In 2004, the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal published a guideline judgement in relation to high range PCA offences. Although this case acts as a guideline for courts to follow when sentencing on high range PCA offences, there are many parts relevant to other drink driving charges too.
The court held that a section 10 will rarely be appropriate in an ‘ordinary high range PCA offence’. Section 10 has now been replaced with by non-conviction community release orders however the principles remain the same. The court also defined an ordinary case as being where:
The court also stated that automatic periods of disqualification will be appropriate unless there was a good reason to reduce it. Such good reasons include things like:
Where the moral culpability in high range PCA charges is increased, the court said that a section 9 bond (good behaviour bond) would rarely be appropriate. Where there is a high moral culpability in a high range PCA charge and there are prior PCA convictions, then imprisonment would generally be appropriate. Factors that increase the moral culpability in high range PCA matters include:
If you’ve been charged with a drink driving offence you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Marsh Blom Lawyers offer a free 30 minute consultation. We can advise you what the likely penalty will be for your matter.
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