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Dräger follies see alleged drink driver walked free

By johnboy - 13 May 2010 33

From the Magistrate’s Court comes the intriguing tale of how Matthew Jon Windle hired a good lawyer to get off a drink driving charge.

It started with a red light run from Cooyong Street onto Northbourne in front of police. It followed a predictable path of slurred speech, reeking of alcohol, and some difficulty standing.

Then it all started to go wrong:

An analysis was subsequently carried out by Constable Dzido and the Drager Alcotest 7110 Mark V breath analysing instrument recorded that the defendant had a reading of 0.221 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. A Section 41 Certificate (Exhibit A) was tendered without objection save Mr Pappas had raised, quite properly, very early in the proceedings that the defendant contested two facts:
(a) the Drager Alcotest 7110 Mark V was not an approved instrument; and,
(b) that Constable Dzido was not an approved operator.

It seems that the “a” in Drager has an umlaut. Because we are L33t we can write it like this: “Dräger”

But whomever drafted the Notifiable Instrument N12004-134 and shoved it under Bill Wood’s nose for signing was not L33t at all, and left out the umlauts.

Magistrate Cush in the end decided that this was being silly buggers, and who needs umlauts anyway. But then another case reared it’s head.

Carlos Gonzalez had a go at chucking out N12004-134 on the basis that it only approved the Drager as a screening device and not an analysis device. Something which so alarmed the ACT Government they put out a new instrument the same day the oversight was raised.

The instrument also cited the wrong section of the Act from which it is derived.

Magistrate Cush decided these problems too were silly buggers.

But the matter of Constable Dzido not being approved as an operator a year and a half after he had completed the appropriate course was something the Magistrate could not overlook and so the repeat offending Matthew Windle with a reading of 0.221gm is still on our streets.

It’s a hell of a way to run a Territory.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Dräger follies see alleged drink driver walked free
georgesgenitals 3:33 pm 13 May 10

It’s definitely poor form that someone who did something dangerous and illegal got off scott free, but at the same time the police should really have their house in order. The guy got off because the cop who tested him wasn’t approved/certified for the testing procedure, even though it looks like he did the course and knew what he was doing.

Look on the bright side – no one got hurt, the guy who got caught hopefully got a big scare, and the police got a wake up call to check their administration, so when something big happens they’ll be in order.

Aurelius 3:32 pm 13 May 10

I should point out that I don’t agree that lawyers should twist the law the way they do, but hey, it’s a battle between two sides, and one of those sides writes the rulebook. And if you write the rulebook and still cannot win, clearly you need to take a long hard look at yourself.
And the lawyer is paid to do a job. If the law was written better, there’d be fewer loopholes.

Jim Jones 3:18 pm 13 May 10

But yes, Aurelius is right: this is the way the system works.

Doesn’t mean that it doesn’t revolt me from time to time.

Jim Jones 3:07 pm 13 May 10

astrojax said :

Jim Jones said :

If there’s a lawyer managing to exploit simple mistakes in basic legislation in order to get drunk-drivers off without penalty, then it’s pretty clear who lowlife is.

&
That said, I still consider anyone who would weasel around the words of the law in order to circumvent their intent to be a bit of a lowlife. I’d add the defendant too – if you were clearly guilty of drink driving, using money to get you out of it is a dog act.</I.

so, mention 'lawyer' and instantly there's ya bad guy? next time the law works for you, have a rethink… have you never benefitted from someone else’s mistake? your favourite footy team never scored because a ref ‘missed’ an infringement?

damn, now i read aurelius’ comment… snap.

like aurelius said, just doing what they’re paid to do – do you not try to do your best for those that pay you?

There’s a difference between ‘doing what you’re paid to do’ and consciously weasling around the intent of the law so that a very clearly guilty man goes free.

A drink driver (well and truly over the limit) getting off on a stupid technicality is a mite different to a bad decision by a referee or benefiting from someone else’s mistake.

This sort of thing also has the effect of disproportionally benefiting those with money: if you can afford a good lawyer, you have a much better chance of walking (regardless of whether you did it or not). Why should the legal system favour the wealthy?

Almost everyone on this forum bitches when ‘lowlife druggy scum [ad nauseum]’ don’t get severe sentences, but for some reason there is no reaction when a wealthy person goes free because they had the money to buy their way out of it.

astrojax 2:28 pm 13 May 10

Jim Jones said :

If there’s a lawyer managing to exploit simple mistakes in basic legislation in order to get drunk-drivers off without penalty, then it’s pretty clear who lowlife is.

&
That said, I still consider anyone who would weasel around the words of the law in order to circumvent their intent to be a bit of a lowlife. I’d add the defendant too – if you were clearly guilty of drink driving, using money to get you out of it is a dog act.</I.

so, mention 'lawyer' and instantly there's ya bad guy? next time the law works for you, have a rethink… have you never benefitted from someone else’s mistake? your favourite footy team never scored because a ref ‘missed’ an infringement?

damn, now i read aurelius’ comment… snap.

like aurelius said, just doing what they’re paid to do – do you not try to do your best for those that pay you?

