Parliament Should Put Brakes on Cop Chase Law

Attention: Chief Reporter/ News Editor/ Chief of Staff

Parliament is being urged to reject a new law with tough mandatory penalties for drivers failing to stop for police, with criminal defence lawyer Cameron Browne saying the penalties are worse than for some drink-driving offences.

The proposed new law would carry a mandatory $5000 fine and two year licence suspension for anyone convicted of failing to stop a vehicle when ordered to do so by police.

Mr Browne, a Director of Potts Lawyers, Queensland’s biggest private criminal defence law firm, said the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012 currently before the Queensland Parliament, had major flaws in it and was not needed as current penalties were adequate. Continue reading Parliament Should Put Brakes on Cop Chase Law

Gold Coast’s best cop fined for drink-driving

13/07/2011 | 03:10 PM | click here to read the article online

Gold Coast’s best cop fined for drink-driving

A police officer named the Gold Coast’s best has been fined for drink-driving.

But the officer dodged a conviction that could have resulted in him being kicked out of the force.

Constable Michael Froggatt, who won Rotary’s Gold Coast policeman of the year award in 2010, pleaded guilty to driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.085 on Sunday.

Magistrate Terry Duroux decided not to record a conviction, something that would have ended Froggatt’s policing career.

Mr Duroux noted Froggatt still faces police disciplinary proceedings, which could result in sanctions, loss of rank and a pay cut.

Froggatt’s lawyer Bill Potts argued against a police prosecutor’s call for a conviction to be recorded.

“The police force is not an organisation of perfection,” he told the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

“It is made up of individuals who carry the same human failings, weaknesses and traits all flesh is heir to.”

Mr Potts said his client, who has been stood down from active duty, had expressed “real and palpable regret” for his actions.

He knew he’d let himself, the public and the Queensland Police Service down, the lawyer said.

While not trying to excuse his client’s actions, Mr Potts said the officer had just completed two 13-hour shifts and was due back at work 11 hours later.

“We ask a lot of our police officers,” Mr Potts said.

Last year Froggatt was honoured with the Rotary Gold Coast Police Officer of the Year Award.

“I am aware my actions in this incident have brought dishonour to myself, my family and my fellow officers,” Froggatt said in a letter of apology, read to the court.

“I wish to bring no further disrespect to the Queensland Police Service.”

Bill Potts comments to Courier Mail on Proposed Changes to Drink Driving Legislation

Bill Potts comments to the Courier Mail on proposed changes to drink driving legislation. Instead of the case now being immediately suspended with a reading of 0.150%, changes are being looked at to reduce this to 0.100%.

Click here to read the article – Courier Mail Friday 1 April 2011.

Bill Potts appears for man causing GBH whilst adversely affected by alcohol

Bill Potts appears on a sentence in the Southport District Court for dangerous driving causing GBH whilst adversely affected by alcohol – sentence of 2.5yrs imprisonment, to serve 3 month

Click here to read the Gold Coast Bulletin article.

Coast Teen’s Joyride To Tragedy

Leah Fineran   |  June 17th, 2010 | Gold Coast News

A P-PLATER driving a car jammed with eight intoxicated teenagers almost killed his friends when the car overturned at Pacific Pines.

Passenger Mark Bates were hanging out of the window when the Holden Jackaroo flipped and was trapped between the car and the road as the vehicle slid 15 metres.

Against doctors’ expectations, the 17-year-old woke from his coma but today lives with brain damage and ongoing trauma. Continue reading Coast Teen’s Joyride To Tragedy

Should Drug Drivers Face Tougher Penalties Than Drink Drivers?

Bill Potts argues No! Drug drivers shouldn’t face tougher penalties than drink drivers.
The Sunday Mail | April 11, 2010 | Page 57.

Before there is a knee-jerk reaction, we need to improve the technology and the testing of drug drivers so the courts can see the levels of effect of drugs on people stopped by the police. Continue reading Should Drug Drivers Face Tougher Penalties Than Drink Drivers?

Second Chance For Olympic Swimmer

Gold Coast Bulletin article | 28 January 2010 | by Renee Redmond

Gold Coast-based Olympic swimming hopeful Daniel Smith still has a chance at gold, despite crashing his car into a house while drink-driving.

The 18-year-old appeared in Southport Magistrates Court yesterday.

Smith crashed his car through a concrete wall and into a house in Salerno Street at Sorrento in November last year as he was trying to evade police. Continue reading Second Chance For Olympic Swimmer