Drink Driving and Drug Driving
Driving offences and, in particular, drink driving and (most recently) drug driving matters are particularly common in the Magistrates’ Courts around Victoria. In most cases, it is a case of exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol in your blood (exceeding 0.05) and facing infringement notices, criminal penalties, interlock conditions and licence disqualifications.
There are really three types of drink driving reading offences:
- sub 05 offences – offences for people not on their full licences, who require a 0.00 reading, where the reading returned is less that 0.05;
- sub 07 offences – offences for people on their full licences, who require a reading of 0.05 or less, and return a reading between 0.05 and 0.07;
- higher range offences where they return a reading over 0.07.
Depending on whether you have any priors for drink driving the penalties for each of these types of offences differ. The disqualification periods can range from 3 months to 4 years.
However, if you are pulled over or intercepted getting out of your vehicle, it is important that you comply with the request for a breathalyser test. If you do not, you can be charged with the offence of refusing a breathalyser and, if found guilty, you must be disqualified from driving for 2 years just for the offence of refusing the test!
There have recently been changes to the laws surrounding interlock devices and having your licence restored. You may also have to complete a driver’s safety course in order to reapply for your licence. Where you fit in under the law depends on when the offence was committed, how many priors (if any you have), what your reading was and your age.
Many people require their licences for work and to transport children and elderly parents. They are understandably concerned, after being charged with drink driving or drug driving, about losing their licences. Clients often ask whether there is an exception that may apply to them, particularly if they drive as an essential part of their employment. Unfortunately, exceptions no longer apply to any person charged with these offences. This can make the effects of disqualification particularly hard on self-employed individuals.
The effects of a drink or drug driving charge can be very stressful and many people are concerned about getting the appropriate advice, but are concerned about the cost of advice and legal representation. We have many clients who attend for these matters, in circumstances where they cannot get legal aid representation. At Galbally Rolfe we happily enter into fixed fee arrangements with clients with relatively minor driving matters, so that the fees are reasonable and capped at a figure that the client is comfortable with. This means that our clients receive the advice and representation that they need but at a cost that they can afford.
If you are concerned about an upcoming driving matter, feel free to call us for some advice: 9670 8771 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org