing to Stop & Drink Driving
Facts: The client was driving home from the pub after drinking far too much alcohol. Upon being directed to stop at a booze bus, the client panicked and drove off at speed.
He overtook another motorist, misjudged a corner and, driving straight in front of oncoming traffic, went through somebody’s front fence before coming to a stop. The car coming from the other direction narrowly missed the client as he ploughed into the fence.
Result: This was about as serious as it gets in relation to a drink driving incident, short of someone being seriously hurt. The summary of facts spoke for itself and there was little we could do to minimise what would be put to the Court.
Fortunately we were able to resolve the charges in a manner favourable to the client. The police had charged the client under section 49(1)(d) of the Road Safety Act which automatically means 24 months off the road for a first offence.
Following the negotiations it was agreed police would withdraw that charge and proceed on a Drink Drive charge combined with a Dangerous Driving and Evade Police charge instead. This was in the client’s interests because although evading police and dangerous driving each attract mandatory minimum periods off the road of 6 months respectively, these will always be served concurrently with (at the same time as) any disqualification imposed in relation to the drink driving matter.
For the drink driving, the client had to be off the road for a mandatory minimum of 18 months. Prior to Court the client was also advised to pay for the damage he had caused to the fence and obtain proof of his own car being a write off. The client was also asked to attend a road trauma awareness seminar.
By resolving issues in the above manner, the Court was satisfied that the client not only took these matters very seriously but also that he had suffered significant loss and had therefore been deterred from ever committing an offence like this again.
The client very luckily received the minimum time of 18 months off the road and received a $1000 fine.