Tony Beach’s client had accepted the charge of driving with excess breath alcohol but sought an order from the District Court Judge at sentencing that the client be given an “alcohol interlock licence disqualification” under a new provision of the Land Transport Act 1998.  The new provision provides for a device to be fitted to a client’s vehicle which allows them to drive but which prevents them from driving if they have consumed alcohol – it means drivers do not face a lengthy driving ban and can continue to drive.  Tony Beach submitted that the “alcohol interlock licence disqualification” would reduce the risk to society and, at the same time, allow the client to continue to drive, which he needed to do for work purposes (the client wasn’t eligible for a work licence).  The Judge declined.

Tony Beach appealed the decision to the High Court.  The High Court found that it was in society’s interest that those with full-time work be supported; that a frequent offender who recognised the error of his ways should be supported; and that the device would prevent the client from driving while impaired by alcohol.  The High Court allowed the appeal and authorised the client to apply for an alcohol interlock licence immediately.

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