Being in charge of a vehicle while intoxicated

Many readers would no doubt be familiar with the following scenario: You drive to a party or a bar with the intention of having just one or two drinks and then driving home afterwards. However after a few hours, you realise that you haven’t been careful enough with monitoring your alcoholic drinks and that, if you were to drive, you could easily be caught and charged with drink driving. Not wanting to break the law, you decide to spend the night in your car and then drive home the following morning. Surely there couldn’t be anything wrong with this, you think to yourself?
Actually, you could find yourself being taken to court for the offence of being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of liquor.

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Nil alcohol for provisional and probationary licence holders

Previously in Queensland, holders of provisional and probationary licences were subject to a nil-alcohol restriction only if they were under 25 years old. However recent legislative changes have enlarged this so that it does not matter what age the provisional or probationary licence holder is.

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DUI in Queensland: 3 strikes and you’re out!

Most people know that if they are caught drink driving in Queensland, they will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence for a period of time, with the minimum period being one month. What a lot of people don’t realise, however, is that drink driving can result in mandatory prison sentences if certain conditions are met.

The relevant legislation says that if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) for a third time within a period of five years, then you must receive a penalty of imprisonment as the whole or part of your punishment. A person is DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration that equals or exceeds 0.15%.

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Losing your licence for non-vehicle related fines

On 1 January 2010, changes came into effect regarding how the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (“SPER”) can enforce unpaid fines. SPER is the Queensland government department responsible for handling and enforcing fines issued on behalf of the government, such as parking fines or court fines.

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Random breath tests: A Guide to Your Rights

random breath test drink driving dui brisbane queenslandEvery day, more and more drivers on Queensland roads are being pulled over for a random breath test to check if the driver is committing a drink driving offence.

The likelihood of you being pulled over for a random breath test is therefore much higher today than ever before.

But do you know what your rights are if you are pulled over and asked to provide a sample of your breath?

We have discovered from speaking with our clients that there is a lot of confusion about what rights drivers have when dealing with the police, including when pulled over for random breath tests.

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Urinating in public – a public nuisance offence?

If you have found yourself in the unfortunate position of being caught urinating in public and given a notice to appear in court, it is important that you check exactly what you have been charged with. Many people in this position are charged with a public nuisance offence which carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 or 6 months imprisonment. However there is a specific offence of urinating in a public place which only has a maximum penalty of $200.

Clearly it is better to be charged with the latter offence and this is the offence you should be charged with.

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Looting during natural disasters

With the recent floods hitting Queensland, we thought that now would be a timely reminder about the laws relating to looting.

The offence of looting is considered to be a special case of stealing. What makes looting different to an ‘ordinary’ offence of stealing is that the theft of items takes place during either a natural disaster, civil unrest or an industrial dispute. Looting can also occur where the thing stolen is left unattended by the death or incapacity of the person in possession of the property. Continue reading “Looting during natural disasters”

Interlock devices

On 6 August 2010, new alcohol ignition interlock laws were introduced into Queensland. If you have been charged with, or convicted of, a drink driving offence, it is important that you understand how these new laws may impact you.

What is an interlock device?

An  alcohol ignition interlock is a device that is attached to the ignition systems of vehicles. Before a person can start the vehicle, they must blow into the device which will then record the alcohol concentration in that person’s breath. If the alcohol concentration exceeds the prescribed alcohol limit, the vehicle will not start. Continue reading “Interlock devices”