Mayor Karen Williams has not been charged with drink driving admitting to consuming alcohol before crashing her vehicle.
The incident occurred an hour after she had been on a video call with families of drunk driving victims.
Her actions have been labeling by those who were on the call as ‘disgusting’.
However, the mayor has stated that she will not be stepping down from her position, despite calls for her resignation.
Meeting with Victims
Karen Williams admitted to drinking “several glasses of wine” before getting behind the wheel on 23 June.
What has caused more outrage was that an hour earlier she had been on a Zoom call with families of victims killed by drunk drivers.
The families of Matthew Field and Kate Leadbetter who were killed by a drink driving teenager were on the call.
Mayor Williams recently led a parliamentary petition urging a longer sentence for the 18-year-old convicted of manslaughter of Field and Leadbetter.
Judy Lindsay, who lost her daughter Hayley after she was hit by a drunk driver in 2009 was also on the call.
She said, “I’m just disgusted. Our kids have lost their lives and it was disrespectful for her to even be drinking. She looked at me in the face, she said ‘I’m so deeply sorry for the loss of your daughter. Hayley that was killed by a drunk driver ‘. Not only did they take Hayley’s life, they’ve given me a life sentence of grief – and I’m here fighting the fight to stop drink drivers from killing people. “
No Drink Driving Charges
Karen Williams was not charged with drink driving – or any other offense – over the incident. No explanation has been provided as to why police chose not to lay a charge such as negligent driving given the accident.
Williams was breath tested by police on June 23 after crashing into a tree around 9pm.
Petition for Mayor to Step Down
Ms Lindsay has created a petition calling for the mayor to resign.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was forced to comment on the situation, saying, “That’s a matter for her. It’s a very serious, very serious issue.”
Opposition leader David Crisafulli was more strident in his criticism, stating, “Drink driving costs lives and there has to be consequences for actions.”
Closer to home for Mrs Williams, her fellow Redlands councilor, Paul Bishop released a comment on social media.
His son had been driving in the same area around the time the crash occurred. The next day he realized it was Mayor Williams.
“(Williams’) reckless choice could have changed both our family’s lives forever. As an elected community representative, I cannot support defense of people who engage in illegal and dangerous behavior,” Bishop said.
Williams admitted to making a “serious error in judgment” but said she would not be stepping down from her position.
Drink Driving Lawyers
There have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused retains experienced traffic lawyers. There have also been a number of Section 10 for drink driving charges.
Having the best drink driving lawyers will go a long way towards beating these charges. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are primarily two defenses to drink driving charges that can be employed.
The first defense is known as the ‘2 hour rule’. This is set out in Clause 2 (d),
Schedule 3 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).
It explains that a police officer cannot require a person to submit to a test, analysis or assessment, or to provide a sample two hours after they were driving.
This period extends to four hours for a blood sample, urine sample and oral fluid test.
Secondly, there is the defense known as the ‘home safe’ rule. Clause 2 (e), Schedule 3 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) sets out that a police officer cannot require a person to submit to a test, analysis or assessment, or to provide a sample at the person’s home.?
Importantly, a person’s home includes any part of their property such as a driveway, front yard and back yard. ?
Often Police are unaware of these clauses and as such an experienced drink driving lawyer will be able to have the charges dismissed. ?
Sometimes, a person will attempt to argue that they were not ‘driving’ the vehicle. In order for this defense to be successful, you will have to prove that you were not:
(a) in control of the steering, movement or propulsion of a vehicle,
(b) in relation to a trailer, drawing or towing the trailer,
(c) riding a vehicle.
These factors are set out in Section 4 of the Road Transport Act 2013.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.