What is Hooning
Hooning is broad term that covers various offences involving anti-social and dangerous behaviour including:
High Range speeding
Burnouts or Driving in such way so as to loose traction
Organised speed racing
Hooning & The Law
Hooning offences are covered in various Legislative Acts such as Road Rules 2014, Road Transport Act 2013, and the Crimes Act 1900.
Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”
It is an offence under Section 115 of the Road Transport Act 2013 to participate in organised speed racing events, speed trials, promotion or participation of the racing or attempts to break the record, without having the appropriate written approval from the Commissioner of Police. For a first time offence, there is a maximum penalty of up to $3,300. However, if there has been a prior conviction of the same nature, there is a maximum penalty of $3,300 and up to 9 months imprisonment.
It is an offence under Section 116 of the Road Transport Act 2013 to drive a motor vehicle in such a deliberate so as to loose traction, which can occur while attempting to do a ‘burnout’ or drag racing. There is a maximum penalty of up to $1,100.
If however, the person attempted a burnout, and had knowledge that oil or petrol was on the road, then the maximum penalty increases to that $3,300. If the person repeats such offence knowing that oil or petrol was present on the road, then a maximum penalty would still be in place, however the Court could also impose a period of imprisonment of up to 9 months, and has the discretion to disqualify the person from driving for a period of 12 months.
As a result of a growing number of fatalities on NSW Roads, and the more recent Driver Licence Disqualification reforms in NSW under the Road Transport Amendment (Driver Licence Disqualification) Act 2017 (NSW) Police have been granted powers in part 7.6 of the Road Transport Act 2013 to apply roadside sanctions on the spot including:
Seizing the vehicle
Removing the number plats
Sending a ‘motor vehicle production notice’ which require the person to their car to a place for impounding.
Sending a ‘number plate confiscation notice which requires the person to attach it to their vehicle, meaning that there has been 3 month driving restriction placed on the vehicle
The Police powers of removing and retaining registration plates, and impounding vehicles also now extends to the following offences:
A person who drives while their licence is disqualified, or never licenced; and who has been convicted of 2 or more serious driving offences in the previous 5 year period.
Any driver who exceeds the speed limit by 30km/h and who at the time of driving was disqualified.
The period of time that a vehicle can remain impounded or have its registration plates retained will depend largely on the nature of the offence that was committed.
Lawyer Call – here to help..
Being charged with one of the Hooning Laws is serious, particularly in those scenarios where this is not the first time you have been convicted in a period of the last 5 years. If this is the case, it is such that your car will be forfeited. At Lawyer Call, we seek to understand the exact details of the incident first and foremost.
It may be possible that our expert Traffic Lawyers can present extensive arguments to effectively allow the Court to make orders to reduce the period of impounding.
Our Lawyer Call Traffic team have in-depth preparation in gathering and analysing specific supporting documentation to highlight a person’s need for a licence during sentencing. Based on available evidence, our solicitors will make strong verbal submissions to the Magistrate highlighting various forms of hardships that would be suffered as a result of a loss of licence for a longer duration as well as any other subjective factors that will assist in having a reduced period of disqualification.
We would need to explore all potential subjective factors that will present an overall picture to achieve the best possible outcome before a Magistrate and obtain a more lenient sentence, with a reduced disqualification period, a minimal fine, and most importantly avoid imprisonment.
If you have been charged under the Hooning Laws, please call our office immediately on 1300 LAW 111.