Criminal lawyers for Driving under the influence

Driving under the influence is an offence that our criminal lawyers have a track record of successfully defending because it’s not based on evidence of intoxication from blood or breath tests. Police charge the offence of Driving under the influence based on their observations and the observations of civilian witnesses. 

Evidence of an accused person’s appearance is typically along the lines of “the accused was unsteady on his feet, eyes bloodshot or bleary, speech slurred and had breath smelling strongly of intoxicating liquor.” Such evidence is often fallible, uninformed and untrue, and can be inherently bias and partisan.

If you intend to plead guilty, our criminal lawyers have a proven track record of not only keeping our clients out of jail but also in some cases having no conviction recorded.

How do I beat a charge of driving under the influence?

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Driving under the influence if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that you, under the influence of alcohol or any other drug:

  1. drove a vehicle; or
  2. occupied the driving seat of a vehicle and attempted to put the vehicle in motion; or
  3. occupied the seat in or on a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who was driving the vehicle (if the person is the holder of an applicable driver licence, other than an applicable provisional licence or applicable learner licence)

Under the influence includes being affected to a slight, moderate, or substantial degree. 

Where a blood test has been taken a person cannot be charged with driving under the influence.

Penalty for a first offence within 5 years

You will not be disqualified from driving if the court deals with your charge of Driving under the influence by way of section 10. This means you keep your driver’s licence (it isn’t disqualified) and you will have no criminal record. 

To find out more about a section 10, click here.

If the court convicts you the mandatory interlock program applies to a first offence of Driving under the influence. means to drive you will be required to install an interlock device on your car following the disqualification expiring. 

If an interlock order is made you will be disqualified for 6-9 months, then placed on the interlock program for a further two years.

Participants in the interlock program are required to have devices that connect to the ignition of a vehicle and prevent it from starting if the driver cannot pass an alcohol breath test. The cost of installing the device and the annual licensing fee is paid by the person subject to the interlock order. 

Interlock licence holders are required to have a zero-blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when driving. 

If you are convicted of a first offence of Driving under the influence, the maximum fine that a court can impose is $3,300.00. The maximum term of imprisonment is 18 months.

You can read about all the sentencing options that a court has, including having no conviction recorded.

Penalty for a second offence within 5 years

You will not be disqualified from driving if the court deals with your charge of Driving under the influence by way of section 10, which means you keep your driver’s licence (it isn’t disqualified) and you will have no criminal record. 

To find out more about a section 10, click here.

If the court convicts you the mandatory interlock program applies to a second offence of Drive under the influence. This means to drive you will be required to install an interlock device on your car following the disqualification expiring. 

If an interlock order is made you will be disqualified for 9-12 months, then placed on the interlock program for a further four years. 

Participants in the interlock program are required to have devices that connect to the ignition of a vehicle and prevent it from starting if the driver cannot pass an alcohol breath test. The cost of installing the device and the annual licensing fee is paid by the person subject to the interlock order. 

Interlock licence holders are required to have a zero-blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when driving. 

If you are convicted of a second offence of Driving under the influence, the maximum fine that a court can impose is $5,500.00. The maximum term of imprisonment is two years.

You can read about all the sentencing options that a court has, including having no conviction recorded.

What will my traffic lawyer do to prepare my case?

To prepare your case to the highest standard and speak on your behalf, evidence supporting submissions on the above factors are usually supplied to your traffic lawyer and then tendered to the court. Examples of evidence that may assist in an Appeal includes:

  • Certificate of completion of the Traffic Offenders Program.
  • References from employers, family members and health professionals stating why you have a need for a driver’s licence e.g. for work, to pick up and drop off children from school, a chronic back condition, etc.
  • Employment contracts stating that having a driver’s licence is a condition of employment.
  • Medical documentation about any medical conditions you or members of your family have.
  • Trip planner documents showing geographic isolation or unavailability of public transport from your residential address to your place of employment.
  • A letter of apology or affidavit stating what happened.

Do I need references?

We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court. To find out more about how to write a good reference, click here.

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group?

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Driving under the influence offences, including no convictions. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record, losing your licence or keeping it, and freedom or jail. To read more about Australian Criminal Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Driving under the influence charge, call Australian Criminal Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, and Blacktown offices, or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented a man charged with driving under the influence at Downing Centre Local Court. Expert evidence was called in favour of the Defendant that provided the opinion that the amount of THC in the blood was not enough to affect the driving. The police called an expert to similarly claim that the THC would have affected the driver. Mr Correy argued that if the Magistrate could not reject the evidence of the expert called by the defence, then there had to be doubt. The Magistrate stated she could not separate the two opinions on the material before the court and dismissed the charge.

Case Study 

Australian Criminal Law Group represented a man charged with Driving under the influence, assaulting police and resisting arrest. The police relied on evidence from a roadside breath test that showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.450. When our client was told of the reading, he protested his innocence and refused to attend the police station. In the process, he assaulted and resisted police. Our solicitor argued at a defended hearing that the reading was preposterously high, and our client would not have been able to communicate or interact with the police with such a high reading. Medical evidence was put forward that a reading so high would require hospitalization for alcohol poisoning and could have resulted in death. The Magistrate accepted that the conduct of our client against the reading on the breath testing machine meant that the machine was undoubtedly broken. The magistrate dismissed the driving under the influence charge and held the arrest to be illegal and dismissed the assault police and resist arrest charges as well. Our client is now suing the police for unlawful imprisonment and malicious prosecution. 

Case Study

Mr Harb represented a driver charged with High Range PCA. The driver was breath tested by police in his driveway. Mr Harb argued the ‘Home Safe’ defence and the magistrate dismissed the charge with a finding of not guilty.

Case Study

Mr Harb represented a driver charged with High Range PCA. There had been a minor accident that delayed the breath testing because the police were not immediately called. The police alleged that the breath test was done about 1 hour and 45 minutes after the driving/accident. Mr Harb argued that there was room for error in the estimate of time between the driving/accident in the breath test. He argued that the court could not find beyond reasonable doubt that the breath test was done within two hours of the driving. The magistrate dismissed the charge with a finding of not guilty.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented a woman charged with High Range PCA. She was stopped speeding in a street. Mr Correy put forward to the Magistrate that she only drove the car to escape a threat of domestic violence She was stopped less than 100 metres from where her partner had attempted to assault her. The Magistrate accepted the reason for her driving and dismissed the charge under section 10 and did not record a conviction. 

Case Study

Mr Adut appeared for a man who was charged with High Range PCA and had five drink driving offences on his record, including two High Range PCA offences. Mr Adut took the matter to the District Court and ran a section 32 application on the basis that his client was self-medicating to address his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The judge found the circumstances to be exceptional and dismissed the charge pursuant to s 32 without recording a conviction. 

Case Study

Mr Harb acted for three drink driving sentences in one day. Two for Mid-Range PCA and one for Low Lange PCA. The court dealt with each of the matters under section 10 and did not record a conviction, meaning his three clients did not lose their licence. 

Case Study

Mr Correy appeared for a client charged with Mid-Range PCA. He had been stopped driving the morning after going out drinking with his family. The Magistrate accepted that Mr Correy’s client was unaware he was over the limit at the time he drove the car, and did not record a conviction, meaning his client did not lose their licence.

Testimonials

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