A Novice Range Drink Driving Offence VIC
In Victoria, the rules for drink driving are stringent, especially for novice drivers who are not permitted to have any alcohol in their system while driving. A Novice Range Drink Driving offence occurs when a learner, probationary, or restricted driver is found driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.00 to 0.019.
The police play a crucial role in the identification and prosecution of drink driving offences, including Novice Range offences. The process typically involves the following steps:
Preliminary Breath Test: The police have the authority to stop any vehicle and request the driver to undertake a preliminary breath test. If the test indicates a BAC above 0.00 for novice drivers, the driver will be arrested and taken to the police station or a mobile testing unit for an evidentiary breath test.
Evidentiary Breath Test: This is a more accurate test than the preliminary test, and its results are used as evidence in court. If the test confirms a BAC between 0.00 and 0.019 for a novice driver, the police will charge the driver with a Novice Range Drink Driving offence and issue a notice to appear in court.
The court procedures for a Novice Range Drink Driving offence are similar to other drink driving offences and involve several stages:
First Appearance: During the initial court appearance, the offender is required to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty), and the court may consider bail if necessary.
Plea: If the offender pleads guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. If the offender pleads not guilty, a contested hearing will be scheduled.
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.
Sentencing: If the offender is found guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. The court will consider various factors, including the offender’s driving history, the level of intoxication, and any other relevant circumstances.
Defending a Novice Range Drink Driving charge can be challenging due to the accuracy of the evidentiary breath test. However, there are some potential defences that may be applicable in certain situations:
Honest and Reasonable Mistake: This defence applies if the offender can prove that they honestly and reasonably believed they had a BAC of 0.00 when driving.
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.
Special Circumstances: This defence applies if there were special circumstances that led to the offender driving with a BAC above 0.00, 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.
Novice Range Drink Driving offences in Victoria involve a structured police and court procedure, and the potential penalties can be severe, ranging from fines to license disqualification. 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 Novice Range Drink Driving charge is to abstain from drinking alcohol before driving.