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Mid-Range PCA Interlock Exemption Orders

Mid-Range PCA Interlock Exemption Orders

Since December 2018, Mid-Range PCA offences have been subject to Mandatory Interlock Orders.

The most frequent questions asked by our clients in relation to Mid-Range PCA offences, are:

“Do I have to have an interlock device installed?” or

“How do I get out of having a device installed?”

Interlock Orders are mandatory for Mid-Range offences committed after December 2018, unless the Court is persuaded to grant an Interlock Exemption Order. It is important to note, the Court is very hesitant in granting Interlock Exception Orders, due to the change in legislation and Parliament’s clear purpose of making Mid-Range PCA offences interlock applicable. The test for an Exemption Order depends on what offence you have been charged with. If you have been charged with a Mid-Range PCA first offence or second or subsequent offence, then the test differs.

The Court may only make the exemption order if satisfied:

  • The making of a mandatory Interlock Order would cause severe hardship to the offender; and
  • The making of an Interlock Exemption Order is more appropriate in all the circumstances than the making of a mandatory interlock order.

An example provided is:

… there is only one vehicle to which the offender has access in which an interlock device could be installed and it is used jointly with a family member or other person who has a medical condition preventing the person from providing a sufficient breath sample to operate the device and it is not reasonably practicable to modify the device.

Exemption test means you must prove that:

  • You do not have access to a car; or
  • You have a medical condition preventing you from providing a sufficient sample of breath AND the interlock device cannot be reasonably modified.

To prove that you do not have access to a car you must show that:

  • You are not a registered operator of a car;
  • You are not an owner or part owner;
  • You do not share a car with a registered operator;
  • You do not share a car with an owner or part owner; or
  • If you are any of the above, it is unreasonable to install a device.

The Legislation says that an Interlock Exemption Order must not be made, merely because an offender:

  • Can not afford the cost of installing or maintaining an approved interlock device, or
  • Will be prevented from driving a vehicle in the course of his or her employment if a mandatory interlock order is made, or
  • Has access to a vehicle but the registered operator of the vehicle refuses to consent to the installation of an interlock device in the vehicle.

As you can see, Parliament has made it very difficult to circumvent the interlock program. You must be able to provide the Court’s with proof/evidence that one or multiple facets of the tests are met before the Court could be satisfied that an Exemption Order should be made.

If you are successful in overcoming these very specific tests applied by the Court, you are only granted an exemption from the interlock program, not the disqualification period. If an Interlock Exemption Order is granted by the Court for a Mid-Range PCA offence, you are required to serve an automatic 12 month disqualification period (can be reduced to 6 months) before you are eligible to re-apply for your licence.

If you have been charged with a Mid-Range PCA offence, it is very important that you receive timely and accurate advice. Please contact Armstrong Legal Criminal Law team for an obligation free consultation on 1300 168 676, to plan your defence and representation.

Image Credit – Andriy Popov ©

Written by Tyson Brown on July 10, 2019

Tyson has a down to earth, straightforward approach to life and the law, one which is well received by all who meet him. Tyson has the ability to relate to all clients on a personal level, having spent many years prior to his legal career in customer service and hospitality. View Tyson's profile

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