A woman has been reported allegedly driving 6-times over the legal limit after colliding into a parked vehicle in NSW.
It’s reported that the 36-year-old mother was allegedly driving with a high-range drink driving BAC level with her 14-year-old son in the car when she hit her 4-WD Toyota Kluger into a parked vehicle in Goulburn NSW on Wednesday 19 February.
The accident occurred in the Southern Tablelands, NSW where police attended the scene when the mother was subjected to a road side breath test returning a positive reading of alcohol.
This resulted in the mother being arrested and taken by police to the police station where she was subjected to a breath analysis machine, returning a high-range reading of 0.288 BAC level.
Police not only charged her with a high-range drink driving offence, but issued her with an immediate police licence suspension.
She is required to appear before the Magistrate at the Goulburn Local Court on 18 March where she will be expected to either enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the drink driving charge.
If she pleads guilty, the court may either sentence her on the day or adjourn the case for sentencing to another day.
If the mother pleads not guilty, the case will be adjourned for hearing, in which case there are a limited defences available.
The High-range Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level threshold under NSW law is 0.15g or more.
There are pretty heavy maximum penalties for high-range drink driving that NSW Courts can impose, including the following under section 110(5) Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW):
Jail and Fine
- As a first offender: 18-month jail or $3,300 fine, or both with a criminal record.
- As a second or subsequent offence, where you have a previous drink driving (or major offence) conviction within the 5-years preceding the day you’re convicted for your current high-range drink driving offence (‘second offence’): 2-years jail or $5,500 fine, or both with a criminal record.
Driver Licence Disqualification Period
- As a first offender: Disqualification of 6 to 9 months off the road, with a 2-year minimum interlock period, unless an exception to the interlock period applies in which case an automatic disqualification of 3-years or minimum 1-year.
- As a second offender: Disqualification of 9 to 12 months off the road, with a 4-year minimum interlock period, unless an exemption to the interlock period applies in which case an automatic disqualification of 5-years or minimum of 2-years.
Can You Avoid a Criminal Record for High-Range Drink Driving?
You can avoid a criminal conviction even after pleading guilty to high-range drink driving if you prepare well enough, and your case fits within the criteria of the courts discretion in sentencing you with a non-conviction sentence.
A non-conviction sentence or penalty is a type of sentence known as either a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order non conviction.
It’s extremely important to be aware of the high-range drink driving guideline judgment when considering this type of result.
Can You Avoid a Disqualification and Keep Your Licence for High-Range Drink Driving?
The Court can allow you to keep your licence without a disqualification period for high-range drink driving even after pleading guilty if, like the above, the court can be convinced enough to impose a non-conviction sentencing penalty.
Again, the guideline judgment for high-range drink driving is critical to be aware of, as the Courts always have this in mind when sentencing for this type of drink driving offence.
There are a few important ‘stock standard’ things you should be when preparing for a high-range drink driving sentence in court.
This includes, ensure that you enrol into an accredited traffic offenders education course before your sentence date in order for the court to be able to take it into account. This will normally reduce the penalty.
It is also important to prepare enough evidence as to the extent of your need for a driver licence and who will be impacted.
Further, it is important to be able to, if genuine, express remorse and insight into the offence. This can be done in a number of ways, including through an apology letter for drink driving sentences, and good character letter for drink driving sentences.