A lot of people believe that once caught with a Drink-Driving offence or (PCA) there is little to nothing that can be done to reduce or minimise the penalty.
This is often not the case notwithstanding mandatory penalty provisions of NSW Legislation.
The penalties for Drink-Driving offences are severe and include gaol for all but driving with the Low or Novice Range offences. In all cases there is an automatic period of Licence disqualification and for High and Mid Range Offences unlimited maximum periods.
There is also however a minimum specified by the Legislation. Whether or not the Courts impose the minimum is a matter to be decided in each individual case.
There are a number of circumstances in which it is possible to argue:
- That the minimum period be imposed and/or the disqualification backdated to the date of the offence, as opposed to the date of sentence, which could be several weeks later.
- That the charge laid by Police should be reduced eg, from Mid Range to Low Range or High Range to Mid Range.
- That the charge itself can be defended on the basis that you did not have the prescribed concentration of alcohol in your system that the Police allege at the time of driving, or that the Breath Test that is being relied on by Police has been improperly or illegally obtained. It is a little known fact that Police are not allowed to require you to undertake a Breath Test if it is two hours or more since you last drove your vehicle, and a Breath Analysis reading must be taken within that two hour period (usually from when you were initially roadside breath tested) for Police to properly be able to charge you with a PCA offence.
Equally unknown is the prohibition again Police forcing you to undergo a breath analysis test at your home. If Police breath test you in breach of that Rule the results are illegally obtained and the charge could be thrown out.
There is however a very precise meaning of what is a person’s residence, and for example can include driveway, front yard or curtillage of the property.
If you have been recently charged with a Drink-Driving or PCA offence, contact us for information about your legitimate legal rights regarding these matters.
Drink-driving offences are rightly to be taken very seriously and King Cain Solicitors do not encourage or endorse Drink-Driving in any way. However, we also recognise that people make genuine mistakes and every individual is entitled to know their legal rights. For that reason we believe it is important to provide our clients with information regarding penalties and options available.