First time Drink Driving offence.



IF YOU ARE ARRESTED and convicted of drink driving, you will be disqualified from driving.


There is no doubt about this.


Often, people who are charged with drink driving panic when the reality of what they’re facing becomes clear. The reality is that if a person is convicted they are disqualified.

That is mandatory.


The effect on your job, your ability to pay your mortgage,
to drop your kids off to school or sports,
none of that is taken into account.
The law doesn't care.


What this means is that if a person is convicted not only will they be disqualified they must be disqualified.


There have been a great many unfortunate cases of drink driving before the courts over the years where the Judge has had the unhappy task of disqualifying drivers.


Sometimes these have been people who have failed a breath test at a routine traffic stop where no adverse event has occurred i.e. an accident or obvious bad driving.


Sometimes older gentlemen who live in remote areas are arrested after failing a breath test at a checkpoint. These men are often bachelors and are the sole carers for an elderly parent.


They have not only devoted their lives to the care of their parent, but almost all of them have never had so much as a parking ticket issued against them in all their lives.

And now they face going off the road.


Even though the Judge may feel great sympathy for their plight, even though the police may privately agree that being disqualified from driving is very harsh in their case, the Judge has us option.


The law not only requires but demands that the court disqualifies a person who has been convicted of drink driving.


This aspect annoys some people a lot.


You can see why people fight so hard
to defend these cases.
It’s not that they don’t accept that they have made a mistake.
For many of them there is simply no choice but to fight.


PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN in trouble before -who look around at society at those people who are regularly in trouble or who seem to “get away with it”- feel especially aggrieved that during the one event in their life where they find themselves in conflict with the law, they face potential ruin.

They may have driven without incident to a checkpoint. There may have been no indication of intoxication except a failed breath test and the entire weight of the law is now bearing down on them.


There is simply no allowance made for people with unfortunate family backgrounds. There is no provision made for people who have never been in trouble before.


The effect on your job, your ability to pay your mortgage, to drop your kids off to school or sports, none of that is taken into account.

The law doesn't care.


It is not the Judge that is being difficult here, it is the law.


Judges don’t make laws, but they must apply them. If they are presented with a law that they don’t like, they can’t ignore it.

While judges have great leeway in how they choose to interpret laws, the law around drink driving allow for no discretion on the part of the Judge.


So even though you may feel that it is very unfair that the law punishes people so severely for what is probably a once-off event, that is the law.


You can see why people fight so hard to defend these cases. It’s not that they don’t accept that they have made a mistake.


For many of them there is simply no choice but to fight.


145 views0 comments