Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Barcaldine Magistrates Court as he represents a client charged with Repeat 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 Barcaldine magistrates court. It’s about a one hour drive east of Longreach or three hours west of Emerald. I flew up from Brisbane Emerald yesterday and then drove three hours in a hire car as I said, west of Emerald to Barcaldine yesterday. Obviously stayed here last night, met the client this morning. Basically the client was charged with repeat drink driving, today his reading was a reading of 0.063, but compounding the matter within the last five years and about 18 months ago, in fact, he was charged with relevant drug present, meaning drug driving essentially. There’s two types of drug driving, the more serious is under the influence of drugs, meaning your high on drugs, but the less serious is relevant drug present, meaning the effects of worn off, but it’s still present in your system. So that’s what he received about 18 months ago.
So previous in the last five years, and because basically when you lose your licence you go on what’s called a probationary licence for 12 months, which is essentially zero blood alcohol. And he was still in that period when he got caught this time. So it was previous in the last five years whilst on a probationary licence, meaning supposed to be zero bloody alcohol.
He’s got other previous outside of the last five years. So two others, there was another 0.094 and a further 0.082. So this was his third drink driving specific to drink driving, but was his fourth drink slash drug driving offence. So basically the relevant legislation treats drug and drink driving the same when it comes to the type of offence and the penalty. So drink driving penalties are the same as drug driving penalties. So for all in intents and purposes, it was his fourth drink slash drug driving offence. So as I said, two previous drink driving, one previous drug driving. Because he had that previous in the last five years, worst case today was 18 months. So an 18 month loss of licence, mandatory minimum is three months. And if you’ve got a previous drink or drug driving in the last five years, or if you’ve lost your licence for any other reason in the last five years, you are not eligible to apply for a work licence.
So because of that previous relevant drug present in the last five years, he was not eligible to apply for a drink driving work licence. So my job was one of getting the disqualification down as low as possible. As I said, worst case 18 months, mandatory minimum three months. As far as preparing for today goes, I got my client to do the reformatory course that we get all of our clients to do. That can be done online. It’s essentially about a six hour online course, spread out over a number of days specific to road offending and fatalities. Magistrates really like hearing that people have done some kind of a reformatory course, particularly an in-depth one. I got him to get character references based on the template we provide all of our clients.
I prepared my submissions before flying up yesterday. We get our clients to complete an online form that gives us all the information we need about them as a person. So the magistrate needs to know who you are, who you ordinarily are and why this is out of character and basically why you should be treated differently to everyone else in the courtroom. So I base my submissions on the instructions that my client gave in that online form, as well as the verbal instructions I got from him. Met the client this morning at court, we grabbed… there’s not really any kind of the conference room at Barcaldine magistrates court, but we grabbed a bit of beach space outside the court. I ran through my submissions with my client and procedure, what he can expect to happen in the courtroom and what you can expect the prosecutor to say, the magistrate and myself.
Look the long and short of it is he lives, I’m not going to name the town because it’ll give too much information away about his identity, but he lives about an hour outside of Barcaldine. So Barcaldine itself is a regional location, no public transport. It’s not like my client worked in Brisbane CBD and lived in Fortitude Valley. We’re talking a person who has a driver’s licence dependent role and lives in a driver’s licence dependent location.
My job is to get this down as large as possible. I’m starting to go off track now, so I’ll just get to the point. I was able to persuade the magistrate that the mandatory minimum three months was appropriate. So my client got a three month disqualification and a modest fine. Ordinarily, well not ordinarily, if it’s your second drink driving in five years, when you get your licence back after your disqualification, you need to go on what’s called the interlock, which is basically a breathalyser that gets installed on your steering column for 12 months. But because of my client’s previous in the last five years wasn’t drink driving, it was drug driving, which has no relationship with the breathalyser that doesn’t trigger the interlock requirement. So fortunately for him, after his three months disqualification he won’t have to go on the interlock.
Yes, he’ll be zero blood alcohol for 12 months. But as I said, three months disqualification, in three months, get his licence back, he’ll be zero blood alcohol for 12 months, modest fine. Just summarising the offending there again. 0.063 with previous relevant drug in the last five years and then a previous 0.094 and a previous 0.082 outside of the five. Mandatory minimum three month disqualification given today out of a potential maximum 18 months. Client is very happy. I’m Andrew Wiseman, Barcaldine Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.