Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Stanthorpe 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 Stanthorpe Magistrates Court, it’s about a three hour drive southwest of Brisbane. Client was charged with repeat high range drink driving. Reading today was 0.198. He had a previous six years ago of 0.243 in 2015. So as I said, repeat high range drink driving 0.098 this time and 0.243 six years ago. Worst case is a lifetime loss of licence, mandatory minimum when you’re high range and you don’t have anything previous in the last five years is six months. As I said that previous 0.243 was a tad outside of the last five years. So technically the minimum was still six months, but you know, with a reading like that he was never going to get the minimum six months.
Normally someone who’s got no previous with a reading at 0.198 we try to get it under 12 months, so if we can get it somewhere in the 10 to 12 month mark, that’s a good outcome. You know, we have got it lower, but we normally advise if we can get 10 to 12 months for what’s basically four times the limit 0.198, it’s a good outcome. As I said, on occasions we’ve got it lower than that, but we don’t sort of tell people that’s an expected outcome. However, if there is previous, even outside the last five years, to get it significantly less than 12 months would be an unreasonable expectation. Particularly if you’ve got a 0.243 six years ago. With regard to preparation, we got our client to do the reformatory course we get all of our clients to do. Got him to get references based on the template we give all of our clients.
Prepared my submissions a couple of days ago, drove up last night, met the client this morning. We grabbed a bit of space at the back of the courtroom, ran through my submissions, the court procedure, what he can expect the prosecutor to say, what the magistrate’s likely to say, procedurally I mean. Went in, I basically laboured, obviously I can’t give details away about my client, but he worked in a sales capacity and basically was a travelling salesman. And if you’re a sales person and you don’t sell because you’re not able to drive to potential clients, you’re not going to get paid, and that’s basically the situation he found himself in. So if you service a regional location like Stanthorpe and you’re in a role that is sales based, your income is going to cease very quickly. And if you are off the road for a timeframe that’s crippling, you could lose your house, lose everything. So my job was to get it down as low as possible, not withstanding the reading this time, the reading last time and the risk that he put other road users at.
Long and short of it is, I was a bit cheeky, I pushed, sometimes I just throw caution to wind and go hard and freely admit to the magistrate that I know I’m overreaching. However, these are all these points in mitigation, and I put a window of six to eight months knowing full well I wouldn’t get it. But I guess if you… It’s like if you’re trying to buy a house, if you’re starting bid’s low you know you’re not going to get it for that. But at least I guess you’re pulling the other party, obviously in this case the magistrate, in the direction where you think you are at least when you make the initial offer for want of a better word. You’re sort of pushing the negotiation, if I could say it that way, in the direction that you want it to go. Obviously, if you’re not tactical about it, it can blow up in your face. But if you are tactical about it and the stars align, it can work in your favour.
So anyway, I put a window of six to eight to the magistrate and sort of laboured all the reasons why my client was different to everyone else sitting in the back of the courtroom today. The magistrate disagreed with me, however he settled on a nine month disqualification, so I’m really happy with that. As I said, we always say if it’s under 12 months with a reading 0.198 with no history, it’s a reasonable outcome, particularly if there’s previous. But to get it down to nine months I’m happy with, but again, my client was in a unique situation and obviously I was successful in putting the magistrate in my clients’ shoes and distinguishing him from everyone else that was at court today. So nine months disqualification for a reading of 0.198, and a previous 0.243, and a modest fine. Client’s obviously very relieved, very happy. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Stanthorpe Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.