Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Brisbane Magistrates Court as he represents a client charged with Drug 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 Brisbane Magistrates Court. Client was charged with drug driving. There’s two types of drug driving. The more serious is what’s called, drive whilst under the influence of a drug, meaning you’re high on drugs. The lesser offence is called, drive with relevant drug present, meaning you consumed it at some point. The effects have worn off. You’re no longer under the influence, but there’s traces of it still present in his system. Worst case, if you’ve got no previous in the last five years, a nine month loss of licence, mandatory minimum’s one month. If you haven’t lost your licence in the last five years and you meet certain other prerequisites, you can apply for what’s called a drug driving work licence. And that, as the name suggests, allow you to continue driving during the disqualification period for work purposes only.
My client today, even though he did have previous drink driving offences, they were more than five years ago and he hadn’t lost his licence in the last five years. So technically he was eligible to apply, but simple eligibility doesn’t equate to automatic success, particularly if you’ve got two drugs in your system, which my client did, methamphetamine, ice and cannabis, and if you’ve got previous drug or drink driving offences. So technically he was eligible to apply, but when trying to convince a magistrate that you’re a fit and proper person to be given a work licence, obviously your entire history is taken into account. And as I said, those previous and the fact that there was two drugs in his system didn’t help matters.
So anyway, what I’m saying is he was eligible to apply and given what he does for a living, I was instructed to apply for a drug driving work licence. In addition to that, because a lot of the work that he does is within classified government locations, where certain clearances or security clearances are required for access, he had concerns about the recording of the conviction, not withstanding the fact that he had previous drink driving recorded convictions. But I guess with drug driving, even though it’s a traffic offence, not a criminal offence, to the Joe Public potential employer or government body, they might just see the word drug and make a decision based on that, irrespective of the fact that it’s not a criminal offence. So he had concerns about the recording of a drug driving conviction.
As I said, worst case was a nine month disqualification, mandatory minimum, one month. When you apply for work licences, the magistrate’s got a discretion to double the disqualification they would otherwise give, so that turns the worst case from nine months to 18 months with a work licence and minimum one month to two months with a work licence. I got him to complete a reformatory course, the same course we get all of our clients to do. Got him to get references based on a template we provide all of our clients. I drafted affidavit materials for both him and his employer to sign. His employer’s, basically it was about four pages, but the short version is he said, he’s going to lose his job if he loses his licence. The client’s affidavit covered much the same as his employer’s, but went into a lot more detail about his financial circumstances, what he learned from the course, what happened on the day in question, the steps that he’s taken or taking to make sure that he doesn’t find himself in this situation again.
Firstly, I was successful in persuading the magistrate to grant my client’s drug driving work licence application. So that was granted. But secondly, I was also able to persuade the magistrate, not to record a drug driving conviction. So he received a two month disqualification, which is very good, considering there is history. There was two drugs in his system and we’d applied for a work licence and had it granted. So a two month disqualification, work licence granted. So he can drive from 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM, seven days a week. No conviction recorded, modest fine. Client’s obviously very happy and relieved.
I’m Andrew Wiseman at Brisbane Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.