Drug-driving offences

Offences under s 49 of the Road Safety Act 1986 are notorious for overlap.Since before Mills v Meeking (1990) 169 CLR 214 it has been observed that the prosecution gets significant forensic advantage from charging the same act in several different ways. (And s 51 of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1981 allows them to …

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Legislation Watch: Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

The new parliamentary session has started.The Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 is about licensed venues. The Explanatory Memorandum is here. The new law will allow the police or the management of a venue to issue a barring notice to a person. The notices run for 1, 3 or 6 months depending on whether the person …

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Wells v The Queen (No 2): Charter points not for interlocutory appeals

Wells v The Queen (No 2) [2010] VSCA 294 is the second time this culpable driving trial has gone up to the Court of Appeal for interlocutory hearing, and the parties haven't even opened yet.The Court was highly critical [Ashley and Redlich JJA at 4, Weinberg JA even more so at 47] that the first …

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Drinking & driving – no honest and reasonable mistake

Offences under s 49(1)(f) of the Road Safety Act 1986 are absolute liability offences. The assertion of a claim of honest and reasonable mistake has no effect against such a charge: Skase v Holmes (Unreported, Supreme Court of Victoria, 11 October 1995, Vincent J). In that case, Vincent J aligned drink-driving with the offences of …

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