Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Proserpine 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 Proserpine Magistrates Court, about 20 minutes inland from Airlie Beach. Client was charged with repeat DUI drink driving. Reading a 0.083 was his fifth drink driving offence. He had previous, quite a bit of previous. Last one was 0.168, it’s a high range. He had two other high ranges both, strangely enough, dead on 0.157. And there was also a previous mid range, reading a 0.103. So yeah, he had three previous high range, one previous mid range. This was a low range. So basically, low range starts at 0.05 and goes up to 0.009. Mid range starts at 0.100 goes up to 0.149, and high range kicks in at 0.150.
So as much as my job is one of getting the disqualification down as long as possible, it was also making sure, one of making sure that nothing worse happened. So as you can imagine with repeat drink driving, you’re getting into jail territory. So as I said, as much as my job was one of minimising the disqualification, it was one of ensuring that that and the fine only was all that happened. I won’t get into it now, but there’s a number of options available to magistrate. If they want to give harsher penalties, namely imprisonment, which can be handed down in various forms, or probation or stuff like that. But again, I’m not going to go into that now.
That said, his previous was outside of the last five years. So within the last five years, he had no history of DUI drink driving. But that said, he did have a previous demerit point suspension that time so he was not eligible to apply for a DUI drink driving work licence. To be able to apply for a DUI drink driving work licence, you can’t have lost your licence for any reason the last five years. Because he had, due to the demerit points, that just simply wasn’t an option.
Given the previous drink driving was again outside of the last five years, the penalty range is as if you don’t have previous. I mean, the magistrate still obviously has mind of the previous, but the Fixed Monetary Penalties don’t move. So worse case today was a nine months of loss of licence. I mean, magistrate still have a general discretion to give more than that, but the relevant section gives a maximum of nine months and manage to a minimum of one month. But again, his reading was quite up there for a low range 0.083, so you’re getting close to the mid range. So obviously, halfway between 0.05 and 0.090 is 0.175, and he was 0.083. So he sort of on the wrong side of the halfway mark, plus, he had all that previous. So anyway, as far as preparing goes, I got him to do the course that we get everyone to do. It can be done online now. Basically, it’s over three evenings, about nine hours worth of online content, got him to get some references.
Just as a side issue, today was a bit of a comedy of errors of such. The regular magistrate called in 6:00, so it was very much looking like I was going to have to fly back up here which would’ve been a problem for me because we offer fixed fees. So if I had to come up twice, it would’ve been my cost not the clients. But what ended up happening was Brisbane Magistrate appeared via video links. So ironically, I flew up from Brisbane to Proserpine, and the Magistrate appeared by video link from Brisbane to deal with the matter. But in any event, magistrates are human, they get you like everyone else. If you got to have a sick day, you got to have a sick day. But I guess what I’m getting at is, for a while there it was looking like I was going to have to fly back without an outcome. And either fly back to Proserpine on a later date, or you try to appear by phone or something like that, which I don’t like doing because you can only be so effective by phone.
In my view, you really need to be there in person to be able to gauge the room and gauge the magistrate, gauge the prosecutor. And it’s more than just words being spoken down a phone line, the art of persuasions, about being present rather than phoning it in for of a better description. But in any event, got my client to do the course, handed up the documents. The references that I provided from the client, the Proserpine Registry faxed down to Brisbane, so the magistrate down there could read them while they’re seeing to me via video link.
I made a submission to the magistrate that notwithstanding his history in the reading that the disqualification of six weeks would be appropriate. A lot of people seem to think that the magistrates must give units of one month, that’s not the case. They can give six weeks or 10 weeks, whatever. I pushed that quite forcefully but the magistrate, given the history, given the reading, wasn’t going to budge any lower than two months. And to be fair, given my client’s reading and history, that’s a… I’m happy with that outcome, so was my client.
I don’t think he reasonably expected it to be a month, which is they manage to a minimum. And even though I sort of alluded to it, my submissions, I seriously didn’t expect to get it either. But the bottom line is he’s got a two months disqualification fine only. There was nothing more serious given as in probation or imprisonment, suspended or otherwise. So obviously he’s off the road, he’s going to have to make alternative arrangements during the two month period, but obviously he’s done it before with his previous offending, he’ll do it again. And yeah, gets to got home to his family, put it behind him, move on. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Proserpine Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.