31 July 2007

Wacky Tawake Busted DUI

| Kramer
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The ABC reports Brumbies big man Jone Tawake was busted for DUI yesterday morning. He was travelling from Sydney to Canberra following a big night of celebrations after his Sydney Uni team smashed Easts in the NSW Rugby Grand Final, and blew 0.06.

So once again a high profile sportsman is busted. It looks like the Brumbies/ACTRU may make an example of him. Personally, I think he should be pardoned, due to his relatively low blood alcohol level, the fact that it was the morning after (and not the evening of), and primarily due to his services to rugby.

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Jone Tawake is a really good footballer who has the same effect on the field as using abowling ball when your opponent has chess pieces. Good to watch. When interviewed, clearly a thoughtful and somewhat quiet and retiring bloke.

He is still charged with doing a bad thing, and he has to wear the cost (whatever fine and/or suspension is necessary from the court and some grief from his rugby management). Footballers aren’t exempt from the law or discipline, though it’s silly to consider them as role models. I doubt whether Jone will make a mistake like this again and hope that he goes on playing locally for as long as he is fit and willing to do so.

As if you’d lose your clearance for a base-range PCA!

I think you’d be pretty unlucky to lose your clearance, unless it was something showing dishonesty (eg fraud).

Woody Mann-Caruso3:29 pm 01 Aug 07

But how many of you would expect to lose your job, or at least be subjected to a harsh fine when you returned to work?

I’d expect to lose my security clearance, or at least have it reviewed, especially if I received a criminal conviction, which Tawake could.

MissUnderstood12:03 pm 01 Aug 07

Vic Bitterman is quite correct in his explanation of the drink driving laws in NSW. Individuals with a reading of 0.05 to 0.08 are considered to be low range PCA (prescribed concentration of alcohol), and yes, this does include a reading of 0.05 on the nose. A court hearing is necessary to address the charges, and legal aid is generally not available (unless I think you blow high range and/or it is a second or subsequent drink driving offence).

So Tawake will be at the whim of the Court’s decision, which at low range pca can involve a fine of up to $1,100, automatic licence disqualification of 6 months (the Court has the discretion to apply an absolute minimum disqualification of 3 months instead) and a criminal conviction for drink driving. These are the standard sentencing arrangements for low range PCA in NSW.

Having said this, the Court can however choose to apply a ‘Section 10’ dismissal (this is available under the NSW Crimes Act). Under this situation, the Magistrate finds the offender guilty but the charges can be dsmissed (either conditionally or unconditionally at the Magistrate’s discretion). This means Tawake won’t have a conviction recorded and any other sanctions are up to the Magistrate: he may/my not cop a fine or Court costs, may/may not cop licence disqualification, and may/may not cop a good behaviour bond-type arrangement.

Last thing I will pont out (phew) – It is quite a common misnoma that you are off the hook if you blow an even 0.05. Some of you may have noticed the absence of the old ‘0.05 to stay alive’ advertisements which used to be floating around a few years ago. My understanding is they canned that particular slogan campaign as you will be charged with drink driving if you are at this exact level. Drink driving ad campaigns nowadays also refrain from advising the number of drinks men and women can consume to be within the limit, to eliminate any recourse in the rarer situations where people find themselves over the limit even when sticking to those standard drinks counting rules of thumb. The way our bodies process alcohol varies between every individual.

caf you are wrong. The DUI limit in every US state is .08 except Colorado, Delaware and Minnesota where it is .10 Nowhere in the US is the limit .05 These are the facts. In future caf it would be a good idea not to consult Wikipedia for information as the information on it is quite often wrong as anybody can post anything they like regardless of the facts and anybody can edit any article on it.

Vic Bitterman9:51 pm 31 Jul 07

It’s been the case since at least the early 90’s in NSW Ingee…. as to Tawake he’ll probably get a lecture from the beak and court costs. I doubt he’ll cop a suspension or fine….

