Drug Driving With Priors – Minimum Licence Disqualification
This is a case of drug driving with priors resulting in a minimum licence disqualification and a modest fine.
Our client was charged with speeding 20kph over the speed limit, failing to use headlights, failing to stay within the marked lanes, and drug driving. She had been travelling on the Western Ring Road at 9pm at night when an unmarked police car observed her swerving between the lanes without her headlights on, and travelling at 120kph in a 100kph zone. When they pulled her over and conducted an oral fluid test, the results indicated that she had ice (methylamphetamine) in her system.
The client was cooperative with the police and made admissions to the offending, saying that she had used ice the day before but that she wasn’t aware it would still be in her system.
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court. The charges were:
- Exceed Speed Limit
- Fail to Use Headlights
- Fail to Drive in Marked Lane
- Exceed PC Drugs
- Exceed PC Drugs – 49(1)(h)
Our client had 3 priors for excessive speeding infringements and had served three previous periods of suspension. Her last matter was in late 2014 where she had pleaded guilty to charges of Driving Whilst Suspended and Speeding, receiving a fine and further time off the road.
The charge of drug driving carried a 3-month mandatory disqualification period. The risk was that with her poor driving history and the aggravated circumstances around this incident (speeding, swerving, no headlights, drugs in her system), this period could be extended well beyond the mandatory minimum period by the court. This means that a case of drug driving with priors resulting in a minimum licence disqualification is not a likely outcome.
The matter was case conferenced with the prosecution in accordance the client’s instructions. A wealth of materials was prepared and presented to the court: character references from her employer and family, medical evidence to show that she was receiving ongoing treatment through her GP, and clean urine screens which demonstrated that she had remained abstinent from drug use since the incident occurred. The Exceed PC Drugs charge was withdrawn by the prosecution and the client entered a plea on the remaining charges.
The plea focused on the material change in her personal circumstances since the time of the offence, the effect that the period of license disqualification was going to have upon her employment, her cooperation and admissions, and her early plea of guilty. It was submitted that these factors should attract the maximum discount in sentence.
The court was persuaded by the submissions and materials, and the client ultimately received a modest fine of $1,000. Despite the aggravating circumstances surrounding the charges and the fact that it was a case of drug driving with priors, minimum licence disqualification was imposed. It was an excellent result as it closely mirrored the sentence she had received in 2014, without a more severe sentence being imposed.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 27/06/2017