How To Prepare for a Drink Driving Offence Court

How To Prepare for a Drink Driving Offence Court

If you’ve been charged with a drink driving offence or received a penalty notice, going to court may be intimidating and complicated. Being organised is the greatest approach to ensure that you are ready for court.

A drink driving offence might include the following:

  • A violation of the ‘prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA)
  • A ‘driving under the influence (DUI) offence includes rejecting or neglecting to provide a breath or blood sample for examination, as well as dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Combined drug/alcohol offence for drivers who may be prosecuted with a combined drug/alcohol offence if you are over the legal limit for alcohol and test positive for drugs. The punishments for both offences are substantially more severe.

The quantity of alcohol you can have in your blood while driving is restricted by law. A driver’s alcohol limit is determined by the sort of licence you have; learners and P-platers, for example, have a lesser limit than full licence holders.

Depending on how much you are over the limit, you can be charged with low, medium, high, special, and novice-range PCA offences. For example, instead of going to court, first-time offenders with blood alcohol readings in the lower ranges may get a penalty notice (fine) and an immediate suspension of their motor licence.

If you must go to court for your drink driving offence, here are six steps you should do to prepare. 

1: Seek Legal Counsel

You should seek legal assistance through a driving offence lawyer as quickly as possible, so they can assist you in determining what you need to prepare and what to say before the magistrate.

2: Confirm Your Court Date, Time, and Location

Make a note of your court appearance’s date, time, and location. This should be stated on your Court Attendance Notice (CAN) or on your local court website. If you are unable to attend court on that day, with your driving offence lawyer, you may:

  • Request the date be rescheduled.
  • Request your case be transferred to a different courthouse
  • Submit a written plea of guilty at least seven days before your court date. You should get legal counsel before proceeding. Depending on the facts of your case, you may still be required to appear in court.

If you fail to show up for your court date or arrive late, the court may make a ruling without you. You won’t be able to convey your version of events, and the court won’t be able to take your personal circumstances into account if the court renders a judgement in your absence.

3: Look at Different Types of Intervention Programs

You might be eligible to enrol in a program created for persons who have done the same or a comparable crime as you. These programs are designed to help you avoid committing the same crime again. For example, suppose you have a history of drink driving offences. In that case, you may want to explore the alcohol interlock program. In addition, if you have a history of drug offences, you may want to seek the Magistrates Early Referral into tabteck Program (MERIT).

A magistrate may consider your participation in intervention programs when considering your sentencing. You and your driving offence lawyer can petition the court to delay your case to a date after the program ends if you want.

4: Prepare the Points You Want to Discuss

With the guidance of your driving offence lawyer, it’s a good idea to jot down the essential concepts you wish to convey to the judge. These are referred to as ‘submissions’ and can come in handy if you forget what to say in court. If you’re afraid of speaking in front of a judge, you could:

  • With one of your friends or family, practise speaking before the magistrate.
  • Visit a local court and see a few instances. You may find out the dates and times of sentencing hearings by calling the court. Courts are open to the public, and you can sit in the public area at the rear of any court and observe
  • Submit your remarks in a letter to the magistrate.

5: Gather Character References

It’s a good idea to acquire two or three character references before pleading guilty. Referees (those who know you and can write about your good character) write character references to the magistrate. These referees should have a solid reputation, have no criminal records, and be aware of the reason for your court appearance.

Written testimonials from persons who can attest to your good character may benefit your case. References should be directed to the magistrate, with the writers stating that they are aware of the accusations you are facing in court. 

6: Gather Your Paperwork

You should also include whatever proof you have that backs up your claims in your submissions, such as:

  • Certificate from the Traffic Offender Intervention Program. If you’ve completed a course, such as a TOIP, you should save a copy of the certificate proving your completion.
  • Early Referral Into Treatment Report by the Magistrates. If you have finished a MERIT programme, the magistrate will get a report detailing your progress through the programme. If you wish to examine the report before your court date, contact MERIT and request a copy.
  • Other documents. Medical certifications, receipts, a letter or report from a therapist, and proof of your income and assets may also be useful, depending on your circumstances.
  • the Police Facts Sheet or any police materials you’ve received
  • Your submissions or letter to the magistrate,
  • Your character references,
  • As well as a notepad and pen to jot down notes

Any papers you plan to exhibit the court should be brought in the original as well as three duplicates. The court will retain the original. For example, one copy should be given to the police prosecutor, one should be kept for your records, and a third should be kept as a backup.

What is the Worst That Might Happen to Me?

If you are convicted, you will lose your licence for a while; the more significant your blood alcohol level, the longer your licence will be suspended. In addition, the court may impose a fine or additional punishment for more severe offences, such as a jail sentence. In addition, a mandatory alcohol interlock order may be given if you have severe or many drunk driving offences.

What is Required Alcohol Interlock Orders, and How Do They Work?

An interlock device is an electronic breath testing device attached to a vehicle’s ignition and prevents it from starting if alcohol is detected.If you are convicted of several or more severe drink driving offences, the court can impose an interlock device on you. This implies that your licence will be suspended for five years unless you do the following.A shorter disqualification period can be between 1 and 12 months, followed by time in the interlock program, usually 1 – 4 years.

Participating in the interlock programme entails the following:

  • You can only drive vehicles with an interlock device;
  • You must have an interlock device installed in your car;
  • You must provide a breath sample to start your vehicle;
  • You must pass random breath tests while driving; and
  • You, or anyone driving your vehicle, will be photographed each time a breath sample is provided
  • Any breath samples that are positive for alcohol, or attempts to tamper with the interlock device, are recorded by the interlock and monitored by ROA

Where Can I Get Legal Help?

Finding the proper counsel is a critical choice, especially if you are defending traffic or drink driving offences. A conviction for numerous traffic offences results in disqualification from driving, which can significantly impact your lifestyle, family, and capacity to work. We hope the suggestions in this article will allow you to choose the proper driving offence lawyers for your case and give yourself the best chance of victory!

Share this post

Post Comment