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VIC Victoria Police review low level drink driving infringements

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by gunissan, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. http://www.vicpolicenews.com.au/new...ew-low-level-drink-driving-infringements.html
    Vicpolicenews depublish their articles after 1 week I believe so this link will eventually go dead, so I have copy-n-pasted it in full as well as the ABC article, hence the wall of text. Links to other news sources are at the bottom.

    Victoria Police review low level drink driving infringements

    Victoria Police is currently in the process of contacting a number of motorists after an internal audit of penalty infringement notices issued by officers in relation to low level drink driving.

    It relates to infringement notices issued to some motorists caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between 0.05% and 0.07% since 2007, when legislation was introduced differentiating two categories of the offence due to the age of the driver.

    The two categories are:
    - If a driver aged 26 or older with a full licence, and with no prior drink drive offence, is found to have a BAC of between 0.05% and 0.07%, the penalty is a $443 fine and 10 demerit points. There is no immediate licence cancellation.
    - If a driver aged under 26 with a full licence, and with no prior drink drive offence, is caught with a BAC of between 0.05% and 0.07%, it's a $443 fine, their licence is cancelled and they are disqualified from holding a licence for six months.
    The audit found that some police officers have applied an incorrect code for the offence when issuing the infringement, meaning that some drivers have incorrectly had their licence cancelled.

    The audit found that while police officers had correctly penalised the drivers for having a BAC of between 0.05% and 0.07% and issued the $443 fine, since 2007:
    - 508 drivers under 26 years of age on a full licence did not have their licences cancelled and disqualified when legislation states they should have. Instead, 10 demerit points were imposed on their licence.
    - 195 drivers aged 26 or older had their licences cancelled and disqualified for six months when the correct penalty should have been 10 demerit points. Of this group, there are seven people currently disqualified from driving who are affected.
    Victoria Police has written to VicRoads requesting them to end the disqualification period for the seven people currently affected. This will take effect immediately and the licences reinstated today.

    Victoria Police will be in contact with the other drivers who have received incorrect penalties in the past.

    Assistant Commissioner Road Policing Robert Hill said the organisation had acted immediately when the error regarding these two categories was discovered.

    “As a matter of urgency, we are today attempting to contact the seven drivers currently affected and we are working through the other matters as quickly as possible,” he said.

    “Obviously it’s concerning when we identify a member error of this nature. It’s a significant responsibility and action to remove someone’s licence to drive. We understand the impact this may have had on the livelihood of some people and have taken immediate steps to rectify the situation.

    “We have this week re-issued instructions to officers so they are clear on the legislation and the need to observe the age of the driver when detected for a low level drink driving offence.

    “The relevant police training methods and education materials will be revised.

    “We’ve also implemented changes to our internal systems and processes to ensure the accuracy of the infringement notice in the future. This will include a second and independent manual check of each and every notice ensuring the correct licence sanction has been imposed depending on the driver’s age at the time of the offence.”

    Victoria Police has detected approximately 120,000 drink drivers since 2007.

    A total of 19,813 infringements were issued for these two categories since that date and the error only applies to a minority who will be notified by Victoria Police in due course.


    Victoria Police bungle sees 200 drivers incorrectly lose licence since 2007
    Updated yesterday at 1:33pm

    Victoria Police has incorrectly cancelled the licences of nearly 200 drivers since 2007, an internal audit has revealed.

    The audit found 195 drivers over the age of 26, who had been penalised for low-level drink-driving, were wrongly issued with six-month licence cancellations.

    Police officers applied for the wrong code when issuing the infringements and the affected motorists were penalised as drivers under the age of 26.

    They should have been fined and docked 10 demerit points.

    Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said police would immediately reinstate the licences of the motorists caught up in the bungle.

    "As a matter of urgency, we are attempting to contact the seven drivers currently affected and we are working through the other matters as quickly as possible," he said.

    The administration error also meant 508 young drivers caught low-level drink-driving had avoided losing their licences.

    Assistant Commissioner Hill said the audit's findings were concerning and the force would be changing the relevant training methods as a result.

    "It's a significant responsibility and action to remove someone's licence to drive. We understand the impact this may have had on the livelihood of some people and have taken immediate steps to rectify the situation," he said.

    "We have this week re-issued instructions to officers so they are clear on the legislation and the need to observe the age of the driver when detected for a low-level drink driving offence."

    In Victoria, low-level drink-driving is classified as a blood-alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.07 per cent.


  2. you would be very unhappy if you'd lost your job when incorrectly fined . Class action
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. seems worse that 500 drivers Didn't lose their licences when they should have :p
    (or is it still socially acceptable to be a little bit drunk while driving?)
  4. They were not incorrectly fined, rather licences were cancelled in error. No sympathy, they were still drink driving.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. How complicated do they want to make it, as if the police don't have enough to remember already. No wonder a couple of coppers wrote the wrong code on a ticket.
  6. correction ! if your licence was cancelled in error by vic pol and you lost your job because of their error you would be very unhappy ..
  7. if you had 3 or 4 points already, you'd still have lost your licence.. but maybe for 3 months instead of 6.
    I wonder how many of the 195 would not have lost licence based on points anyway? (with the DUI +10)

    but you'd be pissed ;) if you had to fit an Alcohol Interlock because of it

    then again.. you probably deserve it anyway.. no-one wants drunk idiots swiping bikes
  8. sorry I have to disagree.

