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Time to re-think restricted licences?

By johnboy - 6 January 2009 32

The ABC brings word of Magistrate Maria Doogan’s public musings on the continued provision of restricted licences to convicted drink drivers.

It was brought on by one Corey McCracken, 21, who blew over while already on a restricted licence.

    “Magistrate Doogan said the ACT was the only state or territory that gave offenders the chance to have a restricted licence.

    But she said, given the number of people caught breaking the law, the Government could rethink the privilege.”

Restricted licences for convicted drink drivers

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32 Responses to
Time to re-think restricted licences?
Jonathon Reynolds 10:48 am 06 Jan 09

peterh said :

getting to work and back and keeping a log that is checked by the police once a week, and cross referenced against the odometer, now, that would be effective. any additional travel would be recognised straight away. of course, the costs associated in setting up such a system would be high…

I’m sure in the US they have implemented breathalyser locks on vehicles of DUI offenders (ensures that you can’t drive DUI)

Secondly with the current GPS and mobile technology it is easy enough to automatically “lojack” track a vehicle without the need for keeping extensive logs. The cost of a involved in issuing a restricted licence becomes the cost of “renting” the tracking equipment to the offender to ensure that their vehicle is used appropriately. Obviously it doesn’t stop them from driving someone else’s car… but if they then get caught its a valid excuse to give them an all expense paid (human rights compliant) holiday at the AMC in which they can contemplate their actions.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:45 am 06 Jan 09

The trouble with the courts is that they only work on people who actually care about doing the right thing. For Joe Average the public servant, being charged and going through the process is one of the most horrific, stressful and embarrassing experiences possible.

Joe Average who is normally a productive member of society wouldn’t take a chance on being over the limit again.

If you’ve done something serious enough to have your license taken away, it should be taken away, period.

Ian 10:31 am 06 Jan 09

Restricted licenses are a joke. If you drink drive and get caught, and as a result can’t get to your job, stiff shit. Should have thought of that sooner.

If we must have restricted licenses, the penalty for breaching the conditions must be severe – like 2-3 x the original penalty.

p1 10:27 am 06 Jan 09

A recumbant?

54-11 10:27 am 06 Jan 09

I think tylersmahem experience leads us down the right track. Where there has been a serious breach of the road rules (whether DUI or something else), having that screw up their job is an unintended consequence that needs to be remediated somehow.

When the offender does the right thing, then this bit of leniency has worked. The problem is with clowns like McCracken don’t abide by the conditions. Then, as TM says, the licence should be cancelled for years.

I’ve never had a DUI in 40 years of driving, but that’s not to say that from time to time over the years, I haven’t perhaps imbibed a bit much. Bear in mind also that the legal limit has changed quite a lot (I thnk at one time it was .1, before going to .08 and now .05), which shows that there is some doubt as to exactly what is impaired drinving and what is not. I guess that’s why low range DUI is treated a little more leniently with provisions for restricted licences.

H1NG0 10:25 am 06 Jan 09

How about we give them a lycra suit and a bicycle?

peterh 10:20 am 06 Jan 09

in canberra?

if you get done dui, you have broken the law. getting a provisional license doesn’t teach some of these fools at all. getting to work and back and keeping a log that is checked by the police once a week, and cross referenced against the odometer, now, that would be effective. any additional travel would be recognised straight away. of course, the costs associated in setting up such a system would be high, but for the people who have made a mistake, and are repentant, it would ensure they weren’t lumped in with the rest who really didn’t give a damn.

fnaah 10:19 am 06 Jan 09

Maybe the restricted licence should only be valid in the government supplied hot pink smart car

… lol. 🙂 That might just work, ditto for morons caught doing burnouts or excessively speeding.

johnboy 10:18 am 06 Jan 09

Special D plates maybe?

p1 10:16 am 06 Jan 09

I think that the concept is a good idea. In practice, it will only work if applications are scrutinised, and the concequences of breaking the conditions are significantly worse then normal driving offences.

Maybe the restricted licence should only be valid in the government supplied hot pink smart car. Only a drunk would drive one of those. And more relevantly, the cops could see immediatly if it was out of place.

jakez 10:09 am 06 Jan 09

I think they are a good idea. They allow people to go straight to and from work. Some people should get them and some shouldn’t (I’ll agree that the basically automatic nature with which they are handed out is cause for consideration though).

People could still drive and drink drive without a license anyway. Let those who truly need a restricted license have one. Let those who breach this trust feel a far heftier punishment.

tylersmayhem 10:09 am 06 Jan 09

I think it’s entirely dependent on the situation. Using my own experiences from just over 10 years ago, I was 21, regularly drove drunk with no consideration for any of the consequences, and I blew .175 and obviously got done.

The realisation of what had done, and had been doing scared the s**t out of me! I went into court and represented myself (what would a lawyer do, try to prove I hadn’t been drinking?!). The magistrate could tell I was s**tting myself, and that I was not taking the situation lightly. I gave my intention to apply for a restricted licence in the coming months as I worked around the clock in hospitality. I was fined well over $1000 and taken off the road for 6 months. I was able to pay to attend court and request a restricted licence after a couple of months. I took a letter from my employer substantiating the real need for a car when travelling to and from work at all hours. Permission was granted, and I could drive only in the most direct route to and from work, or else my licence would be cancelled indefinitely.

I behaved myself and after the 6 months I was given a 12 month provisional licence with 2 points. Certainly teaches one to drive more thoughtfully.

Had my licence been stripped for the full 6 months, I would have lost my job, and probably drunk more and gone further down hill. I can honestly say that I learnt my lesson, but when dicks like this Corey idiot get caught, their licence should be gone for years. He had a chance, and flipped it off.

3 things of thought:

1. I think it’s a joke that once being charged with DUI you can still legally drive your car until you attend court – in my case 3 weeks.

2. If people get done DUI and repeat offend, their licence should be cancelled for YEARS.

3. Perhaps all P-platers should only have 2 points to last them the first 12 months. Might slow some of them MOFO’s down a bit, and possibly save a few lives at the same time?!

fnaah 10:08 am 06 Jan 09

I think the point of a restricted license is so you can still get to work. Are the conditions of a restricted license up to the judge/whatever who does the sentencing?

VYBerlina, I do agree that consequences should be more serious, but let’s not jump right to mandatory sentencing.

H1NG0 10:06 am 06 Jan 09

Exactly VY. If you needed to drive, you wouldn’t do the crime in the first place.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 10:00 am 06 Jan 09

What the hell is the point of a restricted license? Surely you should either be allowed to drive, or not. Having your license taken away doesn’t happen trivially – you actually have to do several naughty things first.

What the hell ever happened to the idea of consequences?

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