The legislation provides that where a person has two high range drink driving charges (a high range being above .15) and a person is again charged with another high range drink driving charge then the court must impose a sentence of imprisonment (all offences must occur within 5 years). In those circumstances the question becomes whether the person will actually spend time in jail. Whilst the legislation says a term of imprisonment must be imposed, there are options other than a person spending time in jail. Those options are either a wholly suspended sentence or an immediate parole release date.
A wholly suspended sentence involves a person being sentenced to a term of imprisonment but not being required to serve that imprisonment if they keep out of trouble for a length of time, usually 12-18 months. This way a person can remain in the community with the prison sentence hanging over them for a period of time, if they behave no further action is taken, if they commit an offence that carries a jail sentence then they will be bought before the court to serve the original suspended sentence.
An immediate parole release date is where a person is sentenced to imprisonment but is released from court into the supervision of a parole officer. They will be required to undertake courses and other programs but if they remain trouble free they will not have to serve the original sentence.
It is critical where a person is facing a high range drink driving charge for the third time that they get immediate legal advice.
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