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Notice to Provide Document and Information – Heavy Vehicle Offences

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October 10, 2014

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Most truckies have experienced being stopped by the authorities for a random vehicle check. As such, most are familiar with the inspectors’ roadside powers to stop, measure and weigh vehicles, examine work diaries and check permits. What many are less familiar with are the ‘off road’ investigation powers. The National Heavy Vehicle Law gives investigators the power to demand the production of documents and information about vehicles and loads from certain people. It is an offence not to comply, carrying a maximum fine of several thousand dollars. The investigators will use […]


Messaging whilst driving

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September 25, 2014

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Is this new technology the silver bullet to stop people texting while driving? Probably not. A small tech company in the US is trumpeting a new piece of equipment that they claim can tell whether a car is emitting radio transmissions such as those produced whilst sending a text message. Many have wondered whether we will soon see police officers equipped with these sensors to enable them to pull you over and charge you for using a mobile phone whilst driving. There can be no doubt that mobile phone use is […]


What’s driving High Range PCA sentencing

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September 8, 2014

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A Sydney socialite with a previous high-powered marriage, flipped car and another three smashed vehicles, the Jodhi Meares court case has had media salivating. But does the media’s reporting of the case paint a fair picture of the legal system in regard to drink driving matters? Meares, the 43 year-old fashion designer, was charged with high range drink driving and driving while suspended following a crash in Sydney's eastern suburbs in June 2014. She crashed into three parked cars in Bellevue Hills and rolled her Range Rover, returning a blood alcohol […]


Punishment by Postcode

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July 8, 2014

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The front page of Friday’s Daily Telegraph caught my attention. The heading reads: “Driving Under the Affluence”. The paper coined the phrase to describe statistics suggesting that Courts in wealthier suburbs are less likely to impose gaol for high range PCA offences. It’s a catchy headline, but if it’s accurate, this idea that where you live directly affects your sentence, is concerning. We live in a society that values “blind justice”. The image of Lady Justice, blindfolded as she weighs the case with her scales, reminds us of this. In less […]


Record Fines of $1.25 Million for Speeding Trucks Company

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June 11, 2014

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Last week a NSW Magistrate imposed fines of $1.25 million against trucking company Scott’s Transport. The fines were for 165 speeding and speed limiter compliance offences. The company’s director and manager were held personally responsible for the offences. The fines are a record win for the Roads and Maritime Services in their crackdown on compliance in the transport industry. The Magistrate’s decision sends several clear messages. Firstly, the authorities are taking offences involving heavy vehicles extremely seriously. For several years now the Roads and Maritime Services has been has been conducting […]


Magic Mushrooms and Deemed Supply

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April 13, 2014

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As a criminal lawyer a large portion of my practice is devoted to representing persons charged with possession of prohibited substances. For the most part the drugs in question are cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines. Increasingly, however, I am seeing young people charged with possession of”Psilocybin” or “Psilocin”, a chemical found in what are commonly referred to as “Magic Mushrooms”. The problem with Magic Mushrooms From a defence perspective the problem with magic mushrooms lies in the weighing. A hand full of “shrooms” intended for personal use can easily weigh 30 grams […]


Alcohol Concentration in Wine

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February 27, 2014

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Many people who are charged with drink-driving offences claim that they thought they would have been under the limit. Aside from simply making an assessment about "how intoxicated they feel", the most common way people try and judge whether they are in fact fit to drive is by "counting drinks". This all dates back to advertising campaigns some decades ago about how many drinks you can consume and still stay under the limit.  In fact, you can still sometimes find pamphlets or signs suggesting that you can have a certain number […]

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