Jump to content

Can you believe this?


Recommended Posts

Can you believe this? I have been charged with Drink Driving - even though I wasn't driving!!! Apparently in Queensland you can be charged for Drink Driving just for having your car keys on you.

I had been at an event with friends/colleagues, drank no more than anyone else, except I have several bottles of water inbetween (don't want to get too dehydrated) but decided that I felt a little tipsy (nothing serious, not slurring or wobbling etc), so would stroll home as it was a nice evening. Went to my car to get my belongings, had locked the car and was walking away from it when the police pulled up next to me demanding a breath sample. I told them I was walking home (which was only about a 7 minute walk) - which would have been clear to anyone. They took the sample, said I was over the limit of 0.05, and took me to the police station for another breath test. I had to wait for 2 hours - I told them I had POTS, and needed water and also needed my medication - they refused to let me have anything.

Did the test, gave me a court date, and told me I could expect to loose my licence for up to 9 months, but may be able to apply to get a restricted work licence, and I would expect to pay a fine of around $1000.00.

I am just shocked, not only at the stupid law, but also the fact they can deny me water and my medications.

I've had to pay almost $3,000.00 for a solicitor, but that doesn't guarantee I'll keep my licence, and on top of that there is the fine I will get from the court. If I loose the court case, I will also loose my job, won't be able to attend Uni lectures or tutorials etc. Not only is POTS slowly taking things away from my life, if I loose this court case, I'll have no life! - all for deciding to walk home. It just makes me sick. I can't sleep, I can't eat.

So, a warning to anyone coming to QLD, if you have a couple of drinks, stay well away from your car!

Just so you know, I have never had any criminal convictions, not even a parking ticket! I'd never even been in a police station - and with the uncertainty of what they were doing, you can imagine how my tachy was!.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my. Where are you- are you in the UK? I apologize for not knowing. How are your judges? Hopefully, you can have an attorney who will help the judge realize you had no intention of driving that night you had merely gotten something out of your car when the police drove up. Did you enter from the passenger or driver's side? If the police saw you getting out of the driver's side it might be harder to convince the judge you were not driving. Geeeesh!!!! Well, I am so sorry this happened but police are going to be more active around events where a lot of drinking is taking place. Never enter or leave the driver's side (after drinking) even if you need to get something from your car. Go through the passengers side and if it is safe leave the keys on top of your car or windshield so it is obvious you ARE NOT driving. Of course, here even if your not driving you can get ticketed for public intoxication so walking home is not a safe bet either. (Call a cab!) But either way, it would be awful to lose your license over something like this when POTS folks already have to work hard to keep the privelege of driving. So sorry for you- hope things turn out okay.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply,

I'm in Queensland, Australia. I know they are strict here on drink driving, but thought it was obvious what I was doing - when the police pulled me up, the car was locked and I was walking away from it - I was mainly only getting my water bottle from the car for the walk home. I didn't even know they were police as it was an unmarked car, and they were in plain clothes. So, was just acting normally, it's not like I was acting suspiciously.

Anyway, I am charged with being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol.

If I am convicted, and completely loose my licence (a work licence would be fine), even though I should be able to keep my full open licence, as I didn't do anything wrong - I didn't drive, I didn't hurt anyone - but that won't happen, there is nothing in the legislation for that - if you are charged, according to the law you MUST be disqualified from driving, and MUST pay a fine to the court, although you may be able to get a restricted licence for work purposes only. As I mentioned, if I don't get a work licence, I will loose my job, and won't be able to attend university until after the disqualification period.

I may as well join become a monk! At least then I would have a purpose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! That is horrible!

My first thought was, some people can actually drink alcohol with this illness? lol

but then, if this is your first offense, OUCH!! It is so lenient where I live in Ohio when I read the police postings in the paper I just about want to SCREAM at what some folks get by with, you know? Than, again, we were not even driving?!?

