With the holiday season for most either having ended or about to end, you might be one of the recent people detected and charged with drink driving, speeding or other traffic offences on Queensland roads.  For some drivers this will mean facing the New Year without a driver’s licence and may result in the loss of employment.

Natasha Shorter at Quinn & Scattini discusses drink driving and speeding offences, and some of the ways that you might be eligible to continue driving on the roads under special restrictions.

Drink Driving licence disqualification

A drink driving charge will always result in a period of licence disqualification. The minimum disqualification can range anywhere from one (1) month through to one (1) year depending on the individuals traffic history.

If you find yourself charged with drink driving, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence.

To be eligible you:

  • Must have a blood alcohol content less than 0.15% or only have a relevant drug in your blood or saliva
  • Must be the holder of a valid Queensland drivers licence
  • Must not have held a restricted licence in the five (5) years preceding the offence
  • Must not have been driving for work purposes at the time of the offence

If you are intercepted by police driving whilst your licence is disqualified, and you are not the holder of a restricted work licence, you will be disqualified from driving for a mandatory minimum of two (2) years.

Speeding and Demerit Point Suspension

A driver intercepted by police exceeding the speed limit my more than forty (40) kilometres per hour will be suspended from driving by Queensland Transport for six (6) months.

Alternatively, a driver who accrues more than the allocated demerit points on their licence (twelve (12) for an open licence holder) will receive notification from Queensland Transport advising that they have exceed their demerit point allocation and their licence to be suspended for three (3) months if they do not elect to be the holder of a Good Behaviour Licence for twelve (12) months.

A Good Behaviour Licence carries one (1) point. If the holder of a Good Behaviour Licence commits any traffic offence attracting a demerit point penalty of two (2) of more points during the twelve (12) month period their licence will be suspended for six (6) months.

If you find you have breached your Good Behaviour Licence or been charged with exceeding the speed limit by more than forty (40) kilometres per hour you may be eligible for a Special Hardship Order that will allow you to drive for work purposes.

To be successful in an application for either a Work Licence or Special Hardship Order you will need to satisfy the court that you:

  • Are a fit and proper person; and
  • That, if your licence was disqualified, you or your family would suffer ‘extreme financial hardship’.

A lawyer will be able to assist you in determining if you are eligible for a restricted licence and assist with the application process.”