Exceed PCA With BAC of Over 0.15%

This is a case study involving a charge of Exceed PCA with a BAC of over 0.15%.

Our client was charged with Exceed PCA (blood alcohol concentration or BAC at 0.221%) and Careless Driving. She was a teacher by profession and had an otherwise exemplary record. Her case proceeded as a plea of guilty.

What is alleged to have occured?
It was the client’s second offence, although the first offence was over 15 years old. The allegations were that through a combination of carelessness and a high blood alcohol reading, the client had driven into the fence of a semi-rural property.

As a result of that accident, the client’s car was written off. She was not injured and nor was anyone else.

What happened at court?
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court. The exact charges were Exceed PCA and Careless Driving.

A detailed plea in mitigation was presented to the presiding magistrate.

The Road Safety Act prescibes the possibility of imprisonment for a second drink driving offence; moreover, a longer period of imprisonment where the Exceed PCA includes a BAC of over 0.15%. In this case, our client’s earlier prior offences was 17 years ago but her blood alcohol reading was 4 times the legal limit.

The earliest discussions with our client concerned the importance of properly explaining the context in which the offence occurred, and in particular the underlying causes of the offence. Of importance too, was the extent to which our client had sought and received treatment to address the underlying causes.

We identified that it was also important to demonstrate her good character. A detailed explanation of the intense stress our client had been subject to in the 6 months preceding the accident was brought to the court’s attention. As was the very constructive steps our client had taken through self-referring for psychological treatment. A detailed and helpful psychological report was tendered along with outstanding character references.

What was the result?
The magistrate was ultimately persuaded to take the exceptional course of imposing a fine without recording a conviction. As the client had emphasised the importance of avoiding a conviction, this was a pleasing outcome for her.

It was an excellent outcome for a case involving Exceed PCA with a BAC of over 0.15%. The way the case was handled underscores the importance of early preparation so that the submissions made to a court for the purposes of sentencing are as persuasive as can be.

Elements of Exceed PCA:
  • The person has had a blood sample taken from them within three hours after driving or being in control of a motor vehicle.
  • The blood sample was analysed within 12 months after it was taken by a properly qualified analyst.
  • The analyst has found more than the prescribed concentration of alcohol present in the blood sample.
  • The concentration of alcohol found in the sample was not due solely to the consumption of alcohol after driving or being in charge of the motor 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 16/09/2019