-NEWS- Joe Ofahengaue charged for alcohol related offence in a vehicle

Huge

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Well its not as simple as that. I did this when i was younger and I am sure we all did. We all know what happens when daylight hits. You pull the keys out of your pocket, put it into the ignition and turn the key. You feel ok but in reality your over the limit. Your just another drunk driver but instead of doing at night your out on the road in the morning with families on the road. Same happens if you stay the night at a mates. If you get up early and drive home. You think your doing the right thing but your not. More education needs to be done on this for everyone. In reality we should not be drinking until miday or later all depends on time of your last drink and how much you had.
Hate to be picky but it drives me bonkers 😬 You do know there's a difference between your and you're don't you? I mean you used your instead of you're five times in eight lines!!! It takes the same amount of time to type and it makes it appear as though English class wasn't wasted! All my love, Huge.
 

Pub Steak

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As Jason Simmons said, you need to be deemed in charge of the vehicle. He should've driven instead of sleeping cause at .125 blood alcohol, you're definitely not in charge. That car is making you her bitch when you're that far gone. Prob would've helped to close his eyes. Reality is, if he'd woken up in the morning, he would definitely still have been way over. Try and imagine driving your kids to the playground and some fella that was nice enough to sleep in his car the night before cleans your kids door up at an intersection. My good mate lost his whole family to a drink driver. I have no tolerance. Taxi or just fucking jog home. Exercise helps metabolise the booze so you're not so hungover the next day.
 

abashii

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So just for some perspective here fellas, I am 51 years old and I had no idea whatsoever that it was illegal to sleep one off in the car.

Foolishly I thought to be considered Driving Under the Influence, you actually had to be, ya know, driving.

How silly of me.
Well now you do. I hope the NRL rewards Joe for his important community work in raising awareness around this issue.
 

kooly87

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So just for some perspective here fellas, I am 51 years old and I had no idea whatsoever that it was illegal to sleep one off in the car.

Foolishly I thought to be considered Driving Under the Influence, you actually had to be, ya know, driving.

How silly of me.
Keys in the ignition and turned on is definitely considered driving. I can't imagine anyone else reasonably suggesting otherwise.

I accept it was probably just to run the air conditioner, but the line has to be drawn somewhere on when driving commences, and engaging the ignition to me seems to be a pretty reasonable one to settle on.
 
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Sirlee oldman

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I am finding it hard to really feel any outrage over this. He thought he was doing the right thing and it turns out he wasn’t. He’s certainly an idiot for not getting an uber but a suspension is over the top I think. Fine him and get on with trying to win a premiership.
 

abashii

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Keys in the ignition and turned on is definitely considered driving. I can't imagine anyone else reasonably suggesting otherwise.

I accept it was probably just to run the air conditioner, but the line has to be drawn somewhere on when driving commences, and engaging the ignition to me seems to be a pretty reasonable one to settle on.
I get where you're coming from and agree in the main. However if it could be established that he hadn't driven anywhere and was just using the aircon, for example if he was parked in the streer outside the house where the party had been with a nice puddle of aircon water under the car, I think a caution could be appropriate. Not sure how much discretion the coppers have in this regard though.
 
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kooly87

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I get where you're coming from and agree in the main. However if it could be established that he hadn't driven anywhere and was just using the aircon, for example if he was parked in the streer outside the house where the party had been with a nice puddle of aircon water under the car, I think a caution could be appropriate. Not sure how much discretion the coppers have in this regard though.
Yeah I don't disagree with that. I'm all for discretion for the Officer at the time and applying common sense where possible.

I was simply responding to the other poster who said what he was doing didn't constitute driving, and I think from the perspective of the law, putting the keys in the ignition and turning the car on is a pretty reasonable definition of when driving or operating the vehicle has begun.
 

jamesbrandy

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I'm very glad he didn't drive, but there's every chance he would have still been well over the limit once he woke up in the morning and drove home anyway.

It's not like he couldn't have afforded an Uber home...
 
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Jason Simmons

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So just for some perspective here fellas, I am 51 years old and I had no idea whatsoever that it was illegal to sleep one off in the car.

Foolishly I thought to be considered Driving Under the Influence, you actually had to be, ya know, driving.

How silly of me.
That’s because people foolishly believe the offence in Qld is ‘driving under the influence.’

Hint: it isn’t.
 

Jason Simmons

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Keys in the ignition and turned on is definitely considered driving. I can't imagine anyone else reasonably suggesting otherwise.

I accept it was probably just to run the air conditioner, but the line has to be drawn somewhere on when driving commences, and engaging the ignition to me seems to be a pretty reasonable one to settle on.
It isn’t considered driving. The offence is for being ‘in charge’ of a motor vehicle whilst having being under the influence of liquor or a drug.

