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Melbourne Cup Day


The first Tuesday of November is a day marked in every Australian’s calendar. Preparations are well underway with office parties planned, babysitters booked, fascinators purchased and extra police officers rostered on duty.

The Melbourne Cup is regarded by some as the unofficial start of the silly season. Something that the police and our courts know all too well is that intoxication fuels poor decision making – and crime.

People who don’t usually make poor decisions sometimes do. Some people may believe they’re fine to drive to the train station on Wednesday morning having stopped drinking at 9pm. However, if they are breath tested and return a reading in excess of the legal limit then loss of licence and a pending court date may loom.

It’s important to remember that the race that stops a nations, doesn’t stop our cops. We’ve collated a list of offences that can be more prevalent at this time of year:

  • Fail to leave or Excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises (maximum penalty of $5,500 fine) –
    • If a person is asked to leave a licensed venue they must do so and must not attempt to re-enter that premises.
    • A person must move more than 50m away from that venue, unless they are waiting for public transport or a taxi.
  • Affray (maximum penalty 10 years imprisonment) –
    • A person is typically charged with this offence if they engage in conduct with one or more other people, that would cause a bystander to fear for their safety.
    • More common examples include pub fights or scuffles involving two or more people.
  • Assaults – depending on the type of assault and injury, penalties can range from 2 years imprisonment to 25 years imprisonment.
    • Assaults are more serious if there is a wound (i.e. break of the skin) or if a weapon or implement is used (i.e. a glass or knife).
  • Drink Driving and Drug Driving – mobile RBTs and RDTs will be out in force both on Melbourne Cup day and the following morning.
    • Penalties can range from fines, loss of licence up to gaol. The “one drink an hour rule” is wrong.
    • The rule to live by is, “If you’re going to drink anything at all – don’t drive.”
    • If you have a big afternoon or night, do not drive until the following evening. If you consume illicit drugs, you should not drive for 5 to 7 days to be certain it is completely free from your system.

Remember, Police have a difficult job to do at the best of times. The best way to avoid finding yourself in trouble (or making a situation worse) is to be respectful towards police and mindful of the fact that they are just doing their jobs. If they are exceeding their powers or are being unfair we can assist you with taking appropriate action after the fact and when the situation has calmed down.

If you’ve been charged with any offences, or if police wish to speak with you about something, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 168 676.

Image Credit – Iakov Filimonov © 123RF.com

Written by Trudie Cameron on November 2, 2018

Trudie combines her impressive skills in advocacy and legal analysis with a focus on her client's interests and wellbeing. Her experience working for senior barristers prior to starting at Armstrong Legal gives her a unique insight into criminal advocacy and practice. View Trudie's profile


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