Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Nanango 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 Nanango Magistrates Court, it’s about a two and a half hour drive northwest of Brisbane, sort of near Kingaroy. A client was charged with repeat drink driving. This time, it was a reading of 0.109. Last time, which was last year, so not that long ago, reading of 0.148. So to put it into perspective, high range kicks in at 0.150. So last time he was literally 0.002 away from high range, but technically that was mid range, 0.148. So mid range is 0.100 to 0.149, so he was almost high range last time in 2020. This time 0.109, so second mid range in basically a year. If it’s your second in five years, the penalty range… it’s a maximum of 18 months, mandatory minimum of three months. But with these readings so close together, three months is not an expected outcome, not withstanding the fact that I did push for it.
So as I said, worst case is 18 months. You’re not going to get 18 months, even if you go over the worst law in Queensland or by yourself. But we do see people getting not much change out of 12 months for their second of this reading in such a short timeframe. We normally push for around the four to five month mark for people with these readings in such a short timeframe.
I drove up, I prepared my submissions yesterday. We asked the client to do the reform, which course, we get everyone to get. We got him to get character references and he was already getting alcohol abuse treatment. And we just asked him to get written evidence of that, because there’s no point in me talking about it in court if I can’t prove it’s being done. I prepared my submissions yesterday, drove up this morning, met the client at court. There’s no real conference room there, so we just grabbed a bit of a hidey hole, I went through my submissions, the procedure, what he can expect. The police say what he can expect… or what I will say, what he can anticipate the magistrate will say, where you stand and all the rest of it.
As I said, it was a bit of a prickly one because we get a fair bit of repeat work, but normally there’s a bit more than a few months between defences and we can sort of leverage the the breaking offending for want of a better word. But I guess going in his favour was the fact that this time, it was a lower reading than last time. I mean, I know it sounds a silly thing to say, but it wasn’t an escalation in offending. So yeah, he’s been done twice in a couple of months, but this time it was a lower reading. So if it was a high reading, the prosecution and magistrate would make a big deal about the fact that it’s an escalation, which it wasn’t given it was a lower reading.
As I said, worst case 18 months. Mandatory minimum is technically three months but when you got a 0.148 five minutes ago, asking for three months is unreasonable. That said, I did push for three months. But as I said, it was unreasonable and the magistrate deemed it was unreasonable. So I basically went in there saying, look, here’s the minimum. Anything substantially beyond that will cause him severe detriment. I mean, look where we are. It’s the Nanango. You can’t just get an Uber or get the bloody 200 in 10 minutes. And he doesn’t actually live in Nanango, he lives in one of the other smaller towns surrounding. So while he’s off the road, he’s really not going anywhere fast.
So anyway, I’m trying to give way to this guy reversing out, but he doesn’t want to take it up. So anyway, yeah, so what I’m saying is worst case was 18 months. I was pushing for three months in the sense that your honour, three months is the minimum. Anything substantially beyond that will cause blah, blah, blah. So on some occasions I’ll just push hard for a specific number, or a range of three to four months, whereas matters like this where it’s a bit of a hospital pass, for want of a better word, I’ll sort of… not use not vague language, but I’ll use veiled speech to keep reminding the magistrate of what the mandatory minimum is and speak in terms of the minimum. And then I’ll just say, “Look, anything substantially beyond the minimum will be difficult.” So I’m not saying give him the minimum, but I’m just saying, “The further part away from it you go, the harder life’s going to be.”
Anyway, the magistrate said, “Normally I’d give you eight months for this, but I’m going to give you five.” So he got five months, which I’m happy with. And I said at the start of the video that three months was unreasonable, and I knew that when I was pushing for it, but I wasn’t hard and fast saying three months. I was just saying anything too far past three would be unfortunate, and he hasn’t gone too far past three, he’s gone to five months, which not going to lie, I would’ve been happy with four. But five months for the potential maximum, well, not the potential maximum, the maximum is 18 months. So he could have potentially got 12 to 18 months if he wasn’t adequately represented. The magistrate himself said he would’ve ordinarily given him eight months. So yeah, five months and a modest fine, client is relieved, happy it’s all been put behind him. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Nanango Magistrates Court, thanks for watching.