Area of Law – Driving – Drink Driving Offences

An Article about Drink driving and service of Charge and Summons by post (s. 49(1)(b))

The prosecution must establish that the accused had been correctly served with the documents relating to the drink driving matter before the Court. Especially where the prosecution intend to have the matter heard and determined ex parte (in the absence of the accused), as the following case illustrates.

Smith v Chalmers [2003] VSC 236 was a appeal on a question of law from the Magistrates Court. The facts were that the Magistrate determined a case ex parte in reliance on an affidavit of service by the Informant, in circumstances where that affidavit was deficient in not identifying the nature of the summons served, and the address upon which the summons was purportedly served on the defendant. The appeal was upheld. The case was remitted back to the Magistrates Court.


Date: 01/09/2009