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Criminal Law Blog NSW

A dad has been charged after he was caught three times in a 24 hour period driving while drunk in New South Wales.

The NSW dad was driving with P-plates and allegedly drove while drunk to fetch his daughter from a police station after she was stopped intoxicated and behind the wheel of her car.

His daughter, aged 19 years, was found to have a blood alcohol reading of 0.016% when tested on Friday night at Toronto police station. The dad went to retrieve his daughter, but he was subsequently apprehended when he was stopped and his blood alcohol reading was found to be a whopping 0.192%. He was instantly charged followed by the suspension of his provisional license. 

This wasn’t enough for the dad as he went out on the road again on Saturday. He was randomly stopped for a breath test with the reading again found to be 0.190%. This is a serious high-range drink driving offence. Third time unlucky - he was caught yet again while still driving his car. This time he lost control of it and was found to be driving down the road on the wrong side with a blood alcohol concentration a little less than earlier, but still at 0.159%. This incident attracted a charge of a 3rd high range drinking offence.

It’s not yet law in NSW to confiscate a vehicle from a person who has been charged with a high range drink driving offence as it is in New Zealand. However, there are severe penalties for high BAC readings in New South Wales and this father will not escape these penalties.

Often though, if there are extenuating circumstances that caused the offender to drive after repeatedly being stopped by the police in such a short period of time then the court may treat the offender with leniency. This is unlikely to happen unless the offender takes on the services of an experienced drink driving solicitor who will know how to argue on their behalf and also knows what the prosecution is capable of doing if the case is not well prepared.

The penalties that can be imposed by the Court for a drink driving offence may differ depending on the circumstances of the case. There are some factors that will affect the penalty, such as if it is a first offence, if an accident took place and if passengers were present or were injured as well as the level of alcohol in the blood.

In certain situations the Court will order a “section 10 dismissal.” This is when you plead guilty but you do not get convicted of the charge by the Court. This means no criminal conviction takes place and you avoid licence disqualification. More often than not you will be convicted and a fine and licence disqualification will take place. Worse still, you may face a prison sentence or be required to take part in community service.

In the case of this particular repeat offending dad, the maximum penalty for a high range drink driving offence is a $5,500 fine, 2 years in prison and a minimum of 2 years licence suspension. He will need an experienced NSW drink driving solicitor to ensure he is treated fairly in the Court.

Our Principal Solicitor at CM Lawyers, Ms. Christine Manolakos has been involved in Family Law Matters for period of over fifteen (15) years.

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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