DUI and Exceed PCA – Fine, No Conviction

This is a case study on charges of DUI and Exceed PCA resulting in a fine with no conviction.

Our client was charged with Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol (s. 49(1)(a)) and Exceed Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (s. 49(1)(b)). She was 61 years old and, at the time of the offence, had no priors for any offence whatsoever.

What is alleged to have occured?
The facts of the incident were that after consuming too much to drink at her friend’s address, she drove a distance of some 100 metres from her home address. She swerved her vehicle to avoid hitting a kangaroo and the car slid into a ditch on the side of the road and overturned.

The client remained in the vehicle for some time before emergency workers were able to remove her from her car. She was taken to the closest hospital with minor injuries. A blood sample was taken and that sample, upon analysis, had a blood alcohol reading of .162%.

Because the taking and analyis of the sample were done several hours after the accident, expert opinon was that at the actual time of driving, her BAC% would have been in the region of .206 to .250%. Further, the expert opinon was that at the time of driving, our client’s reading was so high as to render her incapable of having proper control of the vehicle.

What happened at court?
This case of DUI and Exceed PCA proceeded as a plea of guilty on the first listing and various materials were tendered in mitigation. We represented the client at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on a charge of Exceed Speed Limit.

Our client had 43 years of unblemished driving history upon which she was entitled to call upon. Further, the offending had occurred against a backdrop of ongoing psychological pressure and chronic pain. The magistrate was furnished with material by way of character references and a psychological report that not only put the offending in context, but also emphasised our client’s good character.

Notwithstanding the very high reading, and the fact that the offence prescribed a potential maximum term of imprisonment of 3 months, the magistrate was persuaded that the offence was out of character and that the client was unlikely to reoffend.

What was the result?
A fine was imposed but no conviction was recorded.

A minimum mandatory period of 2 years licence disqualification was also imposed for the charges of DUI and Exceed PCA, backdated to an earlier date because of the immediate suspension notice that was served on the client.

Elements of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (49.1.A):
  • The accused drove or was in charge of a vehicle.
  • The vehicle was a motor vehicle.
  • The accused, while driving, was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of any drug.
  • The accused’s level of intoxication was to such an extent that he/she would be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle.
Related case studies
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 26/09/2019