The director of Australia’s largest tv community has narrowly averted jail for high-range drink driving.
Darren Wick, Channel 9’s director of reports and present affairs appeared at Hornsby Native Court docket on 20 January 2021 after being caught driving with a blood alcohol focus (BAC) greater than 4 instances over the authorized restrict.
It was Wick’s second brush with the legislation after the same offence in 2010.
He was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment to be served by means of an Intensive Corrections Order.
Darren Wick Caught Drink Driving
That each one got here crashing down when Wick, who has been within the prime job at 9’s information division since 2012, was pulled over on October 16 with a BAC studying of 0.227.
On 16 October 2020, Wick had lunch at a restaurant and caught an Uber again to the Channel 9 workplace in Willoughby. The workplace had a farewell operate for a colleague the place the 58-year-old, “drank and he drank and he drank”.
Following the operate, he bought behind the wheel of his Jeep Grand Cherokee and drove about 1.2km to the nook of Mowbray Highway and Penshurst Road.
He was intending driving to his Narrabeen residence, some 20km away.
Police stopped him at roughly 6.30pm once they noticed his car mount the footpath on Willoughby Highway earlier than returning to the bitumen then grazing the gutter as he turned left onto Mowbray Highway.
He was stopped, breath-tested, arrested and brought to Chatswood police station. There, he was charged with excessive vary drink driving.
The police stated that Mr Wick was so intoxicated that he virtually fell onto the street earlier than being arrested.
The details sheet learn, “It’s the opinion of police that the accused was well-affected by intoxicating liquor on the time. This was attributable to him being unsteady on his toes and needing help to face or stroll on a number of events. When the accused was first requested to exit his car the accused virtually fell from the car onto the roadway and while ready to enter the police car the accused held himself regular by holding onto a close-by street signal.”
Officers requested the 58-year-old how a lot needed to drink. He responded saying that he had consumed one beer and three glasses of white wine while at a piece operate in Willoughby between the hours of 1.15pm and three.30pm that afternoon.
He additionally stated that he consumed snacks comparable to spring rolls and san choy bow.
Apology to Colleagues
The media director emailed his work colleagues a couple of days after he was arrested, apologising for his actions.
He additionally admitted that he was battling alcoholism and searching for skilled assist.
“Sadly, in a second of unacceptable insanity, I’ve allow you to down…Final Friday night, I stupidly jumped behind the wheel of my automotive drunk and tried to drive residence. I used to be pulled over by police in Willoughby and examined optimistic to excessive vary drink driving, greater than 4 instances over the authorized restrict.”
He additional defined:
“There was no rational cause for me to do that. And I’ve performed the occasions over in my head repeatedly through the previous few days. What made me snap? The reply is that I’ve face the fact that I’ve an dependancy to alcohol that I’ve been struggling to regulate for a while.”
Regardless of the problems he was coping with, Mr Wick stated that might proceed working however he might spend extra day out of the workplace.
He additionally suggested colleagues who may also be battling substance abuse to hunt skilled assist.
“I need to make this proper. If any of you might be contemplating making the identical sort of resolution I did, please don’t. Don’t threat it and if you happen to assume you may have an issue, get assist.”
Drink Driving Lawyer Seems at Hornsby Native Court docket
Darren Wick’s drink driving attorneys spoke on his behalf at Hornsby Local Court.
Addressing Justice of the Peace Robyn Denes on the sentencing, they stated that by the point the Channel 9 director was leaving the workplace he was incapable of creating a smart resolution.
It was additionally urged that Mr Wick was a ‘purposeful alcoholic’.
A lot was manufactured from the stress he was underneath at work in addition to a double hip alternative.
It was urged that the 58-year-old had successfully been working 24 hours a day, seven days every week.
Within the months main as much as the offence, Mr Wick had suffered nervousness over 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown and her crew being detained in Beirut. This was attributable to a narrative which led to a failed try and carry two kids again to Australia in 2016.
All through 2020 he had additionally been going through the challenges of protecting quite a few important information occasions such because the bushfires and the outbreak of the pandemic.
In 2019, Wick underwent surgical procedure to have each of his hips changed. Sadly one in all them turned contaminated and required the alternative to be eliminated.
