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VIC VicPol is potentially after your licence with any conviction

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by robsalvv, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. #1 robsalvv, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    EXCLUSIVE: TENS of thousands more Victorians each year stand to lose their drivers' licences under a new law police are vowing to exercise in court.

    Sweeping legal changes which came into effect on September 30 allow courts to suspend or cancel the licence of any person convicted or found guilty of any offence - regardless of whether that offence has anything to do with driving.

    Victoria Police has exclusively revealed to the Herald Sun that it will seek to use the new powers in up to 50,000 court cases each year.

    It has already briefed its prosecutors on the law.

    "If you're convicted or found guilty of any offence, a court may suspend or cancel and disqualify your licence," said Acting Senior Sergeant Richard Bowers, of the Victoria Police Prosecution Division.

    "The legislation does not govern or put a limiting factor on which cases it applies to. It's any offence, and it's completely open to the magistrate as to whether or not they impose it.

    "Unless a superior court gets hold of one of these cases and says 'Well, this is an inappropriate exercise of discretion,' it will remain open for use for a magistrate to use in any way they see fit."

    But the move has angered civil libertarians.

    "We are very disturbed at the lack of consultation, given this is such a sweeping and draconian measure," Jane Dixon, SC, the president of Liberty Victoria, said last night.

    "To deprive someone of their driving licence can often also deprive them of their livelihood.

    "We believe, for well-being, there should be a strong foundation between driving and the offending."

    Victoria Police said it would advice its prosecutors to use the legislation in any case where the offending can be linked to using a vehicle, which it estimates at around 50,000 cases a year.

    "We will raise the legislation in circumstances where driving had been part and parcel of the offending," Sen-Sgt Bowers said.

    "It may be an offence where the accused used a car to commit the offences; for example, residential burglaries, using the car to get around."

    In another change to the law, anyone disqualified from driving may be forced to fit an alcohol interlock device in their vehicle when the licence is reinstated, if the original crime can be linked in any way to alcohol or drugs.

    First-time offenders, and those guilty of even the most minor offences, will not be exempt from the new law.

    There are no set suspension or disqualification limits, giving magistrates free rein to cancel a licence for as long as they see fit.

    Sen-Sgt Bowers also highlighted drug trafficking and family violence cases as likely ones for the exercise of the law.

    "You have to look at each case on its merits and determine where is the best use of this legislation. We have left prosecutors with a fair bit of discretion," he said.

    "It's a deterrent and a preventive measure. From our perspective, anything that has the potential to prevent further offending is a good thing," he said.


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    Does this fall in the realm of WTF?

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  2. And the madness continues.

    More and more power being handed to the Police. Soon, every Australian will have a file opened on them and stored with the Police. Just like the Stasi in East Germany before the wall came down. I wonder what they have on me? I'll never know.....until their files are made available.....
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  3. If it's legally possible, then it's possible.

    I know of a case where some abalone poaching was taking place. This is quite a few years ago now, but even so. Anyway, it was accepted at the time that the intention of the law was that anything involved in the commission of the offence could be siezed.

    So the fisheries blokes didn't sieze the boat and trailer at the ramp, as was normally the case, because they suspected these guys of bigger things. They followed them home. It came to pass that there was a freezer in a great big shed on the property in which there was a sh!tload of abalone. So they siezed the freezer when they seized the boat and trailer. They also put a notice of siezure on the shed, because the shed housed the freezer. They siezed the 4wd the blokes used to tow the boat too, because that is what they used to get the boat to and from the ramp - and they believed was involved with the commission of the offence.

    I seem to recall that the beaky wouldn't let them sieze the land once it all went to court, but IIRC they got everything else.

    There are times when circumstances can result in something occurring which may be outside the original intent of the legislation. Whether that is the case here I don't know - my days of reading leg have passed and I don't want to restart now. But fingers are crossed that someone will be along soon to put a definitive stamp on this one.

    PS - hope you enjoyed the abalone ramble. Made me chuckle at the time.
  4. Crime prevention my middle testicle. To many people loss of licence = loss of job. No job, no income, escalating depression = far greater likelihood of turning to crime.

    Simple, but it seems that to those in power it is rocket science.
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  5. Ol' Jesper is at it!

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  6. So, you get convicted of illegally down loading music from the internet and loose your licence.

    Because of the this you loose your job. So now you have 3 choices.

    1. Go on the dole
    2. Turn to more illegal activities to earn an income, or
    3. Drive while disqualified.

    Yep this is a good law. The only saving grace is that it's up to the court not the police, so hopefully Victoria's magistrates and judges have an ounce of common sense.
  7. The comments to the article are an interesting read.
  8. That's insane! WTF next? Random licence loss lotto, just because they feel like fcuking your life up? Surely that law has to go against the state's constitution somehow!
  9. My first question is whether it is limited to criminal offences or does it include civil matters as well?

    I really wonder how much stomach for an extremist law and order state even the nannied sheeple have got
  10. @Justus
    Yo bro - can we get you over here?
  11. I wonder what happens if it's an interstate offender?
  12. This has the ugly potential to drag people into the criminal system. People will drive if desperate, some will drive anyway and although as offences they are not criminal (in NSW) the penalties are. People do gaol time.

    Thwt said...Anything is possible but magistrates really don't like having their decisions appealed and this certainly has the potential for severity appeals.

    Hard to see how it will work in practice or where it would sit in the scheme of available penalties ... Maybe somewhere between a fine and a bond.

    Usually it is the lawyer respectfully suggesting the punishment appropriate on a plea or finding...something like this is almost setting someone up to fail.

    Horribly broad terms
  13. You vote for the coalition, you should be getting a boner as this is in their realm.
    Typical conservative politics turning this country into a fascist state.
  14. It's definitely a comical piece of law and for the first time I have not heard anyone supporting it. Labor or Liberal, what a bunch of dikcheads allowing this to even be considered.

    Bring on the election.
  15. Meh ... it's always either a nanny state or a fascist state ... it's all swings and roundabouts. The fascists always have the best uniforms though :ROFLMAO:

    PS: if anyone has a linky to the specific legislation I could use some entertaining bedtime reading :)

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  16. Just typical of the government and police to take this route - getting lazier every day. Rather than having the police on the beat, patrolling our streets and roads, they resort to tactics that in the end only make things worse.
  17. Thanks BRO!.... :p

    I feel like you answered a whole bunch of questions that no one asked. :p
  18. There is more brother.

    Media have only picked up on one change/paragraph of many. To get a true understanding of what the government is doing, it's always best to refer to Hansard and legislation.

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  19. Wait aren't fascists and nannys on the same side of the authoritarian-libertarian seesaw?
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  20. Why build roads when u can reduce the number of drivers on it hey?
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