It sounds like they are taking you to the cleaners AND taking away your privileges to drive to work? They better not do that and if I were you, I would seek the advice of legal counsel.

That sounds like an outrage for a first offense..ESPECIALLY since you were not even driving. Regarding taking medicine,s 25 years ago when I worked in a doctors office, the local jail would not allow women inmates to take their hormones w/o calling the doctor's office!!

I know in this country, in the state of Ohio, if you were asleep in your car because you pulled over, after deciding you are tipsy, if the police find you ASLEEP with keys in ignition, they can arrest you. Even if you fell asleep in a bar parking lot before moving the vehicle.

~~ just found this tidbit blurb online.

In most, if not all states.....you can be arrested for DUI even if you are asleep in a vehicle such as in a parking lot of a bar or anywhere while intoxicated. Depending on the state, its called something to the effect of "being in physical control" of a motor vehicle which basically means that you could at anytime drive off if you wanted to while still intoxicated. Many people think that they are doing right by trying to "sleep it off" a bit before driving home. While we as law enforcement respect this idea, too many times a person will wake up and think that they are sober enough to drive while actually they are not. They will attempt to drive home and some will have a wreck. This is why we can and do make this kind of an arrest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi im from New South Wales and have never heard of such an fine. Have you asked your solicitor about the police refusing you water or medication? From there side they may claim it would interfere with the tests ... however water should not be deprived.

Ok maybe you could seek to prove that you were not driving ... have you got witnesses to say that you were in the pub? (or wherever you were drinking)

I think your senario of events sounds plausible .... hopefully the judge will be leinient.

I had something silly happen on a much lesser scale. I was feeling dizzy and was about to catch a train to newtown. There were no expresses for at least 40 mins and i didnt want to wait on the station as i was not feeling to good so i decided to catch a train to strathfield and try and get the train heading from the other direction (newtown is between the city and strathfield). I got charged while on the train for going past my stop. The train was a express to strathfield so unless i was to jump off a moving train there was no way i could have got off anyway. All my legal advice said it was unlikely i would get off and that at the least i would be charged court fees even if they waiverd the fine. I spent a day away from uni in the court waiting for my turn ... and they rejected all charges and did not fine me anything or ask me to pay for the court fee.

so my advice is FIGHT ALL THE WAY! hehe (even if people say you wont win)

Good luck and let us know how it goes :)

Why dont the police go pick on those "queensland drivers" instead of picking on the sensible ones :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Evie,

Yes, It is rediculous. I wasn't driving, was completely honest with the police about what I was doing etc, although they weren't concerned at all, all the wanted to do was get me to the station and test me there.

Apart from the fact they haven't clearly told me what I have been charged with (the charge sheet is missing the actual offence, it just says 'Attempting to operation a motor vehicle whilst'.) So I gather they add in what they want after I'd gone. So far they still haven't given a copy to my solicitor (A week since she asked for it).

The sergent was a complete a$%^hole. When he asked if I had any medical conditions. I said 'Yes, that's why I've been asking for water'. He asked what I had, I said 'POTS or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome', He then barked 'IN LAYMENS TERMS', I said, 'Well, mainly it means I intolorence to standing', He then barked again 'I SAID IN LAYMENS TERMS', I said 'I have trouble standing for too long, as the blood settles in my legs and gut and I faint'. When he asked me if I had taken any medications during the day, I said YES, and started to slowly tell him, and spelling them for him, thinking he was typing it into a computer, as you never know some of them may effect the breath test (well that's what I thought at the time). He said 'For F**k sake, hurry up', so he obviously wasn't really taking note of them, and probably thought I was being smart for spelling them. I said, 'I'm sorry, I thought you were typing them into the computer'. He completely ignored me.

They also wouldn't take me home, or call a cab for me, they put me outside, locked all the doors and turned the lights off.

It's a complete farse. And unfortunately, I will have to plead guilty and loose my licence or go to trial and pay thousands of dollars to solicitors to defend me.

