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How to get off with drink driving charges.

Updated: Jul 18, 2023





· OFFICER WAS ON holidays.

· Officer was on Maternity Leave

· Officer was sick and the State couldn’t tell when they would return.

· Officer didn’t know the case was listed for hearing (and didn’t turn up).

· An important State witness was missing for trial (and didn’t turn up)

· The State couldn’t prove an essential element of the case e.g., time of driving.

· The Judge had a doubt about the evidence.

· An important piece of documentary evidence went missing.

· An important piece of documentary evidence was used incorrectly.

· The Officer lost his notebook.

· The defendant was charged with the incorrect charge.

· The defendant was charged with an offence unknown under law (typographical error on summons).

· The guidelines for use of breathalyser at roadside or in station were not followed.

· Legal guidelines not followed.

· Officer never gave evidence of the blood-alcohol content certificates when he handed them to the Judge i.e. he never explained -in evidence- what these documents were.

· Officer arrested defendant on private property and never gave evidence of the power authorising him to do so.



These are some of the many reasons why drink driving cases can be dismissed in court.


All these things have happened in cases of mine.


In each of the cases mentioned above the prosecution was ultimately dismissed.

In about half the cases the dismissal of the prosecution case had nothing to do with a legal issue or an evidential issue.



Contrary to popular opinion,
in life, accidents and chance are common.
Unusual outcomes are the rule.



It had to do with something else, something unconnected to the trial of the case itself.


This is the reality of court.

Its also a reality of life.


Cases are listed for trial often months in advance.

Between that day and the day of the trial unforeseen events do happen.




DOCUMENTS CAN GO missing and witnesses may not be in court for a number of reasons, frequently bureaucratic i.e. nobody bothered to write to them telling them they needed to be in court.


For instance, if an officer books annual leave in January for two weeks in June, its completely unreasonable to expect them to cut short their leave because of a bureaucratic mistake in fixing a trial during that period.


Not only is it unreasonable, they’re just not going to do it.

And why should they?

They have booked and paid for holidays abroad with their partner and, sometimes, family.

And they should cancel that?

That's absurd.


The same applies to officers on maternity/paternity leave.

These things are organised months in advance, but bureaucracy takes over and mistakes sometimes happen.

So, on the date of trial the case may be struck out because it cannot be progressed on that day.


As for the rest?


Well, these are mistakes.


there is no such thing as a technicality or loophole.
There is just the law.
Either the law was followed, or it was not.
If a case collapses because the law was not followed
that is not a technicality or a loophole.



Contrary to popular opinion, in life, accidents and chance are common.

Unusual outcomes are the rule.


Like the case where the police officer lost their notebook.

I’m serious.

They had misplaced their notebook and couldn’t find it.

This caused a problem.

A big one.


Because they couldn’t remember specific details of the case (these were recorded in their notebook) they couldn’t make their statement.

That meant they couldn’t comply with the court order to serve disclosure on the defence.

Again, this is a highly unusual event.







But these things happen.

Because that is life.

But because of this unusual event the case was ultimately dismissed.

It was dismissed because the Judge said something that you may have heard before: “justice delayed is justice denied”.




NONE OF THESE THINGS are “technicalities”.

They are not “loopholes”.

In truth there is no such thing as a technicality or loophole.

There is just the law.

Either the law was followed, or it was not.

If a case collapses because the law was not followed that is not a technicality or a loophole.

That is the law not being followed.


These are accidents and chance, and they are common.

They are common because human beings make mistakes.

All of us do.


Mistakes don’t happen in every case.


When they do, they can completely alter the outcome of a case.




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