Area of Law – Driving – Drink Driving Offences

An Article about Failure to serve bac certificate on defendant within time (s. 49(1)(b))

Have you received a charge and summons for a drink driving offence, that doesn’t nominate who issued the summons. Do you have any grounds for challenging the validity of the charge and summons for this omission?

DPP v Diamond [2004] concerned an appeal to the Supreme Court on question of law following the dismissal of the defendant after a contested hearing in the Magistrates Court. The Magistrate dismissed a charge under s. 49(1)(b) on the grounds that the summons did not nominate who had issued the summons.

The charge-sheet appearred to have complied with all the statutory requirements except that it did not designate who had issued the summons (registrar, magistrate, or police). Usually a charge and summons will indicate through a checked box who issued the summons, the document before the court omitted this information

The Court ruled that the registrar’s failure to tick the appropriate box when issuing the summons was not grounds for dismissing the charge. The Court ruled that the Magistrate hearing the case at first instance had made an error in dismissing the charges. The case was remitted back to the Magistrates’ Court for determination.


Date: 01/09/2009