I think quite a lot of our sports people may receive harsher treatment than many of the general public. They may get slightly better treatment by the courts, because they can afford good legal representation. But how many of you would expect to lose your job, or at least be subjected to a harsh fine when you returned to work?

Woody Mann-Caruso8:34 pm 31 Jul 07

Are you his boyfriend or something, Ingeegoodbee? I couldn’t give a toss what happens to him on the field – I was talking about a general attitude that footy players should be allowed to break the law from time to time but we should all forgive them because they have no necks and can catch a ball. Having said that, if I was paying a squillion dollars for an athlete who was recklessly disregarding his own safety and whose actions could bring the sport into disrepute, I’d be pretty pissed.

“Looks like we could start a lynch mob though.”

To break him out of jail for the ARC I hope.

In Victoria low readings below .08 can be dealt with as a fine similar to a traffic ticket. ACT is different. Although there have been plenty of high profile people (politicians and judges) get nothing for their drink driving so why should any other person be different.

Looks like we could start a lynch mob though.

Oh, get real scumdorg – “…worst examples of the abuse of police power ever“, he’s not Rodney-bloody-King for crying out loud. He wasn’t disappeared by the Gestapo.

(and according to the Wikipedia article the BAC at which you are assumed to be intoxicated in the US is 0.08).

It is in the ACT, no idea about NSW. Also once on the machine it’s all recorded so no “ow come on let me off..”

0.06 is nothing, he’ll be fine.

Ingeegoodbee5:26 pm 31 Jul 07

Vic has that always been the case? It’s not an offence with which I am well acquainted.

Vic Bitterman5:08 pm 31 Jul 07

Ingeegoodbee, if you go over 0.05 (and that includes a reading of exactly 0.05) it’s low range PCA and mandatory court appearance.

Ingeegoodbee4:06 pm 31 Jul 07

Get your hand off it Woody, if it was a low range offence as it seems to be he gets a ticket and pays a fine, he shouldn’t have dipsh!ts discussing whether or not he should lose his spot on the team – if it happened to you, you wouldn’t expect to lose your job so where do you get off applying double standards?

Woody Mann-Caruso3:57 pm 31 Jul 07

Sure, he was driving a tonne of metal at 110km an hour while legally inebriated, but he plays sport, so let’s let him go. It should be different rules for mere mortals like me and demigods like him, because he can, you know, kick a ball and stuff. If he crashed into somebody they should be honoured.

Ingeegoodbee3:23 pm 31 Jul 07

I suspect that this is a bit of malicious grandstanding by the NSW Police. If he genuinely did blow 0.06 then isn’t it just a ticket? My understanding is that a low range infringement (0.6-0.8) is handled with a simple fine, similar to a speeding ticket, with no court appearance – can anyone cast any light on this?

This would have to be one of the worst examples of the abuse of police power ever. He blew .06 for god’s sake! .01 over the limit straight after he won the grand final. Don’t ever forget that the limit in this country for many years was .08 and was only reduced in the early 1980s because the Daily Telegraph launched a big campaign against drink driving and Neville Wran as usual buckled under when His Master’s Voice (Murdoch) gave the order. In the US the limit is actually .10, double the limit here! So let’s have no more of this pious tut-tutting. Jone was railroaded well and truly.

I understand that and you’re right, the law is the law, so let the law handle this one and make that the end of it. He shouldn’t lose his job over what seems to be just an accident and not an incident.

papadoc – the law is the law.

.01 over or not.

Make an example of him for anyone who thinks its ok to drive the morning after a night out…

Before we go raking the big fella over the coals for this one, lets not forget he was the guy who had his finger removed so that he’d be right to play for the Brumbies and possibly the Wallabies.

I’m not saying to forget about it, but he was .01 over the limit, the day after winning a grand final and he’s never been a drama in the years that he’s been here.

hmm, i wonder if this will get him kicked from the Wallabies shadow squad as well

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