Facts – the client had previously been convicted of low range drink driving, and had also served time in prison for unrelated offences. On the evening in question, the client had consumed strong alcohol imported from China. His mother, who was unwell, called the client asking him to come home. The client and three fiends decided to leave to visit the client’s mother. The client chose to drive with the three passengers, the distance of which would have been from Eastwood to Mortdale. In the course of driving, he lost control of his vehicle while attempting to round a corner, and his car has smashed through the front of a house, destroying a telegraph pole in the process. The client returned a breath analysis reading of 0.189 and was charged with high range drink driving, as well as negligent driving.

Result – The Guideline Judgment for High Range Drink Driving applied to this case. The objective seriousness of the offence was high, and the client’s record presented further difficulties. The client had been deemed unsuitable for both community service and weekend detention, and the court was left with very little options in dealing with this person. The Magistrate had no alternative that to determine that no other option other than imprisonment was warranted. The only hope for the client then was to seek to have the sentence suspended, and after hearing submissions as to why that course should be followed in this case, the Magistrate was persuaded to do so, pursuant to section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, conditional upon the client entering into a good behavior bond.