    If the police had screwed you over on a wrong penalty or issued you an infringement you felt was wrong, you would ask for refund or appeal it.

    These drivers were adversely affected because the prescribed penalty they received was wrong. Id be wanting a big payout if I had lost my job house etc because of it.

    Not to mention any B/S courses I had to attend to get my licence back plus the B/S from the insurance companies
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. There is no 'if'. That wouldn't happen to me in the first instance.

    Good luck to ya on that mate :)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. mmmm famous last words :) good luck mate hope your right
  11. No famous last words and no luck required mainstage That I can promise you.

    I'll put it to you like this: There is no driving after drinking. Ever. You may do it. I don't, and if you get caught, whatever the penalty is, justified or not, you get no sympathy. Police are human and fcuk up every so often. Its not the first time something like this has happened and it certainly won't be the last. Police themselves are not proficient in drink drive laws, so what hope do most drivers who are less educated have? As a result, shit happens, but you can easily avoid it by not getting into the drivers seat after you've had alcohol to drink.
  12. Hows this for luck then

    Licence compo claims likely: Vic Police
    DRINK-DRIVERS mistakenly taken off the road could seek compensation from police, Victoria's top traffic cop says.

    ALMOST 200 drivers had their licenses wrongly suspended for six months since 2007, all because police entered the wrong crime code - and now Victoria Police may have to pay.

    The error was uncovered when a driver requested a review of his infringement last week and police noticed an error, tracing it back to a 2007 law change.

    Since the change, some officers had not applied the correct code for drink drivers aged 26 and over who recorded a blood alcohol level between .05 and .07.

    Instead, these drivers were treated the same as those aged under 26 - resulting in a six-month licence disqualification when they should have received 10 demerit points.

    Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said the error may have affected those who needed to drive for work and police were expecting compensation claims.

    "I'm not too sure what we will be offering people at this time," Mr Hill told reporters on Friday.

    "We know there will be circumstances, potentially where people have lost their jobs.

    "Where potentially people incurred other costs of living their lives without a licence, and there's the other costs with restoration of a licence."

    Victoria Police says 195 drivers had their license wrongly suspended for six months, and seven of those were still wrongly off the road.

    Mr Hill said some of those drivers may have lost their licence regardless of the error, if they didn't have 10 points to lose.

    "I cannot hold my hand on heart and say this happened to every driver, but having 10 demerit points imposed upon your licence, it's more likely than not that they will have ended up with a loss of licence," he said.

    Police have asked VicRoads to reinstate the licences of the seven drivers still off the road.


    * The law was changed in 2007 to introduce new penalties for low-level (.05 to .07) drink-driving.

    * Those aged 26 and over are to be fined $443 and receive 10 demerit points.

    * Those under 26 are also fined $443 but their licence is suspended for six months.

    * The mix-up occurred when police did not apply the correct code for drink-drivers aged 26 and over.

    I think the term winner winner chicken dinner fits
  13. I don't see how drink driving as a 26 year old is less riskier then it is for someone who is 24 years old. It should be the same penalty for anyone off their L's or P's..
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. So none of the 195 bothered to check they were getting the right penalty when getting a 6 month suspension? Seems very odd none of them would spend 5 mins googling that.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Who would bother or even know. How many people here Honestly knew of this difference? not me, & I certainly don't think its odd that no one came home and goggled the offence.

    On my list of concern's after losing my licence for drink driving (has never happened but which we all know is an offence)goggling the prescribed offence wouldn't even make the top 5.

    What is really strange is that no one in the police force picked it up at all, 7 years & it took a court challenge before someone realised.

    Sorry I'm calling B/S on that , more likely a case of those in charge playing ostrich till it comes out
  16. I dunno about that, oldcorollas, but it still annoys me that it seems to be socially acceptable in Oz to be a completely crap driver, a danger to all other traffic, but, so long as you haven't had a drink, it's OK.
  17. There's some truth in that, even more reason not to add alcohol to the equation IMHO. Wouldn't worry me in the least if they made the limit 0 with a compulsory jail term for a second offence, which is the case in some countries I believe.
    It's you and me as taxpayers who are going to be compensating these people who at the end of the day committed a crime which they were aware they were doing. No sympathy whatsoever from me, drink and drive...take a dive.
  18. I like the Polish model.
    • Poland: 0.02% (driving license banned from six months up to three years, prison up to one month), 0.05% (driving license banned from 1 year to 10 years, prison up to two years).[9] Limits and penalties for riding the bicycles were same as for motorized vehicles to December 2013. Almost half of people imprisoned for drunk driving were riding bicycles.[56]
  19. Sorry I cant agree with a zero limit.

    All it will do is let the law makers and news presenters sensationalise any story with B/S banners. Drink driver caught doing 60 in 60 zone.

    The 05 limit has been around for ages with no problems, the real problem is the courts that allow repeat offenders back on the road
  20. If I remember the facts correctly, low range drink driving (0.05 - 0.07) makes it 8 times more likely to have a crash.

    Sure that's horrible and selfish. But to put that in perspective driving at low range home from the local pub is about as dangerous as driving across 4 suburbs to visit your nan sober.

    There needs to be some perspective in punishment. Drink drivers are bad selfish people but the are not serial killers.