Drunken Man at the Pub bar

Don’t let your party time end up getting you court time

Don’t let your party time end up getting you court time;

a warning for the summer season ( or any other Party Time)

Summer is upon us and its party season, so for those of us who like to party take note; police can charge you from being on a sidewalk if you are:

  • drunk
  • disorderly
  • disobeying them.

How so? Via the  Summary offences Act and Law Enforcement Powers and Responsibilities Act also known as “LEPRA”.

Section 9 of the Summary offences Act states that

The maximum period for which a person can be directed not to return to a public place is 6 hours.
It is a requirement under section 198 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 that the police officer warn a person given a move on direction for being intoxicated and disorderly in a public place that it is an offence to be intoxicated and disorderly in that or any other public place at any time within 6 hours after the move on direction is given.

What is a ‘move on direction’ and how many hours lapsed between the offence and the direction?

Case study:
Jason had his big 50th birthday and celebrated by going to the Pub in front of Kogarah local court and was drinking.
He was told by the bouncers to leave as he was too drunk and could not safely continue purchasing drinks.
The bouncers asked him to leave and Jason ran across the road and stayed on the steps of Kogarah local court.
Police attended and asked him to leave. The time was 8am. Jason left.

Jason awoke at 7.30 pm after the evening news. He felt sick from being drunk earlier.
To cure his hangover,  he went back to pub in front of Kogarah local court.
The bouncers saw him approach and recognized him immediately. He was told to leave again and the police were called.
Police arrested and charged him with disobeying the earlier direction.
Jason had to attend Kogarah local court the next day.

Advice ETB Legal would have given Jason?

Jason disobeyed an earlier direction by police that was given to him well over 6 hours before* he came back to the location.
Jason was not drunk or disorderly when he went back to the Pub later in the evening.
Interestingly this coincides with the powers assigned to police by LEPRA that are mentioned in the Act and this also allows police to give the public powers to ‘direct’ you.
They can direct you from traffic, roads, road blocks etc.
If you do not comply with such “reasonable” direction you can be charged for disobeying a police direction and end up charged with an offence or more so, convicted by a court if found guilty.
The penalties range from monetary fines, to even terms of imprisonment.

*It’s critical to test the ‘reasonableness’ of the police direction, the circumstances it was given in …and how you interpreted the direction.

It’s critical to test what was in the police persons mind at the time they issued the direction.
All these tests are a matter of legal interpretation and can actually get quite technical.

Please contact ETB Legal for sound advice on these matters.
We have run cases on these laws for some time and can easily provide you with an idea at a first consult of the way your case can run.

Don’t wait another minute to get the legal representation you need. Call the Sydney criminal lawyers who can help. Your first conference is free. Call 0412 915 247 today.