近年の法改正により、飲酒運転に関する規制が強化されました。 中範囲飲酒運転犯罪者のための必須のインターロック 2018年12月1日以降、NSWの飲酒運転犯罪で中間範囲(0.08~0.149)で有罪判決を受けたすべてのドライバーは、インターロックを設置する必要があります。言い換えれば、そのようなインターロックプログラムの犯罪者への適用を無効にする裁判所命令が与えられていない限り、強制的にインターロックインストールが必要です。インターロックプログラムは、初めて低範囲または中間範囲の飲酒運転犯罪を犯したドライバーにも適用されるように拡張されました。インターロックは、呼吸テストのために車両のエンジン始動に接続連動される電子機器です。 法律改革に従って、中間範囲で有罪判決を受けたドライバーは、3〜6ヶ月間のライセンス失格期間と少なくとも12ヶ月間のインターロックプログラムを完了するよう命じられます。 6ヶ月から12ヶ月のライセンス失格期間を必要とする以前の罰則と比較して、規制が緩められているように見えるかもしれません。それにもかかわらず、インターロックプログラムは、繰り返しまたは深刻な飲酒運転犯罪を犯した人のためのより効果的な抑止力になります。インターロックプログラム命令を受けたドライバーは、代替命令を求め裁判所に上訴することが出来ますがそのような控訴は、特別な医学的理由を有する申請者、車を持っていない、または財政的にインターロックを設置することができない場合にのみ受け入れられます。 実際、インターロックプログラムは、ハイレンジ(0.150以上)または2回目以上の犯罪で有罪判決を受けたドライバーに適用されています。必須のインターロックを命じられたすべてのドライバーに対して、インターロック装置は、裁判所が命じた期間、自費でインストールする必要がありますがその費用は年間約2,200ドルになります。インターロックデバイスをインストールしなかった場合は、5年間のライセンスの取り消しを命じられます。 飲酒運転犯罪者の罰金の増加 2019年5月20日から、薬物運転、低範囲または特別範囲の飲酒運転犯罪で有罪判決を受けた人に対する裁判所の最高罰金は、1,100ドルから2,200ドルになっていますが中間範囲飲酒運転の犯罪では、裁判所に課せられた最高罰金と刑期は$2,200と9ヶ月から$3,300と9ヶ月に強化されます。 さらに、より低い範囲の飲酒運転犯罪を犯したドライバーは、2019年5月20日から561ドルの罰金と3ヶ月間の免許が停止されます。ただし、免許が停止されている運転免許証所持者は、罰則に不服を申し立てる場合、裁判所に控訴することができます。 ライセンスの即時停止 2019年5月20日以前に低範囲飲酒運転罪で起訴されたドライバーは、裁判所の判決で有罪と判明するまで免許を維持することができます。裁判所が、運転手が有罪と認められたが有罪判決を受けていないと判断した場合、免許は停止されない場合があります。しかし、中範囲飲酒運転罪で起訴された人は、警察によって免許を停止され、裁判所の決定まで運転することは禁止されています。 議会は今回の法律改革 で警察に2019年5月20日からより低い範囲、初心者の低範囲または特別な範囲の飲酒運転者のライセンスを直ちに停止させる権限を与えています。この改革は、裁判所がこれらの犯罪について無罪判決を下すと予想されても最終的な決定が下されるまで車を運転することを禁止しています。 例えば、飲酒運転刑事有罪判決の前歴のない、40年間免許を保持しているドライバーAでも初めて飲酒運転犯罪(0.05から0.079の間のテスト結果)を犯した場合、裁判所が最終的な決定を下すまで運転が制限されます。一般的に初裁判は摘発された日から４~６週の後になります。控訴の場合はさらに2週間かかる場合があります。裁判所の命令などによる交通違反者教育プログラムに加入する場合は、追加の期間が必要になる場合があります。 結果的に飲酒運転を摘発されたら裁判の結果が出るまでは仕事も出来ず子供のピックアップも出来ないなど家族を養うことすら出来ない致命的状況に置かれることも有ります絶対に飲酒運転は止めましょう。
The most common crime committed by Korean people in Australia will most likely be drink driving. If you go to Burwood Local Court, on average there are 2-3 Korean people that appear for drink driving charges. Even amongst the police, the first thing that comes to mind when the word ‘Korean’ is mentioned is ‘drink driving’ and hence why the police hide in areas such as Strathfield and charge Koreans who drive under the influence of alcohol. Drink driving cannot be thought of as a mere violation of traffic laws. It is a criminal offence that can remain on the charge list. It does not end with a mere fine but rather it is a serious offence which can be taken to court where you will stand trial in front of a judge. In most cases, licences will be revoked. Overall, it is not a pleasant experience if you are caught under the influence, as you will be arrested on the spot and taken to a police station where you will spend some time in the cells. As previous columns discussed in detail, punishments and suspensions related to drink driving, this column will focus on cases of drink driving and the initial response associated with it. During consultations with clients, the most asked question is “can I get a Section 10?”. The reason for this is that in order to avoid licence suspension, you must obtain a section 10. However, the question cannot be answered so easily. A judge can only give advice on such question, after reviewing various avenues. The second most frequently asked question is “do I need a lawyer?”. This also depends on the situation. Conditions such as; the following need to be taken into consideration before deciding whether a lawyer is required or not: how important is it to reduce the licence suspension period; what are the chances of obtaining a section 10; and how much will be fined. Looking at the two examples below, let us see what will happen if you’re caught under the influence. First example: 65 year old woman named “Y”. “Y was invited to dinner one evening and was served with a course meal. With every course that was served, complimentary wines were also provided and at the recommendation of the chef, she drank little sips of the wine. After 2 hours, once the meal had concluded, she decided she was too drunk to drive. She spent approximately 2 hours to sober up and then began to drive. On the way home, she was caught by the police for using her mobile phone whilst driving. The police turned on the siren and chased her but she did not see her and continued to drive for approximately 2-3km. The police stated that the car had been moving side to side and at times nearly hit the cars riving beside her. Eventually, the police stopped her and took a breath test where she was charge with Mid-Range PCA due to a blood alcohol reading of 0.089.” Mid-Range PCA (0.08-0.149) carry a fine of $2,200 or less for first time offenders