I heard they the police have to generate a certain amount of revenue, and many people have told me that it is a myth, although I was told by a detective a couple of years ago that they do have a quota, and are expected to generate a certain amount of revenue in fines etc per month. I am really starting to think it is true.

Why arrest and charge someone (without telling them what they are charged with), when they are clearly not doing anything wrong, and hey ignore the murderers, rapists and drug dealers that are around??

I've lost all faith in the Australian Police Service and the Justice system, as you have to plead guilty unless you can afford to go to trial, and the sentances are mandatory - the magistrate has no real control over the penalties - it's a set formula, and you loose your licence for that period and have to pay a fine of a certain amount.

It really does **** - and with all the trouble I've had with POTS lately, I really can't be bothered. Something good better come along soon, 'cause I've just about had enough of my life. I'm tired and crabby, and just want to run away were no one can bother me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thats horrible! I pleaded guilty but they dismissed the charge.... so maybe there is hope?

Write down your whole experience and send it to your local MP ... sometimes local politicans do care and will help support you.

Does your solicitor sound positive and helpful? or are you just another case in her workload.

Thats really rotton that they not only did this, but treated you in such a way. It sounds odd to me that they had not been certan what they charged you with when they gave you the ticket.. or were they waiting for blood test results? Check for all the loopholes you may be able to find!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Evie,

Thanks again for the advise. There is a so-called chance that they may dismiss the charges - as the law states I am innocent until proven guilty - the only way I can have the charges dismissed are if the police documents are incorrect or incomplete.

It's silly really, when you are innocent until proven guilty, but you have to plead guilty otherwise go to trial - and I just can't afford that. Especially if I end up loosing, as I will loose my licence for God knows how long, and will not be able to work, unless I catch taxi's - obviously with POTS I can't ride a bike to work, even though it's not that far - but in the Queensland Summer?

As I am still unclear of what they are intending on charging me with, all I can do is state the facts. My solicitor seems good, although has a big workload - but she keeps telling me she will get the best possible outcome for me.

She thinks the best scenario if I plead guilty with strong mitigating circumstances, I might be disqualified for 6-7 months, but may have a shot at getting a work licence. Not the best outcome when I wasn't doing anything - but apparently it's illegal to be anywhere near your car with the keys as you are classed as being in control of the vehicle.

Also, you would not believe that my bagpipes broke today as well, they won't be fixed in time for all my Xmas engagements etc - I must have done something bad somewhere to deserve all thats being dished my way lately. Thank God that I have this discussion forum with like minded people to help me through it all...

By they way, there were no Blood Tests done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh im sorry i was a dope and assumed they took you back to get blood tests done for alcohol levels ... but they would use breath tests wouldnt they?

Can you afford to go to your drs and specialist to get documentaion to proove you have a illness that its nessicary for you to drink water if exercising etc?

That ***** that your bagpipes broke .... when it rains it pours doesnt it :(

Maybe you can use all the bad luck up and then the good luck will start in time for your court date :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Evie,

I'm trying to get a letter from the neurologist stating that I need to keep my fluid levels up - and I don't think it's fair that the police can refuse to give you water - I'm sure it wouldn't effect the breath test in any way - well, maybe to my advantage - but surely, if someone clearly stated they had a medical condition and needed water, you would give it to them. Especially with all the stress of not knowing what was going on etc, I really needed some water.

I'm also getting references from the people I was with stating that I had no intention of driving - I told everyone I was with I was going to walk.

Along with that I will make an appoitment to see the local MP - I'm sure they cannot override a magistrates disision, but if I explain to her my medical condition, yet I still hold a full time job and am a full time uni student doing a double degree, and also give up all my free time to play for the local pipe band (which is unpaid - and perform at local events), she may be able to give me some type of reference, or a letter or something - I don't know.

Everything is just so messed up right now, I hope you're right, and I'm using up my bad luck before court.

Thanks for your support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...