Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Wynnum 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, so I have a Whittam Magistrates’ Court. Client with charged with drug driving, there’s two types of drug driving. The more serious is called drive under the influence – influence of a drug, meaning you’re high on drugs. The less serious is drive whilst relevant drug present, meaning that you consumed it at some point, the effects have worn off. You’re no longer under the influence or high, but there’s traces still in your system. And you’ve been intercepted. And through the tongue swab being found to have it in your system. The penalties for the lesser charge aren’t as severe as the more serious charge. So worst case for drive whilst relevant drug present. If you haven’t been done before in the last five years is a nine month disqualification. Mandatory minimum if you’re on an open licence and you don’t have any previous in the last five years is one month.
But if you again, haven’t lost your licence for any reason in the last five years, you’re the holder of an open Queensland licence when intercepted and you satisfy a number of other prerequisites you can apply for what’s called a drug driving work licence, meaning an order that allows you to continue driving for work purposes during the disqualification period. My client was eligible. And for that reason, I was instructed to prepare a drug driving work licence application. They were self-employed. So what that means is if you’re not – the drivers at Whittam, good on them. In any event, where was I? If you’re not self-employed, meaning you work for a business or some other person we need to draught about a four page affidavit up for you to sign saying that you will lose your job if you lose your licence.
But given my client was self-employed, there’s no employers, there was no need to draught it, but in his affidavit, which generally goes for about 12 pages, in addition to the other items that I need to address, I’ve got to cover his businesses profit and loss. So turnover, breakdown of the expenses that won’t be met if he loses his licence and therefore loses income. Also, you’ve got to cover your personal expenses, but that got to be done in all work licence affidavits anyway. So look, the short version is I’ve got a series of instructions from him that allow me to draught the affidavit materials. I asked him to complete a reformatory course, got him to get some references based on a template we provide all of our clients. Drafted everything, filed it with the court in advance, met the client this morning, went through the procedure, what to expect and all the rest of it.
Today’s matter was – I won’t say it wasn’t straightforward, but it wasn’t particularly easy to get over the line. Understandably, the Magistrate takes a lot of issues with drug driving, for a number of reasons, the fact that your drug driving, but also the fact that possession of and consumption of drugs themselves, it’s illegal. So unlike drink driving, which yes, drink driving’s bad, drinking alcohol isn’t illegal. Drug driving’s bad, but consuming drugs, irrespective of whether you drive is illegal. So even though you don’t end up with two charges, because I mean, if it’s inside your system, it’s not legally possession. It’s only possession if it’s on your body as opposed to in it ironically. But the fact that you’re driving with drugs in your system means that you’ve at some point caused it to be in your person. And therefore, even though you might not have been charged possession, you’ve still engaged in illegal activity.
And the Magistrate was really driving that home, not just to my client, but everyone in the courtroom to the point where I was, not concerned, but I thought I was going to have to step things up a bit to try and get this over the line. In any event, the long and short of it was I was able to persuade the Magistrate, not to give any more than a two month disqualification. Generally when work licences are applied for, the Magistrates’ will double what they’ll otherwise give. So if I wasn’t applying for a work licence, I would’ve been pushing for the minimum one month, but given I was seeking a work licence, it was to be expected to get no less than two months. And following on from that, the maximum does double. So if a Magistrate does give a work licence they can give up to 18 months for this charge as opposed to the nine.
So you got a two month disqualification and notwithstanding the fact that I had to, how do I say this? Not push it, but be quite nuanced in my submissions. I was able to persuade the Magistrate to grant a work licence to my client. So he was given two month disqualification, modest fine, and most importantly, a work licence, which allows him to drive during the hours that he needs, which was 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Saturday. He’s obviously very relieved, very happy. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Whittam Magistrates’ Court. Thanks for watching.