Good Behaviour Bond for Drink Driving Offences

This is a case study on good behaviour bond for drink driving offences.

What is alleged to have occured?
In the early hours of a Saturday morning, our client entered a booze bus site where he underwent a preliminary breath test. He provided a reading of 0.076, which is classified as “low range” drink driving. He was consequently duly served with a section 51 notice under the Road Safety Act immediately suspending his driver’s license. The police serve a section 51 notice on people who exceed the prescribed alcohol limit depending on the following:

  1. If a person holds a full license and provides an alcohol reading of 0.10
  2. If a person holds a learner’s permit and provides an alcohol reading of 0.07
  3. If a person has a relevant prior within 10 years of the current offence date
As our client had a relevant prior within 10 years, his driver’s license was suspended immediately. Unfortunately for the client, he fell into the all too common trap of mixing his own drinks and misjudging the amount of alcohol he had consumed. He also made the error of not eating enough food which he openly admitted.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on charges of Exceed PCA – 49(1)(b) and Exceed PCA 49(1)(f).

Since 31 May 2018, the penalties that are given for drink driving offences have increased. And since this was our client’s subsequent drink driving offence within 10 years, he could not avoid the mandatory 14-month driver’s license suspension. The magistrate has discretion to increase the suspension period, but they do not have the power to reduce or remove the suspension period. A good behaviour bond for drink driving offences was imposed in this case.

Our client was also facing a fine of around $2,000. In these sorts of matters, it is important for the defence solicitor to change the magistrate’s initial perception of the client. The prosecution reads a summary of the offending to the magistrate who is likely to form a dim first impression of the client. It is then our job to shed light on the client’s positive personal attributes which change that perception.

In preparation for the plea hearing, we gathered character references and advised our client to ask his wife to attend court. This will demonstrate that he has a support system in place which would be an advantage in trying to secure a good outcome for the case.

At the plea hearing, we highlighted the fact that our client is a responsible man committed to his young family. He is employed on a full time basis, takes his young child to kindergarten on the days when he works the afternoon shift, and that he has been a support to his wife who has had poor health recently. We also articulated to the magistrate the financial burden and inconvenience the client will experience without his driver’s license for 14 months.

What was the result?
After hearing all the submissions, the magistrate suspended our client’s driver’s license for the mandatory period of 14 months and chose not to further increase the suspension period. The client was also placed on a Good Behaviour Bond for the drink driving offences for 12 months. No financial penalties were imposed.

Elements of Exceed PCA – 49(1)(b):
  • The accused was driving or was in charge of a vehicle
  • The vehicle is a motor vehicle
  • The accused had a prescribed concentration of alcohol present in their blood or breath
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 07/11/2018