Dykes was employed as a driver in an Oaklands trucking firm that delivered fuel to farms. He used to travel over 1000 km weekly, delivering fuel to a wide area until he pleaded guilty to a high range drink driving charge.
The police were conducting a patrol near Mulwala when they flagged Dykes for a random alcohol test. At first, the police could not smell alcohol on Dykes’ breath because of the diesel fuel fumes.
However, when Dykes said that he recently drank a full strength beer, the police waited for about 15 minutes before conducting the alcohol test. Dykes registered positive. He was immediately arrested and his license suspended by the police.
The results of his breath test analysis showed 0.153. Dykes who hails from Weston Close, Yarrawonga, admitted to the police that he had his first drink that night at 6:15 PM and his last drink at 9:00 PM.
According to the Roads Transport General Act in NSW, drink driving is high range when the blood alcohol concentration of the driver is 0.150 and above. The penalty that may be meted out to a first time offender is a maximum imprisonment term of 18 months and disqualification from driving of up to 3 years.
For the second time offenders or more the penalty that may be imposed is a maximum imprisonment term of 2 years and a disqualification from driving of up to 5 years. Whenever determining the penalty, the court will be considering the driver’s traffic history, the alcohol level, need for a driver’s license, character and presence or absence of aggravating circumstances.
After Dykes pleaded guilty, Magistrate Tony Murray of the Corowa Local Court imposed a fine of $450, ordered that Dykes be placed on 12 month bond and to attend a driver education course. Dykes’ license was also disqualified for 12 months. Dykes’ employer submitted a letter to the Magistrate to the effect that Dykes would lose his job since he could no longer drive for 12 months.
During the hearing, the court heard that Dykes had a previous drink driving charge a little more than five years ago. Magistrate Murray said, “It is sad to see you come back before the court.” On the other hand, Solicitor Jason Hanke thought Dykes to be lucky that the latter’s new drink driving charge was more than five years from the previous charge; otherwise, the penalties imposed could have been higher.
According to Magistrate Murray for a case like Dykes’, the fine would normally be $1400 or $1500. However, in imposing the penalty on Dykes, Magistrate Murray took into consideration that Dykes would be unemployed and in financial difficulty.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for professional or legal advice.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.