Fail to Nominate Driver in Victoria

It is an offence to fail to nominate driver in Victoria when requested to do so by a police member acting in the execution of their duties (s.60 Road Safety Act Victoria).

Specifically, where an offence is alleged to have been committed and you are not identified as the person responsible (but may have been involved in some way), you are required to nominate the person driving or make reasonable inquiries in order to identify the person driving or obtain information to facilitate identification.

To be found guilty of this offence the court must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt:

  • that a member of the police force required the relevant information;
  • acting in their duty;
  • and having identified the motor vehicle and the occasion it was driven;
  • and placed a demand for the relevant information;
  • there was a failure to, provide the requested information or make reasonable enquiries to be able to provide the information, to allow police to ascertain the identity of the driver; AND
  • that the information requested might have led to the identification of the driver of the motor vehicle at the relevant time.

The Penalty

Depending on whether the police officer making the requirement is investigating an accident or not, and/or whether serious injury was a result, will determine the maximum penalty, which could be 2-4 months imprisonment.

On conviction, the Court must also cancel all drivers licences for a period of 2 years in relation to a first offence and 4 years in relation to second offence.

Can I Defend the Charge?

Defences include:

  • Honest and reasonable mistake where provision of information was made by the requested person but may have been incorrect for a reason outside of the individual’s control and/or reasonable efforts;
  • That reasonable inquiries were made (and can be established as such) but were unable to identify the necessary information.