Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Goondiwindi 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. So, I’m at Goondiwindi Magistrate’s Court. It’s about a four hour drive west of Brisbane. Drove up last and met the client this morning. Client was charged with low-range drink driving, a reading 0.062. Basically, he’s from New South Wales. He was up at Roma for the races, had a big day, and the morning after was intercepted at Roma with a reading of 0.062. Because he lives in New South Wales and therefore doesn’t hold a Queensland driver’s licence, he wasn’t eligible to apply for a work licence.
There’s a number of prerequisites that you must satisfy if you want to apply for a work licence in Queensland and one of them is you need to be the holder of an open Queensland licence at the time of being intercepted. So, that just was a straightaway guillotine no, no eligibility. So, a work licence was never an option for him given he wasn’t the hold of an open Queensland licence.
Worst case is nine months. Mandatory minimum is one month. Because he lives in New South Wales and Goondiwindi is closer to New South Wales than Roma is, we had the matter transferred just to save him a bit of a trip. So the initial court date was a couple of weeks ago. We sent correspondence to Roma requesting to be transferred in his absence, which it was to a court that’s on the border, which Goondiwindi is.
So it was previously transferred to Goondiwindi for today’s date. Met the client this morning. There’s a number of things we get all of our clients to do. We ask them to do a reformatory course that could be done online and the magistrates love, about the consequences of this type of behaviour on the road. Got him to get references based on the template we give all of our clients. I prepared my submissions yesterday before driving up. Met the client at court this morning. We grabbed a bit of bench space, ran through my submissions, what was going to happen, what he can expect the prosecutor to say, the magistrate, himself, etc. just to give a bit of familiarity to the client.
Because I don’t like my clients to go in… if you’re seeing something for the first time as it’s happening, it’s, whether you going to court or ordering a Big Mac, if you’ve never done it before it could be quite confronting. Whereas if someone gives you a bit of a blow by blow and almost a role play of what to expect, it sort of takes the edge off it, I suppose.
A couple of things. I’m not going to say what he does for a living but I’m just going to say it’s a heavily driver’s licence dependent role. So the fact that he can’t get a work licence was going to hurt him. Maximum’s nine months. Mandatory minimum is one month. So, obviously, my job is to try to persuade the magistrate to stick to the one month. But beyond that, and again, I’m not going to disclose what he does for a living, but he had concerns about the recording of a conviction. So drink driving is not a criminal matter, and therefore you don’t get a criminal conviction. So anyone who gets to have a drink driving doesn’t get a criminal conviction.
The only time a driving offence becomes a criminal matter is if it’s dangerous driving, which this wasn’t, so if you’re charged with dangerous driving, whether there’s alcohol involved or not, it is a criminal matter and it’s very important that your lawyer pushes hard for no conviction recorded because if they don’t, and a conviction’s recorded, it is a criminal conviction. It will be said in the same sentence as rape and murder and every other criminal conviction from a criminal offence. So any drink driving matter that isn’t attached to dangerous driving is not a criminal matter. And meaning that everyone in that situation gets… Or doesn’t get a criminal conviction.
But what you do get is a traffic conviction and they are not easy to get a no conviction recorded on because there’s essentially no tangible detriment that you can hang your hat on. All you can do is speak in sort of broad terms and use analogy. I can’t… There’s no document that I can hand up saying, for example, if a pilot gets a conviction recorded, here’s a document saying you can’t be a pilot anymore. Just documents that just simply don’t exist. So you’ve got to use analogy and think on your feet. And I don’t always push for it. I mean, if someone’s got previous convictions for drink driving, I mean, I have tried it on, but I don’t ordinarily try it on. Or if someone’s, I don’t know, never left Brisbane and never been in any sort of job where a traffic history is going to be disclosed, I generally won’t push it because the magistrate will just look over their glasses at me like I’m trying to change the sky from blue to red.
However, if persons have got no history and they’re in certain roles that I think are appropriate to push it for, I will, and that’s what I did in this instance. And I was successful. So short version is I was successful on all fronts. I was able to persuade the magistrate to not go past the minimum one month disqualification and I was also successful in persuading the magistrate not to record a conviction. So for a reading report of 0.062 for somebody who’s not eligible to apply for a work licence, I was successful in persuading the magistrate to give the minimum one month disqualification and no conviction recorded.
So again, I’m sounding like a broken record but one month, no conviction recorded, a fine of $350. Client’s very happy and relieved, both about the disqualification and the non-recording of a conviction. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Goondiwindi Magistrate’s Court. Thanks for watching.