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QLD Drink Driving Charge

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Gav, 4 August 2014.

  1. Gav

    Gav Member

    4 August 2014
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    I have been charged with drink driving and am waiting to appear in court. I admitted to the police that I had had a few drinks that day as it was my birthday, but drinks were paced as I was preparing, cooking ans socialising.
    Later in the evening I left after an argument with my partner believing I was ok to drive.
    On my return trip home to sort things out my car broke down. I left it where it was with the hazards on after finding the problem and walked home to get my phone to call my brother-in-law for help.
    Got into another heated discussion had a drink of straight Jack Daniels and proceed to walk back to the car.
    I was pulled up on the side of the road by the police and charged, I did not make it back to the car.

    My questions are:
    Can I be charge as it had been 2-3 hours since I had been operating the vehicle and I had, had another drink. Nor was I pulled up near the vehicle.
    I was charged with mid-range BAC/BAL and I believe it went up a fair bit between the roadside test and the station test.
    My main concern is having this on my record, I have always been dead against drink driving and had organised lifts for everyone that night to get home. I would not have driven if I thought I was over the limit. I believe I was over at the point of driving it would not have been by much.
    I am struggling to afford a lawyer and most I have spoken to dont really fill you with confidence or will advise what options I have until I commit to using thier services at a hefty fee.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    #1 Gav, 4 August 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 September 2015
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

    14 April 2014
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    Hi @Gav,
    I assume that you were charged under section 79 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld), and assuming it was a mid-range BAC (between 0.10 and 0.15) and that you have no prior convictions, then the maximum penalty is 20 penalty units (~$2,200) or 6 months’ imprisonment. Keep in mind that this is the maximum penalty without consideration for any mitigating circumstances, etc.

    Under section 79 of the Act, drink driving offences apply to a person who:
    • drives;
    • attempts to drive; or
    • is in charge of a motor vehicle after consuming liquor.
    Legal Aid Queensland's website advises - "What if I've been drinking but I'm just sitting in the car and not driving?"
    You don't have to be driving the car or other vehicle to be breaking the law, as you may be what the law calls 'in charge of the vehicle'. So if you don't drive but you try to start the vehicle or move it, or you are sitting in the driver's seat with the keys in the ignition or nearby, then you may be breaking the law if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    It comes down to how important your driver licence is to you. If it is important and you have the means, then you should seriously consider engaging a lawyer that you feel comfortable with. If you are unhappy with the lawyers that you've spoken with to date, you may also consider the Queensland Law Society's Find a Solicitor service. If you don't have the means, you may consider contacting Legal Aid Queensland.

    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
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  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
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    Imagine the police would have a hard time proving their case if the car was inoperable and they tested you while walking and you had a drink after driving.

    Try legal aid AFTER the charges are known. Don't panic yet, you have time on your side.

    BTW, write up notes of your discussion with the police now while you can remember them clearly.
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