Charge Withdrawn in Low Range PCA Case
Author: Nyman Gibson Miralis
Windsor Local Court
Represented by solicitor: Nyman Gibson Miralis
Our client failed a random roadside breath test. He was arrested and taken to the police station to provide a breath analysis. The machine recorded a blood alcohol content of 0.052, and our client was charged with the offence of Low Range PCA.
Our client was provided with a field Court Attendance Notice, requiring him to appear at Windsor Local Court.
On this offence alone, our client would have faced a minimum disqualification period of three months without a driver’s licence, in addition to a fine of up to $1,100.
However our client had been convicted of another drink driving offence in the past five years. This meant that he potentially faced increased penalties if convicted.
It was very important to our client to keep his driver’s licence – but an outright dismissal of the case seemed unlikely given our client’s prior record.
Our client told us he was most likely still in the absorption phase when he was pulled over, meaning that his blood alcohol content would have increased after the roadside breath test.
On our advice, he obtained a pharmacological report, with a view to establishing whether his blood alcohol concentration may have been below 0.05 at the time he was actually driving the car. If the pharmacological expert was able to form a view, on the balance of probabilities, that our client’s blood alcohol level was below 0.05 at the time of driving, our client would have a defence to the charge.
In these circumstances, the pharmacologist engaged on behalf of our client provided an expert evidence certificate and expert evidence statement which stated that our client’s blood alcohol reading was in fact below 0.05 at the time of driving and therefore the charge could not be maintained against him.
After we provided the police with our client’s pharmacological report, they obtained their own pharmacological report through the Police Forensic Medicine Unit which agreed with our expert’s findings.
Accordingly, the charge against our client was withdrawn and dismissed. Obviously our client was thrilled with this outcome.
The legal system can be very complicated and confusing. If our client had simply accepted the charge and pleaded guilty or not challenged the reading, he would almost certainly have lost his driver’s licence for some time and most probably would have lost his job as a result.