It is common for you to receive an on-the-spot disqualification if detected for many drink driving offences. If you have reasonable prospects of successfully defending the charge or having the penalty reduced, then we can make application to have the disqualification set aside until your matter has been properly considered and heard in court.
In our view, the current on-the-spot disqualification system contradicts many of our pillars of justice that have survived for centuries. It beggars belief that we can allow a system to punish you (by the police not even the judiciary) without an admission or finding of guilt. There has also been in our view an attack on the right to silence (you now have to tell them your defence before the disqualification is lifted) and a reversal of the onus of proof (you are presumed guilty unless you can show you have a defence). Yet we hardly heard a squeak from our media or anyone about this. Still in these populist political times we should not expect much else. We wonder where this will spread to next. (It’s a bit like random breath testing stations, which originally had to be authorised by the Commissioner of Police. Then it was extended to allow police to stop you during school holidays and prescribed periods. Now it is a free for all. Police can now pull you over at any time and make you wait for an alcohol test and even longer for a breath analysis test in some circumstances).
The police are also obliged to commence proceedings within a ‘reasonable time’ after serving you with an on the spot disqualification. The Magistrates Court Rules provide that a ‘reasonable time’ is 7 days. In our experience, very few proceedings are commenced within that time frame. Some people are ending up having already served the period of disqualification, under the immediate notice, only to find they have more disqualification to serve at a later time.
We continue to make no apologies for standing up for our client’s rights and trying our best to ensure we protect your rights. However, as any responsible citizen we support the motto “Don’t drink drive, and stay alive.”