Jim Jones 2:04 pm 13 May 10

Aurelius – you’re right of course.

That said, I still consider anyone who would weasel around the words of the law in order to circumvent their intent to be a bit of a lowlife. I’d add the defendant too – if you were clearly guilty of drink driving, using money to get you out of it is a dog act.

Aurelius 1:43 pm 13 May 10

Jim Jones said :

If there’s a lawyer managing to exploit simple mistakes in basic legislation in order to get drunk-drivers off without penalty, then it’s pretty clear who lowlife is.

You mean “doing what he’s paid to do”?

Look, one side in a legal stoush like this is the state – the bureaucracy, police, legislature. They have an enormous amount of clout by virtue of being the state. They make the rules, and enforce them. As such, they naturally have a significant advantage.
Against this, you have a defendant and his lawyer. The lawyer’s job is to work within the rules laid down by the state to ensure that if the state gets a conviction, it is all legit, above-board and watertight.
One side succeeded, the other failed.
But the one that failed is the same one that wrote the rules.
Which the defendant and his lawyer were playing within.

If the rules are broken, fix them. Don’t whine about those who use the rules as they exist for their own best benefit. Coz they didn’t write them. We all use rules in life to our best benefit. And when the rules change, we all adapt.
It’s hardly the defendant’s fault for doing the best he can to get off.
Or the lawyer’s for serving his client’s interests.
There were mistakes in the case, and by taking it to court with not one but multiple errors, the prosecuting officials were clearly negligent. With our tax money.

Beserk Keyboard Warr 1:17 pm 13 May 10

Mr. Windle – a man, a human in flesh, but not by law,
I feed you dignity to stand with pride,
Realize that all in all you stand tall,
Go ahead, Mr. Windle.

Mr. Windle, yeah
Yeah, Mr. Windle
Mr. Windle, yeah
Lord

Clown Killer 1:08 pm 13 May 10

So an otherwise easy conviction slips through the net because of incompetent and lazy bureaucrats and dumb-arse police who couldn’t be bothered following it up. Nice work dick heads.

Aurelius 12:31 pm 13 May 10

troll-sniffer said :

Naturally, apologies to this Matthew Windle if he’s not the one who saw fit to squirm his duties as a citizen by using slimy tactics in the courts.

So, whether this is the same person or not, you’re not going to find out before you slew your allegations around? All class!
As for slimy tactics, the defendent and his lawyer did not write the procedures and rules of evidence. But those who did (the police and government) did not follow them. If anyone’s to blame for the failure of the prosecution to obtain a conviction, it’s those who failed to follow the procedures.

Jim Jones 12:06 pm 13 May 10

johnboy said :

Henry IV I think you’ll find JJ. Not sure this lot is the lawyers fault though. Lazy bureaucrats seem to be largely at fault for mine.

My bad on the reference. I also get the Police Academy movies mixed up.

Not sure how you’d ping this on ‘lazy bureaucrats’.

If there’s a lawyer managing to exploit simple mistakes in basic legislation in order to get drunk-drivers off without penalty, then it’s pretty clear who lowlife is.

johnboy 11:51 am 13 May 10

Henry IV I think you’ll find JJ. Not sure this lot is the lawyers fault though. Lazy bureaucrats seem to be largely at fault for mine.

Jim Jones 11:48 am 13 May 10

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
Shakespeare, Henry VI

troll-sniffer 11:44 am 13 May 10

Makes you wonder if this stellar example of a model citizen is this one found via Google search:

Private Investors’ Time to Shine 20/03/2009

For the first time in five years, a positive spread in yields is starting to stir excitement by private investors and many owners are prepared to meet the new market pricing levels, according to XXXX.

The launch of XXXX’s second edition of Private Investor magazine this week is proving the case as enquiries begin to flood XXXX’s 28 offices across Australia…

…Mr XXXX, Investment Sales Director at XXXX – Canberra, will be presenting at the Canberra Private Investor Seminar on March 24. Guest speaking at the Canberra event will be XXXX, Regional Manager of Corporate Business Banking at XXXX, and Matthew Windle, Treasury Specialist.

Naturally, apologies to this Matthew Windle if he’s not the one who saw fit to squirm his duties as a citizen by using slimy tactics in the courts.

Captain RAAF 11:31 am 13 May 10

Yeah, well thats just great…not! Someone forgot to sign off Const Dzido or he may himself be responsible for not ‘reading and signing as understood’ the relevant document, very ordinary because how many other drivers has Const Dzido apprehended for DUI that will now appeal?

One thing is certain, Matthew Windle won’t be able to break wind in his driveway without Traffic branch, the Police helicopter and maybe even the water police knowing about it!

Sad thing is, who will Windle kill before the process is gotten right?

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