70’s Rock & Traffic Law

“Life in the fast lane” is the title of one of the Eagles’ biggest hits from the 1970s. Unfortunately however, it is also a turn of phrase that can be used to describe the driving habits of many drivers.
If you have, to quote Meatloaf, been driving “like a bat out of hell” and had your licence suspended, in certain circumstances you are able to appeal a licence suspension made by either Transport for NSW (TfNSW) or the Police. Examples of appellable decisions include:

– TfNSW licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30          but less than 45 kilometres per hour;
– Police on the spot licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 kilometres per hour; and
– TfNSW decisions to suspend P1 or P2 provisional drivers licence for loss of demerit points.… Read More

Drugs and Driving

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) has become common procedure when motorists are pulled over for a random breath test.

Some illicit substances can stay in your system for weeks after you use them and as such, drug driving offences are becoming more common.

MDT utilises technology that can detect the presence of illegal drugs such as ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine. Most Police vehicles now have the capacity to test for these illicit substances roadside by way of an oral fluid swab.

If your roadside test is positive, you will be required to attend a police station or mobile drug testing vehicle to give a second sample.… Read More

Toot, Toot, Chugga, Chugga: Do I leave them in the car?

The Wiggles are entertaining the kiddies, there is peace in the backseat and you just have to pop in to pay for petrol, surely its ok to leave the children for just a couple of minutes?

We hear stories of people leaving their children in the car all the time and some of the tragic consequences that can arise when they do. But is it an offence to leave the children in the car? Well, yes it certainly can be.

The Legislation that deals with these circumstances is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW). Under this legislation, it is an offence for a person to leave a child or young person unsupervised in a motor vehicle in circumstances where:

• The child or young person becomes or is likely to become emotionally distressed, or
• The child’s or young person’s health becomes or is likely to become permanently or temporarily impaired.… Read More

Found the body but … – Mark Grady

MKG-newThe recent case that has been reported regarding Matthew Leveson whose body has been found in the National Park south of Sydney, raises many interesting legal questions but not as many answers.

The facts in short are that in 2007 Matthew Leveson was killed and Michael Atkins was charged with his murder. Atkins was tried and in 2009 he was found not guilty of that murder.

There was subsequently a Coronial Inquest and Atkins refused to give evidence, as he is able to do, presumably on the basis that the evidence he gave may incriminate himself. The Coroner, to force Atkins to give evidence, subsequently gave him a certificate under section 61 of the Coroner’s Act, which means that evidence he gives cannot be used against him in any criminal proceedings.… Read More

What do you mean I need a licence?

NKW-booksIn NSW it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose.


If you drive a motor vehicle on a road without having held a licence of any kind in Australia for the previous 5 years, you have committed the offence of driving while never licensed.

For a first offence the maximum penalty is a fine of $2,200. For a second or subsequent offence the maximum penalty is a fine of $3,300 or imprisonment for a period of 18 months or both.


Your licence can be suspended by the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) for example for speeding or accumulation of demerit points whereas licence disqualification is a penalty imposed by the court for a traffic related offence.… Read More

What Drug Possession Could Do to You

NKW-booksSuppose Johnny has in his possession 6 grams of methamphetamine.

3 grams is the trafficable quantity of methamphetamine. As Johnny has twice that amount, he is deemed to have the drug in his possession for supply, unless he can prove that he had it in his possession for a reason other than supply.


Supply has a broad definition and includes:

  • selling and distributing;
  • agreeing to supply;
  • offering to supply;
  • sending, forwarding, delivering or receiving for supply;
  • or authorising, directing, causing, permitting or attempting any of those acts or things.
    (Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) s3)


To Consent or Not to Consent

MKG-newAn Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order designed to ensure protection from violence, intimidation, harassment and stalking.

The person against whom the order is sought, the defendant, has two options, to consent to the order or to contest the order.

If you chose to consent to an AVO you can do so without admissions. This means that you are not agreeing to or admitting any or all or the particulars of the application. Rather, you are stating that you don’t object to the order being put in place because you are happy to comply with the prohibitions and restrictions sought in the application.… Read More

What does PCA mean?

What does PCA mean?

NKW-booksUnder section 110 of the Road Transport Act 2013 it is an offence to:

  1. drive a motor vehicle;
  2. occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion; or
  3. occupy the seat in a motor vehicle next to a learner driver who is driving the vehicle,

with a prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA) present in breath or blood.

The statutory penalties for PCA offences are as follows:

For a low range offence (reading between 0.05 and 0.08) a maximum fine of $1,100 and a minimum disqualification period of 3 months.

For a mid-range offence (reading between 0.08… Read More

Think before you post

TRThere are criminal penalties and civil remedies for defamation and the laws apply to all forms of communication, including social media.

Under s529(3) of the Crimes Act 1900, it is an offence to publish, without lawful excuse, a matter defamatory to another person knowing the matter to be false, and with intent to cause serious harm, or being reckless as to whether such harm has been caused.

The offence of defamation carries a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.

In accordance with the Defamation Act 2005 defamation is a tort for which damages can be recovered. As indicated in the case of Mickle v Farley in which the NSW District Court awarded damages in the sum of $105,000 for defamatory comments posted on a social medial site, you must think before you post.… Read More

When the police visit: Do you know your rights?

MKG-newRecently, the High Court handed down a ruling in favour of Roseanne Beckett, a woman who had been wrongfully arrested, convicted and imprisoned for 10 years for the alleged attempted murder of her husband. After protesting her innocence for 26 years, Ms Beckett was awarded $2.3 million in damages to be paid by the state of NSW for ‘malicious prosecution’. In fact, she had been framed by a dodgy detective with a vendetta against her family. Although this is an extreme case, it begs the question: do you know your rights when you are arrested?

The police can arrest you if:

  • you are committing an offence or
  • they have reasonable grounds to suspect you have committed an offence
  • you are breaching the peace
  • you have breached any bail conditions you may have
  • a warrant has been issued for your arrest or
  • you are to be served with an Apprehended Violence Order.
Read More