Drink Driving facts and myths
1) I can be sent to jail
Drinking driving (DUI) is a serious offence and the Northern Beaches has one of the highest DUI rates in the State. People are often sent to jail for DUI, particularly repeat offenders and those in the high range category. However being jailed for drink driving is always a last resort for a Court and does not exist as a stand alone penalty for low range PCA. Bare in mind that If you are before the Court for a repeat offence and have an extensive criminal record, a Magistrate is running out of options and may send you to jail.
2) Fighting a drink driving charge is impossible
Not true, there are a number of defenses such as “honest and reasonable mistake” however this is a very very difficult defense which is almost unheard of and involves proving a lot more than you thought you were under the limit. A fictitious example of honest and reasonable mistake would have to be something like a Mars bar you purchased was plied with alcohol as a joke by a silly friend just before you got into a car and drove and had no idea.
Another more obvious defense is if you were not the driver being breath tested and finally, under some circumstances, you may be able to have your charge dismissed under a Section 10, however, this is difficult and rare.
3) Refusing the breath test can avoid a drink driving charge or penalty
Absolutely not, this is the worst thing you can do as refusing a breath test is a criminal law offence will have you given the same penalties as high range drink driving. The maximum fine is $3300 or $5500 for a second offence within five years and a possible license suspension between 6-9 months with jail as a possibility.
4) Drink driving is only for cars
Wrong – eskies, bicycles, horses and skateboards have all attracted drink driving penalties for their riders and drivers in courts over the years ( we are yet to see a hoverboard case). Whilst Low, mid and high range penalties only exist for motor cars, non motor cars attract an offence of being under the influence of alcohol which is a fine and potential loss of driver license. Drink driving a boat can also mean you lose your car license.
Reduce the damage to your licence and call Maspero Legal to discuss your drink driving charge today on 02 8317 3276