Due to this, he had been unable to train for six weeks and reverted to consuming alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Prior drink driving cost
This was not Darren Wick’s first brush with the legislation.
In 2010 he was sentenced for an offence of mid-range drink driving.
Regardless of the size of time between the offences, the prior cost disentitled Wick to any leniency on sentence.
Certainly, Justice of the Peace Denes referred to his resolution to drive was “incomprehensible” given his earlier drink-diving offence and senior media place.
Makes an attempt at Reform
Since his arrest, Mr Wick was support to have accepted his alcoholism. His high range drink driving lawyers advised Hornsby Native Court docket, “he now calls himself an alcoholic. He understands he’s an alcoholic.”
Wick checked right into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic for 21 days from 26 October 2020 earlier than returning to work. As a part of this system, he’ll proceed seeing counsellors twice-weekly for 12-months.
Additional, the media protection of his offending had reached greater than 9 million individuals in line with Mr Wick’s drink driving lawyers.
The Magistrate at Hornsby Native Court docket, Robyn Denes stated a custodial sentence was applicable. Nevertheless, she accepted that it could possibly be served locally.
As such, she sentenced Darren Wick to a nine-month intensive corrections order. He was additionally disqualified from driving for 9 months and ordered to finish 100 hours of neighborhood service.
At present, neighborhood corrections will not be working neighborhood service work. Due to this, Mr Wick shall be credited 7 hours per week till the 100 hours are concluded except neighborhood service work recommences earlier than the 100 hours are accomplished.
Penalties of an Intensive Corrections Order
Whereas an intensive corrections order (ICO) is an alternative choice to full time imprisonment, it nonetheless has lengthy standing penalties.
Because the size of Mr Wick’s ICO is larger than 6 months, the cost will stay on Mr Wick’s file for the remainder of his life.
It is because an ICO remains to be technically a time period of imprisonment. Pursuant to the Criminal Records Act 1991 (NSW), any time period of imprisonment better than 6 months will keep on someone’s file for all times.
Had Mr Wick been sentenced to a non-custodial sentence or a time period of imprisonment lower than 6 months, the offence would turn into a ‘spent conviction’ after 10 years.
Which means that it could not seem on his file after 10 years.
Given Mr Wick’s excessive profile position, there could possibly be penalties for his profession and talent to journey as a result of ICO.
It’s unclear whether or not he intends to lodge a severity appeal to cut back the sentence.
Excessive Vary Drink Driving Costs
Excessive vary drink driving is outlined as driving a car with a blood alcohol focus between 0.150 and above.
Below Section 110(5) the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), so as so that you can be discovered responsible of ‘Excessive vary drink driving’, the prosecution should show:
1. You have been driving a car;
2. You had a blood alcohol focus above 0.0150
If you’re convicted of a Excessive vary drink driving offence, you can be topic to the obligatory interlock program except you might be granted an exemption.
If you’re not convicted of this offence, you’ll keep away from a disqualification. Nevertheless, for the reason that Guideline Judgement on drink driving was handed down, receiving non-convictions are exceedingly uncommon. For severe examples of excessive vary drink driving, a time period of imprisonment might be imposed.
The utmost penalty for Excessive Vary Drink Driving (first offence) is eighteen months imprisonment and/or a effective of $3300.
The utmost penalty for Excessive Vary Drink Driving (Second or Subsequent offence) is 24 months imprisonment and/or a effective of $5500.
Sentencing statistics for prime vary drink driving circumstances set out that sentences of imprisonment are uncommon, however not unattainable. Beneath are statistics for the final ten years:
- Part 10 dismissal: 0%
- Part 10 bond (Conditional launch order with out conviction): 2%
- Part 9 good behaviour bond (Conditional launch order with conviction): 29%
- Group Service Order (Group Corrections Order): 11%
- Part 12 suspended sentence: 2% (not utilized in NSW)
- Intensive Corrections Order: 2%
- House Detention (not utilized in NSW): 1%
- Full Time Imprisonment: 5%
Excessive vary PCA offences are taken very severely by the Courts. The utmost penalty contains jail time, in addition to important disqualifications.