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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

What Can I Do To Get The Best Result?


There are several steps a person can take to achieve the best result in a traffic matter. This article describes five of those steps.

Complete a Traffic Offender Intervention Program

Completing a Traffic Offender Intervention Program demonstrates to the magistrate that you are serious about improving your driving behaviour. The program is designed to increase people’s understanding of their social obligations, particularly where they relate to traffic laws. When sentencing a traffic offender, a magistrate may take into account any changes of attitude displayed since they  attended the traffic program. The program is for normally 7 or 8 weeks, one day per week for about 2 hours.

Obtain Effective Character References

It is our experience that a well-drafted court character reference can have an impact upon the sentence that is imposed by the court. We believe that a court character reference must paint a picture of your character. If your character references don’t help you stand out from the other offenders in court, then you will be dealt with just like all the other cases.

Most court character references make statements such as: “James Brown is hardworking, energetic and generous with his time and money.” We believe that these references have very little impact upon the sentence imposed by the court; the use of examples, illustrations and stories can bring a character reference to life.

Engage Armstrong Legal to Act For You

Armstrong Legal has a team of lawyers who specialise in representing clients charged with drink driving. These lawyers appear daily before the Local Courts in New South Wales. The team includes a lecturer at the Traffic offender program and an ex-barrister with 25 years experience.

What this means for you:

  • your lawyer will know the magistrate and how best to approach them;
  • your lawyer has specialist knowledge as to what penalties and orders to ask for;
  • your lawyer knows what to say, and more importantly what not to say.

Receive Alcohol Counselling if You Have an Alcohol Problem

It is common practice where an offender has alcohol-related offences on their record for a magistrate to question the offender as to whether they have an alcohol problem. If you do have an alcohol problem it is wise to have alcohol counselling to help you abstain from alcohol or reduce your alcohol intake. Under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 the court must take into account your attempts to rehabilitate yourself when imposing a sentence.

Alcohol Interlock Program

The Alcohol Interlock Program is designed to enable convicted drink drivers to continue to legally drive after serving a short period of disqualification. The exact period of disqualification depends upon the offence charged.

The program also addresses underlying alcohol abuse issues through its requirement that the offender attends a mandatory brief medical consultation to discuss alcohol issues before the Interlock Driver Licence is issued.

How Does the Interlock Device Work?

The electronic breath testing device is wired to the ignition of a car to prevent the car from being started unless the driver passes a breath test. To reduce the potential for a bystander to start the car the interlock device is programmed to require retests to be taken at random intervals. Should a driver fail a retest the interlock device is programmed to sound an alarm of horn and lights until the ignition is turned off. A breath test is then required to start the car.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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