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A 57 year old man, driving drunk and unlicensed, crashed a car which killed one of his passengers on Lindsay Road, Buderim in southeast Queensland.

The crash occurred on the early hours of February 20. One of the passengers died on the scene while the driver and the other passenger were brought to the hospital.

The driver is scheduled to appear before the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on July 1 for charges of drink driving, driving without license, and two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle that caused death and grievous bodily harm.

Dangerous operation of a vehicle in Queensland is named as one of the criminal offences under the Criminal Code Queensland. Section 328A of the Criminal Code Queensland provides that a person who operates, or in any way interferes with the operation of, a vehicle dangerously in any place and causes the death or grievous bodily harm of another person shall be criminally liable.

The driver could be penalized with imprisonment for up to 10 years. Driving under the influence of alcohol is an aggravating circumstance that could raise the penalty up to 14 years of imprisonment.

Under the Criminal Code Queensland there are several factors to take into account in determining if the operation of a vehicle is dangerous. These factors are the following:

  • Nature, condition and use of the place or road;
  • Nature and condition of the vehicle;
  • Number of persons, vehicles or other objects that are, or might reasonably be expected to be, in the place;
  • Concentration of alcohol in the driver’s blood or breath; and
  • Presence of any other substance in the driver’s body.

Driving without license is illegal. The offender can be penalized with a fine of up to $4400 or 1 year imprisonment.

Drink driving offences in Queensland is grouped into categories which depend on the license held by the driver. Drivers with learner and provisional plates, public transportation drivers, and drivers of vehicles that weigh more than 4.5 tonnes are prescribed with an absolute zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

All other drivers with open licenses are allowed a BAC of up to below 0.05.

A drink driver who has a BAC of 0.05 and above will be penalized in accordance with how high is his BAC. A low range drink driving offence is committed when the driver’s BAC is between 0.05 to below 0.10. For a charge of low range drink driving the driver may be disqualified from driving for 1 month up to a year, fined between $1540 and $6600 or imprisoned for 3 to 18 months.

A driver will be charged with a mid-range drink driving offence if his BAC is between 0.10 and below 0.15. The penalties for a mid-range drink driving offence are one, some or all of the following: disqualification from driving for 6 months to 2 years, fine of $3080 to $6600, and imprisonment of 9 to 18 months.


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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