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Drink-driving offences a hangover from the night before

Two drivers were charged before Magistrate Terry Lucas of the Orange Local Court for having alcohol in their systems above the prescribed level.

The drink drivers who represented themselves in court were the classic cases of a hangover after a night out. During the hearing, Magistrate Lucas said, “Unfortunately alcohol takes a long time to get out of your system.”

The first drink driver who was charged and who pleaded guilty to mid-range drink driving was Natalie Dickson. Dickson was pulled over by the police at 11 AM on the highway near Cowra. The police informed the Court that Dickson did not appear to be affected by alcohol, nor did her breath smell of alcohol.

However, when she took the breath test, she registered a 0.081 reading. Dickson told the police that the previous night she consumed a 750 bottle of rum and coke and had her last drink at 1 AM, which was nine hours before she was pulled over by the police.

As a penalty, Dickson was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for six months.

The Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 provides that a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is at the mid-range level when it is between 0.08 and 0.149. The penalty for a mid-range drink driving offence is a fine of up to $2200, imprisonment up to a maximum term of 9 months, and disqualification from driving for a minimum of 6 months.

The second drink driving case heard by Magistrate Lucas involved Daniel Hallett, a P1 driver, who unfortunately caught the attention of the police because of the noise his muffler was making. The police happened to be at a nearby house making inquiries when they heard the noise as Hallett was driving into his driveway.

Hallett informed the police that he drank white wine 12 hours before he was breath tested. His blood alcohol concentration was at 0.049. Hallett was fined $700 and disqualified from driving for six months. Magistrate Lucas said that he was obligated to impose the said penalty on Hallett despite evidence of the latter’s good character and commitment to his job. Magistrate Lucas told him, “If you were my son, I couldn’t do more to help you with this matter.”

Drivers with a provisional license are included in the special range category. If a driver with a P1 license has a blood alcohol concentration between 0.02 and 0.049, he may be fined up to $1100 and disqualified from driving for 3 to 6 months.

This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for professional or legal advice.


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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