#176 Moranbah Drink Driving

25 Oct 2021  •  20 Views  •  4 Likes

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Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Moranbah 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 Moranbah Magistrates Court. It’s about a two hour drive west of Mackay. So I flew up last night, drove to Moranbah this morning. Client was charged with their fifth drink driving offence, second in five years. So the current charge was reading a 0.099. The more recent one in the last five years was 0.072 and then there was four others outside of the last five years. So going backwards in date of, from most recent going back, it was 0.058 in 2014, 2013 there was a 0.070. What else? There Was a 0.160, which is a high range back in 2007 and a 0.050 in 2005. So fifth in total today, second in five years, penalty wise, because it’s the second low range in five years. So low range is 0.050 to 0.099, And being 0.099 today it was low range. Mid range starts at 0.100. So he was a fraction away from mid range. But in any event it was low range.

And the previous back in 2016, as I said, 0.072 was obviously low range as well because it was in that bracket. So the readings outside of five years still impact the outcome. But the mandatory penalties are affected by previous, in the last five years. So if you’ve got a previous six years ago, the minimum is as if it’s your first offence. Whereas if you’ve got a previous within the last five years, the minimum will increase. So without a previous in the last five years, the maximum would be a nine month disqualification minimum one month. But because there’s a previous low range in the last five years, the maximum becomes 18 months and the minimum becomes three months. But when you are looking at your fifth DUI in any timeframe, you are in the gun for penalties, worse than disqualification and fine, meaning probation or jail. When I say jail, I don’t necessarily mean that your risk of actually going to jail and sitting in a cell, but there are forms of imprisonment that can be handed down that allow you to remain in the community, but on your history, you’ve been to jail.

So suspended imprisonment, immediate parole, and the likes. I won’t go into detail about what that means now, but what I’m saying is my client was in the gun for a serious penalty, far beyond a simple disqualification fine. With regard to preparing for the matter given, I mean, we put in thorough preparation for all matters, but when there’s a risk of jail or longer than usual disqualification, we drill down a bit deeper with regard to preparation of written submissions based on case law. So if, for example, if I was to arrive at court today and we’ve got a prosecutor who’s baying for blood or a magistrate, who’s doing the same thing and I’m not implying that was the case here. I’m just speaking hypothetically. Because especially in regional locations, yes, there are regular magistrates, but if the regular magistrates ill or at holidays, a relieving magistrate will step in and it could be anyone, it could be someone from a magistrate from Brisbane or it could be a relieving magistrate from any other jurisdiction.

So you can’t just go to all location and think, oh, I’m familiar with a particular magistrate and rest on your laurels because, A) you could get anyone or, B) the regular magistrate may have just dealt with someone who’s just killed three people in a road accident and their senses are heightened. So anyway, what I’m getting at is you need to prepare as if you’re preparing for the worst and a lot of the time it’s more of an emergency backup plan as opposed to a starting point. But I need the confidence to say as a client that I’m ready to box on if the walls start crumbling around us. So anyway, what I did was, as I said, prepared detailed written submissions of cases based on persons who have offended as much as today’s client had and outcomes that they received, that would’ve been appropriate today.

If push came to shove, because I mean, at the end of the day, if there’s a risk of jail and you don’t go to jail, it’s a good outcome. I mean, obviously I was here to do far better than just simply avoid jail. But again, if it tended to a skirmish about whether or not my clients should go to jail, I needed to be ready to go. So detailed written submissions, we got him to complete the reformatory course that we get all of our clients to complete, got him to get character references based on the template we provide all of our clients. I prepared my submissions well in advance flew up last night, stayed at Mackay, drove to Moranbah this morning, met the client at court. We grabbed, I won’t call it a conference room there isn’t one here. It’s just a bit of a desk in the registry area, got all the paperwork together.

I ran through my submissions in detail with the client. Again, I don’t like clients to be standing there hearing me saying things for the first time, I run through my submissions, what the prosecutor’s likely to say, what the magistrate’s likely to say. Obviously I can’t predict what the magistrate prosecutor get say, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of the direction or the tone of what they’re going to be saying will be. And if the client’s hearing it from me before we go in, when it’s unfolding in real time it’s not news to them. It’s familiar because they’ve already been guided through it by me. And it doesn’t come as a shock. And if they’ve got anything they want to add when I’m running through it with them, which they really do given the level of thoroughness that we put into our submissions, but they’ve got the opportunity to add something if they want to.

Anyway, I’m prattling on now. I guided the magistrate through the steps my client had taken to try and sort himself out with regard to dealing with the underlying alcohol issues. What he learned at the course. I spoke on my feet about him as a person, his background, the difficulties he’s suffering in his relationship, difficulties he’s going to suffer work-wise while he’s off the road. Pretty much everyone who lives at Moranbah or flies in and out of Moranbah, is going to be stuffed if they don’t have a licence, given the nature of the mining and all the support industries that are attached to the mining industry. If you can’t drive, it’s pretty hard to provide any kind of meaningful service to an employer or a client. Anyway, I spoke at length on my feet about appropriate disqualifications.

I made a full submission that notwithstanding his history at disqualification of fine would be appropriate as opposed to anything more serious. I had to speak in a bit of detail on that point, because you know, obviously a starting point for someone with 5 DUIs is that you need a bit more of a smack than a loss of a licence and fine. But I went into great detail about why it’d be appropriate to give my client one last chance. Look long and short of it is he was given a five month disqualification. So well short of the maximum 18, a tad higher than the manage minimum three. But again, he was almost mid range 0.099, mid range kicks in a 0.1 and that is a minimum three months. So he was virtually mid range, and that previous in the last five years and the previous, in the last period outside of the last five years, obviously aggravated so potential 18 months.

I got him five months with a $800 fine. And that was it. There was no suspended imprisonment or probation or whatnot. So he’s obviously greatly relieved given of his disqualification of fine only, he would just push those five months out and then get on with his life. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Moranbah magistrates court. Thanks for watching.