Mid Range Drink Driving Offense VIC

Navigating Mid-Range Drink Driving Offences in Victoria: The Role of Police, Court Procedures, and Potential Defences

Drink driving offences in Victoria are treated with utmost severity and are classified into different levels based on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A Mid-Range Drink Driving offence is applicable to drivers with a BAC of 0.07 to 0.14. This article will elucidate the role of the police, court procedures, potential penalties, and potential defences for a Mid-Range Drink Driving offence in Victoria.

Role of Police

The police are tasked with enforcing drink driving laws in Victoria. Their role typically encompasses the following steps:

  1. Preliminary Breath Test: Police can stop any vehicle and request the driver to undertake a preliminary breath test. If the test indicates a BAC over the legal limit, the driver will be arrested and taken to the police station or a mobile testing unit for an evidentiary breath test.

  2. Evidentiary Breath Test: This test is more precise than the preliminary test and will be used as evidence in court. If the test confirms a BAC of 0.07 to 0.14, the police will charge the driver with a Mid-Range Drink Driving offence and issue a notice to appear in court.

Court Procedures

The court procedures for a Mid-Range Drink Driving offence involve several stages:

  1. First Appearance: The initial court appearance is for the offender to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty) and for the court to consider bail if necessary.

  2. Plea: If the offender pleads guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. If the offender pleads not guilty, a contested hearing will be scheduled.

  3. Contested Hearing: During the contested hearing, the police will present evidence, and the offender can present their case and any defences. The magistrate will then make a decision based on the evidence presented.

  4. Sentencing: If the offender is found guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. The court will consider various factors, including the offender’s prior driving history, level of intoxication, and any other relevant circumstances.

Potential Defences

While it is challenging to defend a Mid-Range Drink Driving charge due to the accuracy of the evidentiary breath test, there are some potential defences that may be applicable in certain situations:

  1. Honest and Reasonable Mistake: This defence applies if the offender can prove that they honestly and reasonably believed they were under the legal BAC limit when they were driving.

  2. Technical or Procedural Errors: This defence applies if there were technical or procedural errors in the way the police conducted the breath tests or arrested and charged the offender.

  3. Special Circumstances: This defence applies if there were special circumstances that led to the offender driving while over the legal BAC limit, such as a medical emergency.

It is important to note that these defences are not guaranteed to be successful, and it is advisable to seek legal advice to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Conclusion

Being faced with a Mid-Range Drink Driving charge in Victoria involves a structured police and court procedure, and the potential penalties can be severe, ranging from fines to imprisonment. While there are some potential defences, they are not guaranteed to be successful, and it is advisable to seek legal advice to navigate the legal process effectively. Ultimately, the best way to avoid a Mid-Range Drink Driving charge is to refrain from drinking and driving altogether.

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