Even though you may not think you are harming anyone and you’re just having fun, there are serious consequences for racing on public streets, doing burnouts in your vehicle, and even playing your music too loud. This type of behaviour is known as hoon driving and it could lead to paying penalties and having your vehicle impounded, possibly permanently. If you are pulled over and charged with an offence under anti-hoon laws, you need to hire a traffic lawyer to represent you.
Hoon Driving Offences in Victoria
In Victoria, hoon driving is any type of driving that can put the public at risk. There are two tiers of offences, with tier one offences being more serious. Tier one hoon driving includes:
- Excessive speeding
- Driving recklessly
- Repeated drunk driving
- Repeated drug driving
- Repeated driving without a licence.
Some of the offences under tier two hoon driving include:
- Drinking driving with a BAC of .10 or more.
- Driving at high rates of speed.
- Racing your vehicle or organising a race.
- Driving across tracks when a train or tram is approaching.
- Having too many people in your vehicle.
- Refusing to stop for police.
- Excessive noise.
- Causing your vehicle to skid or smoke.
Hoon Driving Penalties
Although some of these offences may seem innocuous, they can lead to serious consequences like being fined, having demerit points on your licence, having your licence suspended, going to jail, or in some cases having your car immobilised or impounded. Usually, your vehicle with be impounded or immobilised for up to 30 days if you are found guilty of tier one hoon driving. However, a traffic lawyer in Melbourne may be able to help you.
Hoon Driving Defences
Even if you have committed a hoon driving offence, a lawyer still may be able to get the penalty reduced or dismissed if the proper procedures were not followed. For instance, your vehicle cannot be impounded or immobilised unless you’ve been convicted of a tier one hoon driving offence and you were found guilty of another hoon driving offence within six years. In addition, the police have a limited amount of time that they can impound or immobilise your car or send you a notification that it will occur.
The police can immobilise or impound your car for 30 days if they believe it was used in a hoon driving offence within the last 48 hours. If they do not do anything within the 48 hours, they can still immobilise or impound your vehicle if they send you a notice within the 48 hours that they are going to do so. However, the police only have 10 days to do so from the time a hoon driving offence is alleged, unless it was caught on a traffic camera, then they have 42 days.
If you feel the proper procedures were not followed, then you should contact a traffic lawyer for help. They may be able to have the penalty reduced, dropped, or you may be able to attend a diversion program to keep the offence off your record.