Traffic law is a very convoluted area of the law, which is routinely misunderstood.
The two (2) primary pieces of legislation that relate to traffic law matters in this state, the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) and the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) (together with the related Regulations) require various strenuous procedures to be followed by police, in order to enliven certain powers/ presumptions. A failure by the police to follow these procedures can mean that various presumptions that would otherwise apply have no effect and there may be no admissible evidence that can then be used against an individual charged with a traffic offence.
The two (2) most common enquiries in relation to traffic law matters can be summarised as:
- Drink driving matters- People are often under the misconception that once they have been reported or charged with a drink driving offence, that there is no defence to the charge. There are in fact a plethora of procedures that police must follow in relation to drink driving matters. A failure to follow these procedures could provide an individual with a complete defence to a drink driving charge. If you are charged with a drink driving offence, you will normally be issued with an instant loss of licence (‘ILOL’) but an application can be made to the court to lift this disqualification, if there is a reasonable prospect that you may be acquitted of the offence. Such an application is normally heard by the court within a week of the application being lodged.
- Demerit point reductions- Demerit points are accrued either when a fine is expiated (which generally means paid) or where a court convicts a person of an offence for which demerit points apply. There is a mechanism whereby demerit points can be reduced, if you elect to be prosecuted for an offence that attracts demerit points and give evidence on oath about the circumstances surrounding the offence. This avenue is ONLY AVAILABLE BEFORE AN EXPIATION NOTICE HAS BEEN PAID. It is therefore imperative that you obtain legal advice before taking any action in relation to an expiation notice.
There are also various other nuances with traffic law matters that we can discuss with you.