Two high-range drink-driving cases, two very different outcomes

THE SCALES OF JUSTICE: A tale of two high-range drink-driving charges.

THE SCALES OF JUSTICE: A tale of two high-range drink-driving charges.

ONE solicitor, two high-range drink-drivers and two very different results. 

Orange solicitor Philip Boncardo had a mixed day in Orange Local Court on Thursday when he managed to convince magistrate Terry Lucas to give one client a good behaviour bond with no conviction, but the other received a $1700 fine and 12 months off the road. 

The first client, a 37-year-old woman who had a blood-alcohol reading of 0.169, was given a second chance when she drove drunk after leaving a hotel rather than walking across the road to the taxi rank. 

Mr Boncardo said his client had developed a phobia of taxi drivers after an incident in London.

In a statement handed to the court, the woman said she had been dragged out of a cab in England by the driver because she told the driver she would vomit. 

She said he damaged cartilage in her sternum and kicked her. 

“She attempted to approach the cab rank ... she made a foolish decision to go back to her car and drive,” Mr Boncardo said. 

After she was charged with drink-driving, the woman contacted the police officer who had arrested her to thank her for saving her from what could have been a tragedy. 

The woman had completed the driving education program and had never appeared before the court. 

Moments after the woman appeared before the Court, 24-year-old Joshua Bubnich was up. 

Mr Boncardo argued his client should also receive a good behaviour bond because he was a credit to the community and needed his licence to drive to and from football matches. 

He said the 24-year-old metallurgist at Cadia had received extra punishment because he had been paying $150 per week in taxi fares because lifts to work had fallen through. 

“He is a hard-working, likeable, talented individual ... he is contrite and remorseful,” he said.

“He’s a very talented footballer and heavily involved in football clubs.”

Bubnich had also completed the driver education course and Mr Boncardo said his client had “gleaned insights” from his participation.

Bubnich returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.161 after he was pulled over by police at 1.55am Saturday, March 15. 

Mr Lucas said he could not consider the same punishment as the woman but gave him the minimum disqualification period. 

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