Severity Appeal Successful in High Range PCA Case

Facts

Our client collided with the rear of a vehicle at an intersection near Sydney Airport, and while attempting to park her car, hit a parked taxi. When the police arrived, she was found to be very affected by alcohol and recorded a breath analysis reading of 0.256, vastly over the limit. She was charged with High Range PCA.

Our client had consumed an unknown amount of alcohol, along with anti-anxiety medication – which unfortunately had interacted poorly. Our client had no recollection of the evening in question between consuming two glasses of wine, and then finding herself behind the wheel of her car.

Result

Our client pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the local court. She was disqualified from driving for two years and given a community service order of 450 hours, which was the maximum penalty that could be imposed after her guilty plea was taken into account.

On our client’s instructions, we lodged an appeal against the severity of the sentence…….

Before the Chief Judge of the District Court, we argued that our client’s otherwise exceptional character meant that disqualifying her from driving was an appropriate penalty in itself. We also argued that the community service order in addition to the disqualification was excessive in the circumstances.

Pleasingly, the Chief Judge agreed, and the community service order imposed on our client was quashed.