Vehicle offences involving liquor or other drugs (1) Offence of driving etc. while under the influence
Any person who, while under the influence of liquor or a drug—
(a) drives a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or
(b) attempts to put in motion a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or
(c) is in charge of a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel;
is guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty not exceeding 28 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 9 months.
 
Don't have to be drunk to get a ticket for sleeping in your Car anywhere in QLD. Apart from designated Camping and rest area's, or of course private property, sleeping in your Car is illegal in QLD. Evening yawning with the Engine runnning is considered Driving tired and is also illegal.
 

Jason Simmons

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Don't have to be drunk to get a ticket for sleeping in your Car anywhere in QLD. Apart from designated Camping and rest area's, or of course private property, sleeping in your Car is illegal in QLD. Evening yawning with the Engine runnning is considered Driving tired and is also illegal.
Yeah, what this guy said... 😂
 

kooly87

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It isn’t considered driving. The offence is for being ‘in charge’ of a motor vehicle whilst having being under the influence of liquor or a drug.
Yeah I appreciate what you mean, that's what I was getting at but obviously used the incorrect language (driving) from a purely legal perspective.

Once your keys are in the ignition and turned on I'd agree you are definitely operating or are 'in charge' of the vehicle regardless of if you're actually driving anywhere.
 

ivanhungryjak

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Don't have to be drunk to get a ticket for sleeping in your Car anywhere in QLD. Apart from designated Camping and rest area's, or of course private property, sleeping in your Car is illegal in QLD. Evening yawning with the Engine runnning is considered Driving tired and is also illegal.
Driving tired? What is the offence for yawning?
 

Jason Simmons

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Driving tired? What is the offence for yawning?
There is no specific offence for yawning, nor for driving a car whilst ‘tired’. There are specific fatigue management related offences for long haul drivers and related logbooks and so forth, but they don’t apply to cars.

It is also not illegal to ‘sleep’ in your car and indeed there are innumerable rest areas where this is actually encouraged as driving tired is rightly recognised as dangerous.

It is illegal under Council and State Forest legislation, to camp in your vehicle in particular places, but pulling over for a snooze isn’t generally, unless it’s a no parking spot or some such.

The stuff people believe never ceases to amaze me...
 

abashii

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It isn’t considered driving. The offence is for being ‘in charge’ of a motor vehicle whilst having being under the influence of liquor or a drug.
How much discretion do cops get in these circumstances? For someone who has technically been in charge of a vehicle but in reality has clearly not driven anywhere or had any intention to can they be given a warning?
 

TariqT

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I'd say the cops are in a bit of a catch 22 here. If they charge him they "overreacting" or the laws are stupid (that's open for debate), but if they don't charge him, and he attempts to drive home later, they are in a whole lot of bother, particularly if something bad happens later on. Adding to that the fact that Joe is a known sportsman in Brisbane, it's likely that something will come out later. They've got to charge the guy in this circumstance I'd say.

I've known, for I forget how many years, that you can't be in the drivers seat if you're drunk. I'm surprised that the Broncos players haven't been schooled on these laws. Particularly as he's not the first to have an issue with being charged for being over the limit.
 

Jason Simmons

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How much discretion do cops get in these circumstances? For someone who has technically been in charge of a vehicle but in reality has clearly not driven anywhere or had any intention to can they be given a warning?
We always have the discretion to prosecute. We have to make a decision whether there is sufficient evidence that ‘could’ convict someone of an offence and secondly, that it is in the ‘public interest’ to do so.

So Offa is in his motor vehicle, he is 0.125% and the keys are in the ignition with the engine running. So there is clearly prima facie evidence of the offence.

Police arriving there have to decide basically whether it is in the public interest to prosecute him. There are competing interests at play. Is it in the public interest to prosecute and thereby deter drink driving? Of course. Few would argue that. What is Offa’s history like? We have heard about a few things publicly, but police will be checking his traffic and criminal history at the point of interception. Perhaps his traffic history isn’t exactly stellar or does he have a clean sheet, prior to this incident?

Has the offender made reasonable attempts to avoid committing the offence or has a timely withdrawal from the offence been conducted by the offender? Is the offence of such a minor or technical nature that perhaps an alternative method of dealing with it, such as a caution or warning, is more appropriate?

All of these things are weighed up, every time we type a bench charge sheet or write out a notice to appear, sometimes we do neither and caution someone, or perhaps ‘alcohol divert’ them to a safe place, meaning we consider it more of a health issue than a legal issue and we’re concerned that this person needs help rather than prosecution. It’s something we do all the time, but it rarely makes headlines.

So yes there are other options than necessarily charging a person, every situation is different and ‘quotas’ rarely if ever enter the equation contrary to some opinions. As a rough guide though, the higher the BAC reading and / or the more history a person has, the less likely a person is to be shown discretion in my experience.
 
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