Drink driving and drug driving offences
Drink driving laws in Australia are strict and drink driving is categorised as a criminal offence.If you are caught drink driving or drug driving, you may face a traffic conviction and you will have to go to court. In some circumstances, drink driving may also be considered dangerous driving, which is a criminal offence and can result in imprisonment.
Penalties for drink driving can be serious including drink driving sentences, imprisonment, fines for drink driving, licence suspension/disqualification and drink driving criminal records. If you are convicted of a drink driving offence in Queensland, you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence for at least one (1) month for open licence or three (3) months for P licence. The length of disqualification also depends on the amount you are over the prescribed alcohol limit. It is a drink driving offence to keep a disqualified driver’s licence. In most cases fines will also apply.
Under drink driving legislation in Queensland, if your reading is 0.15% or more or you fail to provide a breath/blood test that is considered a major offence. If you are convicted of three major offences within five years, then your penalty must include imprisonment. In recent years the Queensland Government has imposed tough new drink driving laws, especially to crack down underage drink driving and teenage drink driving.
There are some instances you will be faced with drink driving punishment even if you don’t drive. For example, you may be facing a drink driving penalty if you are in the driver’s seat and found to be in charge of the vehicle by, attempting to start the vehicle or move it, sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition or nearby. A drink driving fine may also apply if you are in the passenger seat and you don’t blow into a breathalyser when instructed by the police.
If you have been stopped by the police in Queensland, you may be instructed to provide your name and contact details, show your driver’s licence, take a breath test and provide a blood test. If you refuse, you may face a drink driving offence. In instances when you refuse to provide to take a breath test you will most likely be charged with driving under influence (reading higher than 0.15%), which is a major offence, which will result an immediate disqualification of your driver licence, higher penalties and longer disqualification periods. If you are found guilty of driving under influence you will not be eligible to apply for a restricted or a work licence.
To find out whether or not you qualify to apply for the Restricted Licence or Work Licence please contact our office.
Your Queensland driver licence will be suspended until the charge is dealt with by a court, if you have:
- been charged with driving with a middle-level breath/blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or higher;
- failed to provide police with a specimen of breath or blood when requested;
- been charged with a low level drink driving offence while an earlier such charge is still pending; and
- been charged with driving under the influence or with the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.
If you drive a motor vehicle in Queensland while your driver licence is suspended, due to any of the above reasons, you will be charged with unlicensed driving.
If you are convicted of unlicensed driving, the court must disqualify you from holding a driver licence for two to five years. You may also receive a fine of up to A$4,400.00, or be imprisoned for up to one year.
Please contact us to find out more or to discuss our fixed fees and disbursements.