The client had been detected by the Police driving erratically, and it was suspected at the time that he was under the influence of cannabis. One week later, the client was again detected driving erratically, and contrary to the conditions of his Provisional licence. He was again suspected of being under the influence of cannabis. Some months later, blood samples collected from the client on both occasions tested positive for presence of drugs, and the client was charged with two offences of Driving Under the Influence of a Prohibited Drug, namely delta THC, or cannabis.
Our client appeared before Manly Local Court for sentence. Our client was in jeopardy of facing the severe second offence provisions in this case, as there were multiple offences. If convicted on both, the client may have been at risk of a total disqualification from driving for up to 4 years. As the client was a juvenile at the time of both offences, and had enrolled in the Traffic Offenders Program, it was submitted that he had excellent prospects of rehabilitation as a motorist in the long term, and that leniency was justified. It was submitted that he should be afforded the benefit of a dismissal of the first charge pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, and disqualified only for the minimum period applicable for this offence for the second. The Magistrate accepted this submission, and placed the client on an 18 months good behaviour bond pursuant to section 10 for the first offence. The disqualification penalty for the second offence could have been reduced then to a period of only 6 months, which the Magistrate accepted as being a sufficient punishment. In practice, a possible disqualification period of 4 years was avoided, and the minimum period available of 6 months was achieved.
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