Police v NJD: Drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

DUI after hitting parked cars

Methamphetamine and heroin drugsNJD was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) after she veered her vehicle into three parked cars on a residential road, causing damage to a fourth. Police charged NJD after a number of witnesses claimed that NJD appeared to be under the effect of drugs or alcohol.

Despite blood and urine sample revealing no evidence of alcohol, there was some traces of methylamphetamine (ice).

Drug report indicates meth level insufficient for DUI

Subsequently, the matter proceeded to a contested hearing, where the drug defence lawyer produced a report by a consultant research pharmacologist. The report concluded that:

“the finding of therapeutic levels of methylamphetamine… is insufficient to support the conclusion that the driving ability of [our client] was adversely affected”.

On this evidence, the elements of driving under the influence were not proven beyond reasonable doubt, and NJD was found not guilty. However, it is worth noting that, because police had already charged NJD in relation to this offence, laying new charges of negligent driving would breach the rule of double jeopardy. As such, the finding of not guilty concluded the proceedings against NJD.


  • Drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Section 12(1)(a) Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999
  • traces of methylamphetamine
  • pharmacology report
  • elements of offence could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt
  • double jeopardy prevents re-prosecution


O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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