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Chris Pine, pleaded guilty to driving while drunk and was subsequently disqualified from driving for 6 months.

Pine, made famous for acting the role of Captain James Kirk in the movie Star Trek, was apprehended during drink-driving checks in the town of Methven in the South Island of New Zealand on March 1st this year.

His admission of guilt in the Ashburton District Court led to the penalty.

He also had to pay $NZ93 ($A89) as reparation, but further fining was not considered necessary as he had paid out a considerable donation to the charity ‘Cure Kids’, which raises cash for medical research for children’s diseases.

The drinking incident took place at the Blue Pub in Methven, where eighty actors and crew were at a private rap party which was considered by the pub’s staff to be a great deal of fun but certainly not wild and out of control. At the time, Chris Pine did not seem to be intoxicated to the extent that he needed to be controlled.

Famous people such as Chris Pine are not overlooked when  it comes to being stopped for drink driving and if guilt is found then the offender is expected to pay the price as any other offender is expected to do.

In Australia, all road laws including drink driving laws are formed by the state or territory, all of which have similar penalties.

Police officers in all Australian jurisdictions are allowed to stop anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle and take a random breath test, No reason has to be given. They can also set up roadblocks leading out of towns or cities particularly if a big public event has taken place which may have involved the consumption of alcohol. In this situation all drivers will be subject to a breath test. It is an offence in all Australian states and territories to refuse to submit to a breath when asked to do so. The penalties are stiff and could include time in prison.

In the case of Chris Pine it wasn’t clear what his blood alcohol level (BAC) was. In Australia, in every state the penalty depends on the BAC.

NSW has three blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits:  zero, under 0.02 and under 0.05. The limit that applies to you depends on the category of your licence and the type of vehicle you are driving.

Your BAC measures the amount of alcohol you have in your system in grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. A BAC of 0.05 means you have 0.05 grams (50 milligrams) of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood.

The higher the BAC is, the greater the length of time of driver’s licence disqualification.  A 1st time offender who refuses to submit to a breath test could also lose his or her licence forever with a minimum mandatory period of 6 months. There are other penalties too and for a High Range Drinking offence fines could reach $5,000, long term disqualification from driving and even a period in jail.

The police are not always right when it comes to drink driving charges, so to ensure you have been treated fairly you should hire an experienced drink driving solicitor who will act on your behalf to ensure you do not get the maximum penalty for your offence.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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