Drink Driving Offences

If you’ve been pulled over for drink driving and have to go to court, the thought of the consequences can be terrifying.

It probably feels like you’ve made a huge mistake. Maybe it’s all running through your mind – thoughts of convictions, criminal records and even that dreaded word – jail. It can seem like you’ve really screwed up. It’s natural to want to find someone to turn to – someone who’ll do their best to stop your charges becoming a criminal conviction.

But The Breathalyzer Doesn’t Lie… What Chance Have I Got In Court?

The answer is simple. Drink driving sentences depend largely on the court’s perception of the accused. They want to know whether you’re a decent person who made a mistake, or a reckless driver who needs to be punished. Courts don’t want to send drink drivers to prison, if they can see that you’re a upstanding citizen. We handle your drink driving case by showing the court why you don’t deserve to go to jail.

Over the years, we’ve mastered the art of offering an “olive branch” to the Magistrate. Our unique preparation process pulls together all the reasons and evidence for why you deserve to be treated leniently. And we’ll convey that to the court with persuasiveness and conviction. We literally argue for the strength of your character – and our results speak for themselves.

Three Decades of Defending Drink Driving Cases

We’ve built our careers on helping people like you with their drink driving charges. We really have seen it all before – we know the courts like the backs of our hands.

You’ll get the wealth of our expertise, but just as importantly you’ll have someone on your team, throughout the whole ordeal.

When you’re faced with drink driving charges, it can seem like the entire system is against you – that’s why as soon as you walk through our door, you’ll be met with assurance, acceptance and support.

We’ll help you face your drink driving charges and we’ll argue persuasively for you in court. Give us a call today, and let us get to work on building your defense.

What will happen to me if I am convicted?

Many people when faced with a Drink Driving charge are nearly incapacitated with fright, not knowing what is going to happen to them when they go to Court. Let us reassure you – rarely does a Court jail a Drink Driver.

Unless you have a terribly bad driving record you will not be sent to jail, notwithstanding the Courts power to do so. The last thing the Court wishes to do is send a person to jail, however the Court has plenty of other options to deal with an offender, including:

  • Financial penalty or Fine
  • Good Behaviour Bond
  • Loss of licence for a period
  • Directing a person to undergo treatment and rehabilitation
  • Referral of driver to a responsible driver program
  • Stay the suspension of a licence if the driver participates in an ignition interlock program

Facing a Drink Driving Charge? You Need To Know…

What are my options?

Plead “Guilty” and make submissions to the court to minimise the fine and period of disqualification.

Plead “Not Guilty ”. You must make the police prove their case “beyond all reasonable doubt”, and defend the charge by proving other evidence exonerating you from the charge.

Your lawyer is your mouthpiece

Understandably, most people who have been charged with drink driving are very anxious and nervous before the Court. That’s why it is advisable to have a Lawyer as your mouthpiece. Lawyers know what Courts want to hear.

The Magistrate wants the Lawyer to provide the Court with information that will assist the Magistrate to determine the appropriate punishment. Otherwise the Magistrate will have no alternative but to apply the automatic period of disqualification and financial penalty.

Together you and your Lawyer need to find an “olive branch ” to appease the magistrate. You can make a ‘submission’ to the Court in mitigation of the offence. It says “Yes, I am guilty of the offence, but at that time I had difficulties and problems in my life. A few examples are financial worries, loss of a job, marriage problems, boyfriend/girlfriend problems, medical problems of a loved one, or death of a love one. These can all be contributing factors to assist in your defence.

Preparing for court

Before going to Court we need to see you to prepare your case. We need to explain your case to the Court in the best possible light. To do this we need your assistance and cooperation in order to get a true insight into the events and your personality and history.

Think of going to Court as if you were applying for a job, and preparing your CV, with all your certificates, awards, letters of appreciation and so on. An Employer is asking you to tell them “Why are you the best applicant? Why should we give you the job? What’s different about your application and your circumstances that distinguishes you from the next applicant?”. The Court is asking you “Why should we be lenient? Why is your case any different?” This is not the time to be coy. This is the time to blow your own trumpet loud and long – it always comes better from someone else, such as your lawyer.

Why should the court give you any leniency?

Prepare a resume or CV of your schooling, education, work history, family, interests, community service awards, etc.

Make a list of people who would give you a reference as to your good character, integrity, honesty, sobriety and work ethic.

Include a list of any Community Organisations you give voluntary help and assistance to such as the Spastic Centre, Bush Fire Brigade, Surf Club and Little Nippers, Clean up Australia, Meals on Wheels, School Parents & Friends Association, etc. Produce all certificates and awards you have received.

Provide evidence if you have undertaken the Drink Driver Rehabilitation Course.

Submit certificates and reports from of your treating Doctor and details of treatments and medication

Include details of troubles that have occurred in your past or current life – getting work, supporting your family, having to work more than one job, problems seeing your family or having a life outside work, etc.

Consider whether you would be prepared to accept the terms of Section 192 of the Road transport (General) Act and ask the Court to stay your suspension of licence if you participate in an ignition interlock program.

The myth of a restricted work license

A Court will not grant a restrictive Licence so that you can continue to work and support your family. However, you can ask the Court under Section 192 of the Road transport (General) Act to stay the suspension of your licence if you participate in an ignition interlock program.

There are ways you can minimise the disruption of your period of disqualification – see if your boss can put you on alternative duties, or take your holidays or long service leave to use up the disqualification period. Without doubt the loss of licence and subsequent loss of ability to work is the most devastating and far reaching of all the penalties.

Legacy of conviction

So when faced with a drink driving conviction, don’t panic. Be prepared.