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Written by
Darryl Ryan
Principal


Driving - Dangerous Driving Offences - WA
Welcome to the WA Dangerous Driving Causing Death article page. Everything you need to know about Dangerous Driving Causing Death according to WA law - Dated: 30/11/2011

What the Law States according to WA Law for Dangerous Driving Causing Death

According to WA Law for the charge of Dangerous Driving Causing Death,

Section 59: If a motor vehicle driven by a person (the driver) is involved in an incident occasioning the death of or grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the incident, driving the motor vehicle:

(a) While under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent of being incapable of having proper control over the vehicle; or
(b) In a manner (including speeding) that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or any person,
the driver commits a crime.

“Circumstances of aggravation” is defined under the Road Traffic Act to mean:

(a) If the driver was unlawfully driving the motor vehicle concerned without the consent of the owner or person in charge;
(b) If the driver was driving more than 45km/h over the speed limit; and
(c) If the person was driving the vehicle to escape pursuit by the Police Force.

The Maximum Penalty - Dangerous Driving Causing Death

According to WA Law for the charge of Dangerous Driving Causing Death,

If the matter is dealt with in the District Court and the offence was committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment if the person has caused the death of another or 14 years imprisonment if the person caused GBH to another person. There will also be disqualification of the licence for no less than 2 years.

If the matter is dealt with in the District Court and not committed in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment if the person has caused the death of another or 7 years imprisonment if the person caused GBH to another person. There will also be disqualification of the licence for no less than 2 years.

If the matter is dealt with in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of 720 penalty units ($36,000) and disqualification of the licence for no less than 2 years.

What the Police must prove according to WA Law for Dangerous Driving Causing Death

If the person is being charged with dangerous driving causing death while under the influence, the Police must prove:

(1) That the person was driving the motor vehicle;
(2) That the person was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
(3) That the vehicle was involved in an incident; and
(4) That the incident caused death or GBH of another person.

For this section, the Police do not have to prove that the driving was dangerous or that the manner of driving caused the incident.

If the person is being charged with dangerous driving causing death due to dangerous driving, but not under the influence, the Police must prove:

(1) That the person was driving the motor vehicle;
(2) That the person was driving in a manner which was objectively dangerous;
(3) That manner of driving caused the incident; and
(4) That the incident caused the death or GBH of another.

For this section, the Police must establish a causal link between the dangerous driving and the incident.

Possible Defences under WA Law - Dangerous Driving Causing Death

(a) Emergency;
(b) Insanity;
(c) The incident did not cause the death or GBH of another;
(d) Identification (ie. The accused was not the person driving);
(e) The manner of driving was not dangerous; and
(f) The accused person was not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In WA which court will hear the matter - Dangerous Driving Causing Death

Call ADLA on 1300 331 331