Should you be driving?

Aussie drink-driving laws have similar penalties, but our BAC level is still at .05. This will be moved to .02 in the coming years.
Be safe for you, your family and the person you may injure because, you thought you were ‘ok to drive!’



People Against Drink/Drug Driving

padd logo imageImagine if you had to tell a family that their child was never coming home again...because a driver had a few too many drinks and they were too lazy to get a taxi? How would you feel if it was your child? Your brother, your parent, your best friend? Now imagine that you're the one who had a few drinks and thought...Home isn't too far. I'll make it without getting busted. While on the back streets worrying if the booze bus will catch you, you hit someone. How do you live with that for the rest of your life?

On 30 April 2018 the Victorian Government has cracked down on drink and drug driving by introducing tougher sentences for anyone convicted of a drink or drug driving offence. The relevant legislation contains mandatory minimum penalties which increase in severity depending on how far over the limit a driver is. The police can lay charges if a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) exceeds the limit and they are tested within 3 hours of driving.

The mandatory laws require every driver found driving in excess of the limit to be disqualified from holding a licence. There are no exceptions, even for first time offenders. The minimum disqualification doubles for repeat offenders. 

The mandatory minimum disqualification period begins at a 6 months for a first time offender if they are between .05 and .10. The range then increases to a 10 month suspension after .10 which gets significantly higher and reaches a 24 month suspension once first-time offender is .24 over. These are mandatory minimum sentences, the magistrate or judges cannot give a lower penalty.

It might be tempting to not cooperate when the police pull you over, but that is also a criminal act under the law and comes with a penalty of a minimum $1,900 fine and a maximum 18 months imprisonment if you are a repeat offender alongside a mandatory 2 years off the road.

The police can suspend your licence without the Court’s consent if your BAC is over .10, if you refuse a breathalyser or if you have committed a similar offence in the last 10 years. This is called an “immediate suspension” and can only be removed in court. 

Since 2018, it is mandatory for the return of the licence of a convicted drink driver to be conditional on the installation of an alcohol interlock device. Another court date is required to remove the device. 

If you have been charged with such an offence and need legal assistance, please call Hutchinson Legal to speak with an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the drink driving legal process.


INSIGHT Autumn 2019 Newsletter – Hutchinson Legal (Printed with permission)

padd photoImportant Date – Important Event – Important Petition: Making History. 

This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of success of this campaign.

These efforts along with other People Against Drink/Drug Driving (P.A.D.D.) advocacy was the key to ushering in Random Breath Testing! Congratulations again, to P.A.D.D and their hardworking supporters for this job, well done!


View Original Petition

Alcohol takes a rapid toll on the brain, as most of us know, and caution is well warranted about what we choose to do while under its influence. What isn’t so well known is the hit our brains take much later, after the booze has left the system.

The latest research on the topic was a meta-analysis of several studies that examined brain impairment hours to a day after heavy drinking. With few exceptions, these studies showed that our cognitive abilities, like attention and memory, are debilitated even when alcohol in the blood is no longer measurable.

“Impaired performance in these abilities reflects poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times,” said lead study author Craig Gunn of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath.

For complete story go to Longer than you think!

A Systematic Review of the Next‐Day Effects of Heavy Alcohol Consumption on Cognitive Performance August 2018 August 2018

Cannabis is now the most frequently detected illicit drug in drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes. Experimental research and epidemiological data have demonstrated psychomotor impairment associated with THC intoxication and quantified impairment with heightened risk of motor vehicle fatalities. Experimental laboratory studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the primary component of cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), impairs psychomotor skills including reaction time, focus, executive function, decision making, impulse control, and short-term memory, all important assets needed for safe driving.

Research reveals that the high from marijuana peaks during the first hour after smoking and slowly declines over the following 2 to 5 hours (Hartman and Huestis 2013), sometimes longer. Studies of aircraft pilots who failed to safely execute an emergency landing 24-hours after smoking marijuana should have been the wake-up call we needed regarding the prolonged impairment, in some case 1-2 days after the subjective “high” wears off. But well-financed proponents of marijuana legalization were successful at circumventing the conventions of scientific inquiry to assess safety and efficacy, thus allowing a largely uneducated public to vote the use of this addictive drug into law. As a result, the prevalence of cannabis use is expected to increase as ongoing legalization of both medical and recreational use proceed, despite any scientific evidence regarding the efficacy as a medicine or individual and public safety concerns 

For complete article

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