Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Holland Park 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 Holland Park Magistrate’s Court. Client was charged with high range, drink driving, repeat high range, drink driving. This time it was a reading of 0.0159. There was a previous about three years ago. That time it was a reading of 0.189. So, today it was 0.159 previous around three years ago of 0.189. Basically, for high-range drink driving, whether it’s a first offence or a repeat offence, there is no maximum. The magistrates got the power to give what’s called an absolute loss of licence. So, a lifetime loss of licence. Mandatory minimum for a first offence is six months. This obviously wasn’t a first offence. I didn’t act on the last occasion another lawyer acted. And for whatever reason, she ended up with 12 months on that occasion. Mandatory minimum for your second offence is 12 months. So, regardless of what you got last time if it’s your second high-range in five years, and I should clarify, high-range means 0.150 and above.
So, soon as you hit 0.150, you’re high-range. If you’re 0.149, you’re mid-range, and the penalties are different, but high-range kicks in at 0.150. This time, as I said, it was 0.159. So, just over into mid-range. Last time, 0.189, as I said, mandatory minimum six months for a first offence, 12 months for a second offence, and there is no maximum. So, technically the magistrate can give an absolute disqualification. And I do often see other persons who aren’t adequately represented getting two-plus years for second offences and even 18 months for a first offence. Work licence is not an option. So, to be eligible to apply for a DUI drink driving work licence, you must be low or mid-range. Low being 0.050 to 0.099. Mid being 0.100 to 0.149. You’ve got to either be in one of those two brackets.
There’s a number of other eligibility issues that you need to satisfy, but given my client wasn’t eligible because they were high-range, and that was their second DUI in five years, I won’t go into that any further. As far as preparing goes, I got my client to complete the reformatory course that we get all of our clients to do. It’s basically nine hours of intensive education and not just attendance, you’ve got to do an exam, and a part of the documents that I tender are your exam answers. Given there was legitimate underlying mental health issues, I got her to provide evidence of the steps that she’s taken or has been taking, to get back on top of those issues. Got her to get some references based on the template we provide all our clients. And I drafted written submissions to guide the magistrate in the event that they felt that something beyond a disqualification or fine was appropriate. I do see people with repeat high-range drink driving getting terms of imprisonment, albeit suspended for even their second offence.
So as a, I guess, break glass in case of emergency step, I always prepare submissions of the relevant case law in case the magistrate is of a different view to me as to whether or not simply a disqualification of fine is appropriate. Meaning they think something’s appropriate that’s more severe. So, imprisonment or probation or something like that. So, I did draught those. Met the client this morning. Grabbed a conference room, ran through my submissions, what they could expect myself, the magistrate, the prosecutor to say, I don’t like clients to go in blind. I want them to have a pretty good idea of what’s happening because they’ve already heard me run through them about it prior. Short version is, as I said, mandatory minimum for your second high-range in five years is 12 months. I won’t go into details about what she does for a living, but there was another aspect of the submission that I’ll touch on in a moment that I was successful in. I was successful in persuading the magistrate to stick to the minimum 12 months.
Again, she got 12 months last time, which wasn’t the minimum. It’s just what she got, but I wasn’t acting. This time it was the minimum, and I did get the minimum for her. Modest fine. And on top of that, the magistrate did think it appropriate not to record a conviction. So, mandatory minimum 12 months disqualification, modest fine, no conviction recorded. A conviction was recorded last time, which made that last aspect of the outcome, I won’t say unusual, but not expected. Yeah. Again, without sounding like a broken record, mandatory minimum 12 months, modest fine, no conviction recorded. Client’s as you would expect, very happy.
I’m Andrew Wiseman at Holland Park Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.