Sydney, Parramatta & Melbourne Criminal Defence Lawyers

First Offender Case Study – Drive With High Range Prescribed Concentration Of Alcohol

Client was charged with an offence of drive with a high range prescribed concentration of alcohol present in breath or blood. The client was a 33-year-old woman who had no criminal convictions on her record and a few minor matters on her traffic record. She had never appeared before the courts before. However, due to the extreme circumstances of our client’s offending conduct, there was the real possibility she could be sentenced to full-time imprisonment.

The Facts

The client was driving in the centre lane of a road in Sydney at around 8:30pm. As she was overtaking a semi-trailer travelling in the left lane, she collided with the offside of the truck. This caused the semi-trailer to mount the gutter and become wedged against the side of a cliff. The stoppage of the truck caused traffic chaos for many hours.

The client did not initially stop and fled the scene without providing her details to the other

When police arrived, they conducted a road side breath test which returned a positive result. Police then placed the client under arrest for the purpose of a breath analysis. The breath analysis returned a reading of 0.240 grams of alcohol in 210 litres of breath, which is approximately 3.5 times the legal limit of 0.05.

The Offence

An offence of drive with high-range PCA carries a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $3300. This offence is also a ‘prescribed interlock offence’, with a minimum period of disqualification of 9 months, and at the end of this disqualification period, a minimum of 24 months on interlock licence program.

As a result of her leaving the scene of the crash without providing her details to the driver of the semi-trailer, she was also charged with an offence of not give particulars to other driver. This carries a maximum fine of $2200 and 3 demerit points.

The Result

This was a very serious example of a high-range PCA offence. Most offenders that come before the court for drink-driving related offences are generally apprehended as a result of a random breath test, before they can cause any harm to other drivers or vehicles. The client here had caused a very serious accident, with the potential for catastrophe.

First Offence Legal began preparations early. We worked with the client to obtain an extensive amount of subjective material. This material addressed a number of issues that the sentencing Magistrate would have found concerning. Many hours were put in to ensure the Court was presented with the full picture, and not simple just another high-level drunk driver on our roads.

The Magistrate ultimately took the view that the client had done all things necessary to ensure her rehabilitation, and commended the extensive preparation that had been put into the matter.

In the end, the client was convicted of the high range PCA offence and sentenced to a Community Correction Order for a period of 18 months. She was disqualified from driving for a period of 9 months and will be required to fit an interlock device to her vehicle for a period of 24 months on the expiration of the disqualification period. In addition, for the not give particulars to other driver offence, she was convicted and fined $250.

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