Traffic Offences


In today’s society, motor vehicular transport is the most popular form of travel and this makes traffic offences quite common. From this, the misconception that traffic offences are less severe, has been created. However, penalties for traffic offences can impact your job, family life and independence.
Some times the penalties can be reduced. We can assist negotiating or represent you in court.

Other traffic offences we can assist you with:

  • Driving without due care;
  • Dangerous Driving;
  • Driving under the influence;
  • Driving without a license.

 

Application for a Work Licence.

 Have you been charged with a drink driving or drug driving offence? You may be eligible for a Work Licence. We can also advise on your eligability and seek a Work License on your behalf. See below for further details.

FAQ

What penalties are there for drink driving?

What penalties are there for drink driving?

There are four ranges of drink driving and the penalty differs depending on the specific type of drink driving committed. Drivers who are prohibited from having any alcohol in their system can receive 14 penalty units and/ or 3 months’ imprisonment with a mandatory disqualification of 3 months.

Low range drink driving is when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between 0.05 and 0.99. This may constitute 3 months’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 14 penalty units with a mandatory one month disqualification period.

Mid-range drink driving is when your BAC is between 0.10 and 0.149. This constitutes 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 20 penalty units with a mandatory 3 months’ disqualification period.

High range drink driving is when your BAC is above 0.15. This constitutes 9 months’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 28 penalty units with a mandatory 6-month disqualification period. In addition, a high range drinking driving offence can lead to a complete disqualification of your driver’s license.

What if I have been charged with drink driving before?

What if I have been charged with drink driving before?

If you have been charged with a drink driving offence in the past 5 years, and commit the offence again, you are classed as a ‘repeat offender’. As a result, your penalty may be increased. If you have been charged with three high range drink driving offences in the past 5 years, it is mandatory for the Court to impose imprisonment as a part of your sentence.

I have been caught drink/drug driving. What’s going to happen?

I have been caught drink/drug driving. What’s going to happen?

In Queensland, it is an offence under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (TORUM Act) to drive if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.05 (for an open licence holder) or, in some cases, over 0 (such as a provisional licence holder). That means you can face criminal prosecution in a court. The charge is usually heard in a Magistrates Court before a Magistrate.

Being found guilty of a drink/drug driving offence means that you will have your licence suspended and you will not be disqualified from applying for or obtaining a driver licence for the period of your disqualification.

How long will I be disqualified from holding a licence for?

How long will I be disqualified from holding a licence for?

The TORUM Act says that if you are found guilty (after trial or if you plead guilty) of certain offences, your driver licence must be suspended for a minimum period of time. That means that the Magistrate will not be able to give you a shorter period than what the law says, no matter your circumstances.

The suspension period depends on which offence you have been charged with. Depending on your driving history, the suspension period could be longer than the minimum.

  1. If you are charged with driving ‘under the influence’ of liquor or drugs, this means that at the time you were driving, you had a BAC of 0.150. If you are caught driving with this BAC reading or higher, your driver licence will be immediately disqualified by the police until the charge is dealt with in court.

If you are found guilty, your driver licence must be suspended for at least 6 months from the date you are found guilty. Depending on your driving history, it could be longer.

  1. If you are charged with driving over the ‘middle alcohol limit’, this means that at the time you were driving, you had a BAC reading of between 0.100 and 0.150. If you are caught driving with a BAC reading of 0.100 or over, your driver licence will be immediately disqualified by the police until the charge is dealt with in court.

If you are found guilty, your driver licence must be suspended for at least 3 months from the date you are found guilty.

  1. If you are charged with driving over the ‘general alcohol limit’, this means that at the time you were driving, you had a BAC reading of less than 0.100 and more than 0.05. If you are caught driving with a BAC reading of over 0.05 but less than 0.100, your driver licence will be immediately suspended for 24 hours from the time the police give you a Notice of Suspension.

If you are found guilty, your driver licence must be suspended for at least 1 month from the date you are found guilty.

  1. If you are charged with driving over the ‘no alcohol limit’, this means the type of licence you hold requires you to have a BAC reading of 0 any time you are driving. If you are caught with a BAC reading higher than 0 and hold a learner, probationary or provisional licence, your driver licence will be immediately suspended for 24 hours from the time the police give you a Notice of Suspension.

If you are found guilty, your driver licence must be suspended for at least 1 month from the date you are found guilty.

  1. If you are charged with driving while a ‘relevant drug’ is present in your blood or saliva, this means that at the time you were driving, a test revealed that you had cannabis, ecstasy or ICE in your system, but not affected to the extent you are ‘under the influence’ of the relevant drug. If you are caught driving with a relevant drug in your system, your driver licence will be immediately disqualified by the police until the charge is dealt with in court.

If you are found guilty, your driver licence must be suspended for at least 1 month from the date you are found guilty.

On top of the suspension, you may also face other penalties for your charge if found guilty. It is a very serious offence to drive a motor vehicle while disqualified by a court order, no matter the reason you are doing it, and if you are caught doing this you may face a further disqualification period of at least two years and a further penalty from the court.

I need my licence for work. Am I allowed to drive for that?

I need my licence for work. Am I allowed to drive for that?

No. To be allowed to drive for work, you must apply to the court you are being sentenced in for the issue of a restricted licence under section 87 of the TORUM Act, more commonly known as a Work Licence.

You are eligible to apply for a Work Licence if:

  1. you have not had your licence cancelled, suspended, or disqualified within the last 5 years before you were charged with a drink/drug driving offence (except if you are suspended by the State Penalties Enforcement Register (SPER) or if you were issued a 24-hour Notice of Suspension from the police for driving over the general or no alcohol limits); and
  1. you do not hold a learner, probationary or provisional licence; and
  1. you are not charged with driving under the influence of liquor or a relevant drug, or for failing to provide a specimen of breath or blood when asked by the police; and
  1. you weren’t driving for a work-related reason; and
  1. you have a job (or you are self-employed); and
  1. you need your licence for work and you will lose your job if you lose your licence, not just that it will be more convenient to get to work if you don’t have a driver licence (unless there is no public transport available, if this is the case you may be eligible) or you need a driver licence to look for work.

These are only ‘threshold’ questions, meaning that even if you can answer all these questions, you still need to apply to the court.

How do I apply to the Court?

How do I apply to the Court?

There are strict requirements for an application for a Work Licence. You need to file an application and an affidavit from yourself and your employer. Your affidavit needs to convince the court that:

  1. you are a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a driver licence; and
  1. you will lose your job if you lose your driver licence and aren’t given a Work Licence; and
  1. you and/or your family will suffer financial hardship if you do not have income (for example, if you don’t have savings you can access for living expenses then this will likely be considered financial hardship).

Your employer’s affidavit needs to show that you will lose your job if you aren’t allowed to drive for the period of your suspension.

The application must be heard at the same time as you are sentenced. The court cannot issue a Work Licence if you have already been sentenced and your licence has been suspended.

The Work Licence will also have strict conditions imposed, depending on your circumstances, and your driver licence will usually be suspended for longer than the minimum period because the court is granting you the privilege of continuing to drive for approved reasons whilst otherwise suspended. We recommend that you speak to a lawyer for advice specific to your circumstances and to help you put together your application.

We are available to help if you have been charged with a drink/drug driving offence and you are not sure if you are eligible to apply for a Work Licence. If you would like to know more, contact our office to make an appointment with our friendly staff.

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