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Letter to Editor, Canberra Times

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Published under Proposals

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July 17, 2015

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There is a middle ground in the current debate around sentencing drivers with drugs in their system – and it is on our doorstep. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Current ACT law does not adequately provide for the cases of people who still have drugs in their bodies but are not affected by them at the time of driving. Drink-driving and drug-driving are different. The level of alcohol in drivers is measurable, and studies have demonstrated the effect of those levels on driving. Different levels of alcohol attract […]


ACT PCA Disqualification

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Published under Law Reform, News, Offences

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October 14, 2014

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Disqualifications from driving for ACT drink-drivers could be about to be substantially raised – potentially by more than double in many cases. The change is happening from within the courts, both Magistrates and Supreme, not via any direct action from the ACT Legislative Assembly. Two recent judgments declare that increased disqualification periods should be applied. The judgments say that doing so places the Territory where its legislature had always intended it should be. The effect will be widespread: one in four criminal matters coming before the ACT Magistrates Court is a […]


What’s driving High Range PCA sentencing

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Published under Major Cases, News, Offences

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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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Published under News, Offences

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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 […]

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