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Section 52AA Crimes Act 1900
Dangerous Driving: Procedural Matters

Section 52AA of the Crimes Act 1900 outlines the procedural matters relating to dangerous driving cases, and is extracted below.

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The Legislation

Section 52AA of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Dangerous Driving: Procedural Matters’ and reads as follows:

52AA Dangerous Driving: Procedural Matters
(1) Presumption as to intoxication For the purposes of section 52A, the accused is conclusively presumed to be under the influence of liquor if the prosecution proves that the prescribed concentration of alcohol was present in the accused’s breath or blood at the time of the impact occasioning death or grievous bodily harm.

(2) Evidence of intoxication–alcohol For the purposes of section 52A, evidence may be given of the concentration of alcohol present in the accused’s blood at the time of the impact occasioning death or grievous bodily harm as determined by a blood analysis carried out in accordance with Part 4 of Schedule 3 to the Road Transport Act 2013.

(3) Time of intoxication A concentration of alcohol determined by the means referred to in subsection (2) is taken to be the concentration of alcohol in the accused’s blood at the time of the impact occasioning death or grievous bodily harm:
(a) if the blood sample that was analysed was taken within 2 hours after the impact, and
(b) unless the accused proves that the concentration of alcohol in the accused’s blood at the time of the impact was less than the prescribed concentration of alcohol.

(3A) Evidence of intoxication–drugs For the purposes of section 52A, evidence may be given of the concentration of a drug (other than alcohol) present in the accused’s blood or urine at the time of the impact occasioning death or grievous bodily harm as determined by a blood or urine analysis carried out in accordance with Part 4 of Schedule 3 to the Road Transport Act 2013.

(3B) Time of intoxication A concentration of a drug (other than alcohol) determined by the means referred to in subsection (3A) is taken to be the concentration of the drug in the accused’s blood or urine at the time of the impact occasioning death or grievous bodily harm:
(a) if the blood or urine sample that was analysed was taken within 4 hours after the impact, and
(b) unless the accused proves that there was no such drug in the accused’s blood or urine at the time of the impact.

(4) Alternative verdicts If on the trial of a person who is indicted for murder or manslaughter or for an offence under section 53 or 54 the jury is satisfied that the person is guilty of an offence under section 52A, it may find the accused guilty of the offence under section 52A, and the accused is liable to punishment accordingly.

(5) Question of aggravation If on the trial of a person for an offence under section 52A (2) or (4) the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence charged, but is satisfied on the evidence that the accused is guilty of an offence under section 52A (1) or (3), it may find that the accused is guilty of the offence under section 52A (1) or (3), and the accused is liable to punishment accordingly.

(6) Double jeopardy This section does not take away the liability of any person to be prosecuted for or found guilty of murder, manslaughter or any other offence or affect the punishment that may be imposed for any such offence. However, a person who:
(a) has been convicted or acquitted of an offence under section 52A cannot be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter or for any other offence under this Act on the same, or substantially the same, facts, or
(b) has been convicted or acquitted of murder or manslaughter or of any other offence under this Act cannot be prosecuted for an offence under section 52A on the same, or substantially the same, facts.

(7) Definitions In this section:
“prescribed concentration of alcohol” means a concentration of 0.15 grammes or more of alcohol in 210 litres of breath or 100 millilitres of blood.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Being charged with dangerous driving: procedural matters can have a detrimental impact on your life, career and your professional reputation.

But by arming yourself with the best possible defence, you can avoid these potential consequences.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our lawyers are experts in the field of criminal law.

Our unparalleled knowledge of the law, coupled with years of experience fighting some of the most difficult criminal and traffic cases puts our clients at a leading advantage when it comes to securing a positive outcome in your case.

Our lawyers will carefully examine all the evidence in order to identify any possible weaknesses with the prosecution case.

Where problems are identified, our lawyers can write to police and push to have the charges dropped before your matter reaches a defended hearing.

Alternatively, if you wish to fight the charges in court, our senior lawyers will assist you in identifying and raising any possible defences.

Our experienced advocates will fight hard to win your case by presenting any favourable evidence in a compelling manner in court and casting doubt on the prosecution case.

We offer a FREE first conference with our lawyers to help you understand your options – so give us a call now on (02) 9261 8881 and take the first step in fighting your matter.

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