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    Instagram influencer Patricia Hadjia has narrowly avoided jail for high range drink driving after crashing into multiple cars and flipping the vehicle she was in.

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      patricia hadjia high range drink driving

      Instagram Influencer Avoids Jail for High Range Drink Driving

      Instagram influencer Patricia Hadjia has narrowly avoided jail for high range drink driving after crashing into multiple cars and flipping the vehicle she was in.

      Following the accident, both herself and a passenger had to free themselves from the wreckage.

      She appeared at Waverley Local Court where she was sentenced to community service.

      High Range Drink Driving with an Accident

      28-year-old Patricia Hadjia was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on 16 October 2021 in the Sydney suburb of Maroubra.

      At approximately 9.50pm, she was travelling at an unknown speed and crashed into the rear of a parked Toyota Corolla. She continued driving before rear-ending a stationary Subaru Forrester on Duncan Street. She then swerved and crashed into a Kia, which caused the Jeep to roll onto its side.

      The vehicle belonged to Christopher De Rito, who was in the passenger seat.

      The Instagram influencer, known to her 39,000 followers as ‘Torpedo Trish’, was forced to free herself from the vehicle before police and ambulance arrived.

      Officers claimed that they could smell alcohol and conducted a breath test. Ms Hadjia returned a reading of 0.181. Drink driving lawyers in Sydney explain that this is over three times the legal limit.

      Magistrate Milledge said, “People in your position with alcohol content 0.181 … that’s shameful, seriously shameful.”

      She participated in an interview with police, where she stated that she consumed five cocktails and ate tapas at a wedding between 3pm and 9pm before she got behind the wheel.

      Drink Driving Charges at Waverley Local Court

      Appearing at Waverley Local Court, Ms Hadjia’s drink driving lawyers told the court that she had only bought herself a few drinks, but a barman at the venue had given her more drinks and was being “heavy-handed” with their pouring.

      She was described as a young, hardworking woman who had a “solid” employment history.

      Her traffic record disclosed two prior driving infringements – one camera offence and one parking ticket.

      The court was told that Ms Hadjia had repaid $38,190 in to compensate the owner of the vehicle.

      “That’s her life savings, gone…This woman has accepted full responsibility for her behaviour and has full remorse.”

      Magistrate Milledge said the 28-year-old was “not unlike” most people the court dealt with every day.

      Her Honour accepted that Ms Hadjia was a hardworking young woman who was sorry and embarrassed for what she had done.

      “But that’s the whole basis of drink-driving legislation, to try and tackle the problem where it is felt most. People like you, people who think they don’t have to worry about going before the court – they go out and exercise poor judgment and put people at risk, which you did on this occasion,” Magistrate Milledge said.

      Magistrate Milledge said Hadjia could have said no to taking the car keys.

      “You know when you’re drinking the strength of your drinks. With a job like yours you’d be familiar with alcohol,” she said.

      Community Corrections Order

      Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge said Hadjia deserved a “very firm sanction”.

      The court was told Hadjia had only received her first Covid-19 vaccination on Monday so she could undergo community service as a condition of her sentence for high range drink driving.

      Magistrate Milledge told Ms Hadjia that she came “perilously close” to being sent to prison.

      She sentenced the influencer to a community corrections order for three years, with her to perform 400 hours of community service.

      Her licence was also disqualified for nine months, backdated to 16 October 2021. This is the maximum disqualification that can be imposed.

      She will also be on an alcohol interlock program for 24 months.

      Drive with High Range PCA

      Drive with high range PCA is defined as driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.150 and above.

      Under Section 110(5) the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), in order for you to be found guilty of ‘High range drink driving’, the prosecution must prove:

      1. You were driving a vehicle;

      2. You had a blood alcohol concentration above 0.015

      If you are not convicted of high range drink driving, you will avoid a disqualification. However, since the Guideline Judgement for drink driving was handed down, receiving non-convictions are exceedingly rare. For serious examples of high range drink driving, a term of imprisonment can be imposed.

      Despite this there have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused retains experienced criminal defence lawyers. You can read some of those cases by clicking here.

      Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

      The maximum penalty for High Range Drink Driving (first offence) is 18 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $3300.

      The maximum penalty for High Range Drink Driving (Second or Subsequent offence) is 24 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $5500.

      The automatic disqualification for High Range Drink Driving (first offence) is 3 years.

      The minimum disqualification for High Range Drink Driving (first offence) is 12 months.

      The automatic interlock disqualification for High Range Drink Driving (first offence) is 9 months.

      The minimum interlock disqualification for High Range Drink Driving (first offence) is 6 months.

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