This article outlines the role of the police, the court process, and potential defences for Low Range Drink Driving offences in Victoria.
Low Range Drink Driving offences in Victoria are treated seriously, with penalties that can impact an individual’s life significantly. A Low Range Drink Driving offence occurs when a driver is found with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.05 to 0.069. article outlines the role of the police, the court process, and potential defences for Low Range Drink Driving offences in Victoria.
Role of Police in Low Range Drink Driving offences
The police play a pivotal role in detecting and prosecuting Low Range Drink Driving offences. The typical process involves the following steps:
Preliminary Breath Test: 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 0.05, 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, and its results can be used as evidence in court. If the test confirms a BAC between 0.05 and 0.069, the police will charge the driver with a Low Range Drink Driving offence and issue a notice to appear in court.
The court procedures for a Low Range Drink Driving offence involve several stages:
First Appearance: At the initial court appearance, the offender will be 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.
Potential Defences for Low Range Drink Driving offences
Defending a Low 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 below 0.05 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 0.05, 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.
Low Range Drink Driving offences in Victoria involve a structured police and court procedure, and the potential penalties can be severe, including fines and license disqualification. Although there are potential defences, they are not guaranteed to be successful, and it is advisable to seek legal advice to navigate the legal process effectively.