Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Normanton Magistrates Court as he represents a client charged with Drink Driving. Watch Andrew explain what happened in the courtroom, along with the outcome which he achieved and how he achieved it.
All right, today I’m at Normanton Magistrates Court in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Basically I had to transit yesterday. It’s about a two and a half hour flight from Brisbane and Mount Isa. Then I had to drive a hire car for close up to six hours north. Met the client this morning.
Basically they were charged with low-range drink driving but it was a reading of 0.098. So mid-range kicks in at .1, so 0.098 is obviously a fraction shy of mid-range. To put it in perspective the penalty range for mid-range is three to 12 months, so mandatory minute three months for mid-range kicking in at .1, worst case 12 months. But as I said with a reading of .098 my client was just shy of mid-range cutoff, so technically he was low-range. Penalty range for low-range is one to nine months. But, as I said, with a reading of .098 I’d be misleading someone to suggest that I would get it down to one month. I have done in the past but I don’t make any kind of assurance in that regard. So, as I said, technically worst case was nine months, technically mandatory was one month, but realistically if I could have got this down to two months with that reading that would have been a very good outcome. And, as I said, worst case is technically nine months.
My client had a number of concerns. I should state that he was eligible to apply for a DUI drink driving work licence but for a number of reasons he decided not to go ahead with it. Just in summary to be eligible to apply for a DUI drink driving work licence you can’t have lost your licence for any reason in the last five years; you must be the holder of an open Queensland licence; and, as I said, there’s a number of prerequisites.
He satisfied all of those but one of the things that you need to provide when applying for, as I said, a DUI drink driving work licence is an affidavit from your employer stating that you will lose your job if you lose your licence; which is fine if that’s the case but understandably employers aren’t willing to sign misleading affidavits, nor should they, and I most certainly don’t encourage it. And that was the case here. He’s too much of a valuable member of the team, and for the employer to sign an affidavit saying he’d lose his licence would have been an out and out lie, and it would have been tantamount to perjury if they had have signed an affidavit stating that.
So basically despite eligibility he didn’t want to apply for a work licence, so my job was one of getting the disqualification down as low as possible. As a bit of a side issue this is not a criminal matter, it’s a traffic matter, so there never going to be a criminal conviction. There was only ever going to be a traffic conviction but for whatever reason some people aren’t too keen on having recorded traffic convictions and for that reason I alluded to the consequences that might have arisen in preparing [inaudible] submissions.
In any event I asked my client to complete a reformatory course, given he’s in Normanton he couldn’t attend one in Southeast Queensland, so I asked him to do it online. Got him to get some character references based on a template we provide all of our clients. As I said, transited up here yesterday; met the client in court this morning; ran through everything, the procedure, what he could expect myself to say, the magistrate, the prosecutor. We went in. I made pretty forceful submissions. I kept them short and sweet but I didn’t waste the magistrates time on the consequences that the loss of a licence would have on my client, notwithstanding the fact that we weren’t applying for a work licence.
Look, the long and short of it is I was successful in persuading the magistrate not to go past two months. So my client received a two month disqualification, which for in my view a reading of .098 is a very good outcome, but in addition to that I was also successful in persuading the magistrate not to record a conviction. So a two month disqualification, minor fine, no conviction recorded, client’s very happy. I’m Andrew Wiseman in Normanton in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Thanks for watching.