A drink driving case is filed against a driver who exceeded the prescribed concentration of alcohol or PCA. The PCA differs according to the type of license. For example, for an L plate the driver must have zero PCA at the time of driving. The penalties would then vary on the PCA reading of the driver.
So, how to defend yourself against a drink driving charge? Every good lawyer knows that the PCA that matters is what you have at the time of driving. There is a two-hour rule observed by the police in drink driving cases. A PCA reading that is taken beyond two hours is no longer admissible as evidence against the driver.
If the defence of two-hour rule is not applicable, the accused may still successfully dispute a PCA reading. A drink driving charge will not be filed based on the reading given by the breath testing device police use whenever they flag motorists for an alcohol test. The driver will be brought to the police station for a more accurate alcohol reading which will be the basis for the filing of the case against the driver.
The consequence of this process is that a considerable period of time will pass from the time that the driver drove his car to the time that his PCA reading was taken at the police station. Remember that it is your PCA at the time of driving that must be the basis of the charge. So, the longer it takes for the police to take your alcohol reading the more it weakens their evidence against you.
Another way of beating a drink driving charge is to utilize the honest and reasonable mistake defence. This defence is most applicable to the hangover cases or those caught driving the morning after a night of drinking. The effects of alcohol may take a long time to wear off. Just when we thought that we had slept off the alcohol a PCA reading would show otherwise. However, the good thing with being caught in the morning is that you can raise the defence that you honestly believed your PCA is already below the limit.
A first-time offender might be able to get away with the defence that he followed the rule of thumb previously taught by the RMS (RTA). The rule of thumb for men in drinking is two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink for every next hour. As for the women, the rule of thumb is one standard drink per hour. This rule has been discarded possibly because there is really no fixed effect of alcohol on a person. There are others whose senses are immediately affected by alcohol while others have a higher immunity against the effects alcohol. This defence would work best with inexperienced drinkers.
The defences discussed will not be applicable to each and every case. In order to be effective, these defences must be thoroughly discussed with a lawyer who can decide which is the most appropriate for your case.
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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.