Have you been charged with Consuming Intoxicating Liquor While Supervising Driving a Learner Driver?
Dribbin & Brown Lawyers regularly represent clients charged with driving offences. We have offices in Dandenong, Geelong, Melbourne CBD, Ringwood, Ballarat, Frankston, Moorabbin and Werribee. Our offices are all in close proximity to the local Magistrates’ Courts in these localities.
We are familiar with the Courts, the court staff and prosecutors. This gives our firm a great advantage in relation to representing clients charged with driving offences.
There are a number of issues to consider if you have been charged with this offence.
- Can the prosecution make out their case?
- Were you consuming alcohol while supervising a learner driver?
- Did the police see you and subsequently charge you?
- Was there an opening container of intoxicating liquor in the motor vehicle?
- What were the circumstances?
- Can you avoid licence loss? In relation to supervision offences it is possible to avoid licence loss.
It is an offence against the Road Safety Act 1986 (RSA) section 49C to consume intoxicating liquor while supervising a learner driver.
This should not be confused with s49(1)(c) of the RSA. They are different sections.
The police must show that the person accompanying a learner driver in a supervisory role (as the person is in effect in charge of the motor vehicle) was drinking intoxicating liquor, to do so they must see a person do so or if they have stopped a driver and see an open container in the vehicle.
The police may request the supervising driver undertake a preliminary breath test; they are obliged to wait 15 minutes before doing so to allow any residual alcohol to dissipate to get an accurate. If the supervising driver registers below the PCA limit this may give weight to their decision to charge with consuming liquor while driving. If the reading is at or above the PCA the driver may face additional drink driving charges.
Will I lose my licence?
- In relation to supervision offences section 50(6) of the RSA applies which prescribes that the mandatory licence loss provisions do not apply.
- That said, the discretion under s28 of the Road Safety Act is still enlivened, therefore anyone pleading guilty to this offence should not assume that they will not lose their licence. This is why it is so important to engage experienced traffic offence lawyers to assist you. It maybe the difference between keeping your licence and not keeping it.
Please read below for more information relating to this charge.
Subsection 49C of the Road Safety Act 1986.
The prosecution must that:
- The defendant was supervising a learner driver; and
- The defendant was drinking intoxicating liquor.
If found guilty of consuming intoxicating liquor while supervising a learner driver the maximum penalty is 10 penalty units.
While licence suspension or disqualification is not mandatory for an offence against s 49C, see section 50(6) of the RSA, the court has a general discretion to suspend or cancel a driver’s licence pursuant to section 28 of the RSA.
Where will my case be heard?
It is unlikely this charge would result in a summons to appear in court
If, however, a person is charged and summonsed to appear in court consuming intoxicating liquor while supervising a learner driver cases will be heard will be heard in the Magistrates Court.
Questions to consider
Do you have a defence?
Did you have an open container of alcohol in the car when pulled over by the police?
Did you return a reading for alcohol after a breath test?
If you are pleading guilty, what can you do to minimise your sentence?
What to do next?
Now is the time to make sure that you have a lawyer who can give you sound advice; help you prepare your evidence and discuss what is to be addressed in this matter.
Preparation is critical to the success of any matter, ensure that you prepare appropriately by seeking quality legal advice. If you have been charged with consuming intoxicating liquor while supervising a learner driver call our office on (03) 8644 7333 and make an appointment to see one of our lawyers today.
If you have been charged with this offence and your driver’s licence is important to you, don’t go to court unrepresented. Consider how much it will cost you to be suspended from driving for a period of months or years if the case does not go well for you.
The police and the courts take driving offences very seriously to avoid severe penalties such as loss of license you need to be represented; Dribbin & Brown Lawyers are experienced in handling these types of matters. We regularly appear in court to represent people charged with driving offences.
Section 49C Offence to consume intoxicating liquor while supervising a learner driver
A person must not consume intoxicating liquor while the person is a supervising driver.
Penalty: 10 penalty units.