or a prison sentence of up to nine months including licence suspension of at least 6-12 months. Firstly, obtaining a section 10 for Mid-Range offences is very difficult. Section 10 are only given to ‘very special cases’ by the judge. Most people who request a Section 10, consider their case as special however, for a judge who deals with 40-50 drink driving cases a day, a case must be considered really special to obtain a section 10. Y appointed me as her lawyer and immediately pleaded guilty. On behalf of the client, the I provided a detailed description of the situation and the client’s background to the judge. However, the judge did not want to hear anymore and was furious as to the fact that the client had been driving dangerously whilst under the influence and did not see the police chase her for 2 – 3 km. On the other hand, I continued to explain the clients’ situation to the judge. I explained that this situation is an exceptional case, as Y who does not usually consume alcohol, has contributed a lot to society as a community member and does not have any past criminal records. I persuaded the judge by stating that Y has learnt a lot from her mistakes through this case and has shown a lot of remorse for her actions. Not only this, but that Y would never commit such crime again and that losing her licence would not only have a great impact on her but also will have a great impact on her ability to volunteer to help the elderly who live alone. Y was able to obtain a section 10 and avoid licence suspension. Second example: 26-year-old male named “K” who came to Australia on a working holiday. “K was drinking alcohol at Strathfield and at approximately 1am he drove home. His place of residence is an apartment located in Strathfield which is approximately 2km away from where he consumed alcohol. When making a right turn on the way to his house, he crashed his car into a wall. The police arrived at the scene and he was charged with High-Range PCA with a blood alcohol level of 0.165.” High-Range PCA (0.15 and over) offences are subject to a fine of $3,300 or less for first time offenders or a prison sentence of up to 18 months, a licence suspension of at least 6-9 months and an interlocking period of at least 24 months. The licence suspension is shorter than a Mid-Range offence however the period for which the Interlock is to be installed is longer. A Interlock is a control device which conducts a breath test and only when the blood alcohol concentration level is 0, the car will start. The cost of an Interlock machine is approximately $2,200 every year. K appeared in court without a lawyer and pleaded guilty. The judge tried to impose a prison sentence and asked for him to obtain a Pre-Sentence Report in order to determine his background information, thereby postponing he sentence by six weeks. K’s Pre-Sentence Report was very negative. The report was obtained through an interview with K whereby the interviewer stated ‘K does not take his crime seriously and thinks it is sufficient to only pay a fine’. The judge read the report and indicted K with 400 hours of community service, a nine-month licence suspension and 36 months of interlock installation. Due to the accident, his car was destroyed however he failed to advise the judge of this and as a result was charged with the above. K came to me after this occurred and complained about the procedural unfairness, he received which lead to an appeal of the decision. The case was appealed in the District Court and after taking into consideration several factors, the client additionally received a $800 fine, a minimum licence suspension period of 12 months due to being exempt from installing the Interlock machine. If K had consulted with a lawyer prior to the initial charge, he could have avoided the severe punishment he received and would not have had to pay such an extensive amount of money. Even though it was a High-Range PCA charge, 400 hours of community service for first-time offenders is a very severe punishment. If the judge had been persuaded that there was no car available to install an Interlock then the client could have avoided the Interlock installation period. As can be seen in the examples outlined above, depending on the situation that arises, different outcomes can occur. Although you can obtain information from these columns and articles on traffic offences and laws, due to the lack of expertise advice provide, it is hard to determine what type of punishment will be applied in your situation. Even if you do not appoint a lawyer, I recommend you seek professional advice from a criminal law specialist.