High Range PCA Guideline Judgment

There is much talk about what is known as the “GUIDELINE JUDGEMENT“.

Let us explain.

On 8 September 2004, the Court of Criminal Appeal handed down a guideline judgment in relation to the offence of High Range PCA (Re: Application by Attorney-General (No. 3 of 2002) (2004) 61 NSWLR 305).

In this guideline judgment the court established what a model or ordinary High Range PCA case would involve. The purpose of this was to provide a meaningful and structured guidance to the way in which judges handed down penalties in the sentencing process for High Range PCA. The lead judgment was handed down by Howie J, there is no substitute for reading the whole judgment however a summarised version of the guideline is as follows:

Ordinary case of high range PCA

(1) An ordinary case of an offence of high range PCA is one where:

  • the offender drove to avoid personal inconvenience or because the offender did not believe that he or she was sufficiently affected by alcohol;
  • the offender was detected by a random breath test;
  • the offender has prior good character;
  • the offender has nil, or a minor, traffic record;
  • the offender’s licence was suspended on detection;
  • the offender pleaded guilty;
  • there is little or no risk of re-offending;
  • the offender would be significantly inconvenienced by the loss of licence.

(2) In an ordinary case of an offence of high range PCA:

  • an order under s 10 of the Sentencing Act will rarely be appropriate;
  • a conviction cannot be avoided only because the offender has attended, or will attend, a driver education or awareness course;
  • the automatic disqualification period will be appropriate unless there is a good reason to reduce the period of disqualification:
  • a good reason may include:

(a) the nature of the offender’s employment;

(b) the absence of any viable alternative transport;

(c) sickness or infirmity of the offender or another person.

(3) In an ordinary case of a second or subsequent high range PCA offence:

  • an order under s 9 of the Sentencing Act will rarely be appropriate;
  • an order under s 10 of the Sentencing Act would very rarely be appropriate;
  • where the prior offence was a high range PCA, any sentence of less severity than a community service order would generally be inappropriate.

(4) The moral culpability of a high range PCA offender is increased by:

  • the degree of intoxication above 0.15;
  • erratic or aggressive driving;
  • a collision between the vehicle and any other object;
  • competitive driving or showing off;
  • the length of the journey at which others are exposed to risk;
  • the number of persons actually put at risk by the driving.

(5) In a case where the moral culpability of a high range PCA offender is increased:

  • an order under 9 or s10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act would very rarely be appropriate;
  • where a number of factors of aggravation are present to a significant degree, a sentence of any less severity than imprisonment of some kind, including a suspended sentence, would generally be inappropriate.

(6) In a case where the moral culpability of the offender of a second or subsequent high range PCA offence is increased:

  • a sentence of any less severity than imprisonment of some kind would generally be inappropriate;
  • where any number of aggravating factors are present to a significant degree or where the prior offence is a high range PCA offence, a sentence of less severity than full-time imprisonment would generally be inappropriate

High Range DUI Guideline Judgment

CONTACT US ABOUT HIGH RANGE DUI Guideline Judgment:

High Range Drink Driving NSW

Sydney Drink Driving Lawyers | DUI Solicitors NSW

14/362-370 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9283 8622

Email: jaboorman@beazleysingleton.com.au

Please contact Josh Boorman today to discuss your matter over the telephone or via email for an initial FREE consultation on High Range DUI Offences.

Joshua Boorman
Sydney Drink Driving Lawyers are experts in dealing with all drug and alcohol related Traffic Laws. We attend all courts in Sydney and the surrounding suburbs. Call 1300 941 900 or Email: jboorman@boormanlawyers.com.au
Joshua Boorman
Joshua Boorman