NSW Introduces Mandatory Interlock Orders for Mid-Range Drink Driving Offences – Megan Jury

MJTougher penalties for drink-driving offences came into effect in NSW aimed at reducing trauma on our roads. The changes are particularly significant for those convicted of first-time mid-range offences i.e. a blood alcohol reading between 0.08 and 0.149 and no convictions of a similar kind or major drink-drive offences in the previous 5 years.

Penalties from 3 December 2018

If you are convicted of a first-time mid-range drink driving offence committed on or after 3 December 2018 the court must now order you to participate in the interlock program for a minimum 12 months and disqualify you from driving for a minimum 6 months. If you wish to drive after the disqualification period has passed you must apply for an Interlock licence which carries with it a zero alcohol limit.

What is an alcohol interlock device and who pays?

An interlock is an electronic breath testing device that is connected to the ignition of a vehicle and prevents it from starting if alcohol is detected. It is also programed to require random breath tests whilst the vehicle is being driven and records all alcohol readings, vehicle starts, engine shut-offs and violations. Data is downloaded from the device monthly and sent to NSW Roads and Maritime Services for review. Interlock devices also have built in cameras to reduce the risk of another person providing a breath sample to start the vehicle.

The cost of the interlock program is born by the participant and costs between $2,200 and $2,500.00 for one year. This is on top of an increased potential fine of up to $2,200. Although the Court can approve a concession rate or grant an exemption from participating in the interlock program (and extend the disqualification period) they will only do so in limited circumstances.

A conviction for first-time mid-range PCA will cost you.

If you have been charged with a drink-driving offence the Solicitors at Everingham Solomons can assist you in preparing and presenting your case to help achieve the best possible outcome because Helping You is Our Business

Debtor Control – A Key to Business Survival

MJEvery business relies on cash flow to survive. It matters not whether you have the best prices, products and/or customer service: if you don’t learn how to properly maintain cash flow, your business will eventually fail. By taking a proactive approach to debtor control you can improve your business’s cash flow and enhance its profitability.

Preventing Bad Debts

Ensure you manage the risk of bad debts by implementing a clear payment and credit policy. Consider:

  1. Performing a credit check on potential debtors:-
    1. Consider having them sign a credit application form or credit agreement
    2. Conduct a pre-credit data check or/and ask for trade references
  2. Setting clear payment terms:-
    1. e.g. payment within 7 or 14 days from the invoice date.
      1. Try to set payment terms shorter than your supplier’s terms as this will also assist with cash flow.
    2. Ask for payment on delivery initially until your business relationship is stronger
  3. Making it easy for people to pay you:-
    1. Offer credit card or EFTPOS and train staff to accept payment

Maintaining Your Payment and Credit Policy

It is important to be CONSISTENT in applying your payment and credit policy. This will help you to recover your outstanding debt whilst maintaining a good relationship with your customers.

  1. Train staff as to the when and how’s of following up on outstanding debts
  2. Ensure you act promptly and consistently to follow-up on any outstanding or owing payments by:
    1. contacting your debtors quickly with regard to any overdue invoices e.g. when payment is 7 days overdue
    2. Chasing overdue payments by sending clearly marked statements, reminders or final notices
    3. phoning the debtor and asking them if there is an issue
      1. If there is an issue try to arrange a payment plan that would suit you both
  3. In the event payment is still outstanding consider reviewing your credit terms for that customer e.g. payment on delivery

Recovering Outstanding Debts

If payment remains outstanding you might consider using mediation to help resolve your issue. This can save time and your matter might be settled in a way that suits both you and your client/customer. A magistrate can always make the final decision if no agreement is reached.

The dispute resolution team at Everingham Solomons can assist you at every stage of the debt recovery process. They will work with you to find the appropriate course of action and help devise strategies suited to your circumstances to ensure outstanding debts are recovered as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Can your business afford to wait?

At Everingham Solomons, we have the expertise and experience to assist you because Helping You is Our Business.

Welcome Megan

MJMy name is Megan Jury and I recently joined the team at Everingham Solomons as a Solicitor.

I graduated from UNE in 2014 with a Bachelor of Criminology and graduated with a Juris Doctor from Macquarie University in 2017. I was admitted as a Solicitor in June 2018 after completing my Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice through the College of Law.

Originally from New Zealand, my husband was born and raised in Tamworth and has served in the Royal Australian Navy for many years. We have raised three outstanding daughters, one of whom is a casual secondary school teacher in Tamworth.

After years of balancing my thirst for knowledge with family and work commitments, I completed a Diploma of Tourism in 2010 and worked full-time in the travel industry whilst completing my Criminology degree by distance. Inspired to do some good, I then enrolled full-time in the Juris Doctor at Macquarie University, focusing on International Law, Dispute Resolution, Company, Criminal and Family Law.

In my spare time I love to travel overseas and explore other cultures, spend time with family, or curl up with my dogs and read a good crime novel or embark on a Stan or Netflix crime show marathon.

Having spent many years living in different locations I am excited to be living back in Tamworth. Despite Tamworth’s many changes since I last lived here, the people have remained as friendly and generous with their time as ever.

I am proud to join the team at Everingham Solomons and to work with Solicitors and support staff who truly care about their clients, community and each other. I bring to my role recent experience with the Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern and past experience in management, training and customer service.

As a member of the Litigation Team, I will be working with Directors Terry Broomfield, George Hoddle and Clint Coles. I am certain their wealth of experience will provide the best possible foundation for my legal career because at Everingham Solomons Helping You is Our Business.