Poppy Morandin.

A 46-year-old Sydney man has been charged after refusing to disclose who was behind the wheel of a Ferrari doing burnouts at a busy intersection in Sydney’s CBD.

Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Strike Force Puma commenced an investigation into the incident after receiving footage.

The footage shows a line of luxury cars watching on as the driver of the white Ferrari Portofino accelerates through a red light, then spins dangerously as smoke billowed from it’s tyres.

The stunt caused a significant block in traffic, with cars and a bus seen at the intersection.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Phillip and Bent Street at around 11.17am on Sunday 23 May 2021.

In the background, a man is heard shouting: “this is how it’s done.”

Subsequent checks by officers revealed that the Ferrari was registered to a Sydney based hire car business.

It is reported that police were informed that the luxury vehicle had allegedly been hired by a 46-year-old Glenbrook man, at the time of the incident.

The police spoke with the man, Daniel Milton Souris, with it reported that Souris failed to disclose to them who was driving at the time.

He was subsequently charged with responsible person/custodian not disclose driver’s details, by way of Court Attendance Notice, about 10.50am on Friday 2 July 2021.

He has since pleaded guilty to the charge, with sentencing yet to occur until November.

Senior police officers have expressed disbelief at the brazen nature of the actions of the driver.

Can Police Require you to Disclose a Drivers’ Identity?

Pursuant to section 177 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), police officers have the power to compel persons to disclose the name and address of a driver who is alleged to have committed an offence against the road transport legislation.

The section states that a ‘responsible person, or the person having custody of the vehicle’ must immediately give information regarding the name and home address of the driver if requested by police. The information requires includes the name and home address of the driver.

A ‘responsible person’ is defined under the act as someone who is the registered operator of the vehicle, has acquired the vehicle from the operator or has a legal right to possession of the vehicle.

If so required, this information must be given in the form of a written statement signed by the responsible person.

This statement, even without proof of signature, can be used as evidence in court that the person was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence, if the person does not appear before the court.

Any other person, if required to do so by an authorised officer, must also give any information that is in their power to give and that may lead to the identification of the driver.

This request from an officer is known as a ‘form of demand.’

Officers must give the person a specific time and vehicle registration to enable the person to determine who the driver was at that time.

If a person fails to do so, they face a maximum penalty of a fine of $2,200 if the matter is dealt with in court. Alternatively, police may instead issue a penalty notice fine in NSW of $899.

However, a defence may be present if the defendant proves to the court that they did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained the driver’s name and home address.

Notably, while the person may be compelled to tell police the driver’s name and address, they are not required by this section to provide further details regarding the alleged offence.

AUTHOR Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

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