Traffic Law

Specialised traffic & drink driving lawyers

Traffic offences can carry serious penalties. In some cases, such as drink driving offences and driving without a licence, the maximum penalty can be imprisonment. If you’ve been charged with a traffic offence, our traffic lawyers can help.

our lawyers

So, if you’ve been charged by the police, it’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer. A traffic lawyer can assist you to understand the likely outcomes in your situation, as well as your options.

Brooke Winter Solicitors have a team of traffic lawyers who can assist you. We have offices on the Gold Coast, Loganholme and in Hobart, but we offer a regional law service around Queensland and Tasmania. Our traffic lawyers are experienced in working with minor infringement as well as complicated traffic offences.

We often represent clients at hearings for restricted work licences. If you rely on having your driver’s licence for work, a restricted work licence can help you to maintain your employment during a period of licence suspension. We can let you know if you’re eligible to apply, and assist you with the process.

Our team of expert traffic and drink driving lawyers are advocating in court on a daily basis for all types of traffic offences. We’ll work with you to gain the best possible outcome in your situation, keeping you informed at each step.

Traffic & Driving Violations

The consequences can be serious. If you’re not sure what to do after being charged with a traffic offence, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced lawyer.

At Brooke Winter Solicitors, our team of traffic and DUI lawyers can assist you.

We can help you with the following types of traffic matters;

There are harsh penalties for many driving matters, including the loss of your driver’s licence and jail in some circumstances (view a table of drink driving penalties here). A traffic lawyer can help you to navigate the situation and achieve the best possible outcome. They will provide you with information and advice, and can also give you information about the likely penalties you’re facing. There are many factors that can influence penalties for traffic offences. If you need to go to court, they can represent you.

Restricted Licence Applications & Special Hardship Orders

Many people depend on their driver’s licence for their employment and family obligations. Depending on your situation, you might be able to apply for a restricted work licence or a special hardship order. If you rely on your licence for your employment or family obligations, these options can help you to continue meeting your commitments. A traffic lawyer can help you to make an application for one of these restricted licences if you’re eligible.

Note that if you’re facing drink driving charges, Brooke Winter Solicitors have expert DUI lawyers who can assist you. It’s a good idea to speak to a traffic lawyer about your situation, in order to gain accurate details about your situation.

Contact Brooke Winter Solicitors today to discuss your traffic offence and how we can help achieve the best possible outcome for your matter.

FAQ

In short, you can refuse a breath test however the consequences could be detrimental to you and your licence.

A Police officer can lawfully request that you take a breath test randomly, meaning they do not need to suspect that you have been drink driving, or after they form a suspicion that you are under the influence of a substance (alcohol or drug). Simply speaking, a breath test is used to measure the concentration of alcohol in your blood.

Under section 80(5A) of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM), refusing to take a breath test is an offence punishable by imprisonment and if charged, you would need to go to court. This is regardless of whether or not you had actually consumed alcohol or drugs at the time of offence.  The offence itself is referred to as ‘failing to provide a specimen of breath’. This offence carries the same penalties otherwise imposed on those found guilty of high range drink driving (a reading of 0.15%). If you plead guilty or are found guilty of this offence, you can lose your licence for 6 months or more and face a penalty of 40 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

You may lawfully refuse to provide a specimen of breath for medical reasons if you cannot, for example, blow at the required strength and for the required duration. You would need to have medical proof if this were the situation. 

A person who is in charge of a motor vehicle whilst over the alcohol limit can be charged with an offence of drink driving or drug driving. Under the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM), section 79(1)(c), a person charged with this offence and is found guilty or pleads guilty, is liable to a penalty of up to 28 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 9 months for their first offence of a like nature. This entry would be recorded on that person’s Queensland traffic history. In addition, that person would be disqualified from driving for a period of time with that period of time depending on their traffic history.

This can include instances where any such person is found asleep inside a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs or simply sitting in the vehicle listening to music whilst being in charge of the vehicle.

There are defences available to being found in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence pursuant to Section 79(6) of the TORUM. These may include the following: 

  • That the person charged did not manifest an intention to drive, for example, that they were not in the driver compartment of the vehicle at the time or that they were outside of the vehicle by some action (e.g giving the car keys to another person etc)

If you have been charged for being In Charge of a motor vehicle, please contact us for more information.

If you have been charged and found guilty of drink driving or driving whilst a relevant drug is present in your blood/salvia, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence under section 87 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM).

A work licence is simply a restricted licence that can be issued to you by the Court that would allow you to drive for the strict purposes of completing your employment during the period of your licence disqualification.

To be successful in your application, you must satisfy the court that you are a fit and proper person to the be the holder of a work licence and that you would be placed in a position of severe financial hardship should you lose your licence. To do this, you must file and serve Affidavit material outlining your circumstances and hardship together with an Affidavit from your employer. If you are self-employed, you should provide details of your ABN.

To be eligible to apply for a work licence, you must:

  • Be charged with drink driving (under 0.15), fail to provide a sample of breath at the roadside, or driving with a relevant drug in the blood or saliva;
  • hold a current Queensland open licence; and
  • at the time of the offence:
    • Had a blood alcohol reading of less than 0.15;
    • Not be found driving for the purposes of work or already under a restricted licence;
    • Not be driving under a licence that required a zero BAC such as P plate or L plate;
    • Not be driving on a licence that required your BAC to be zero; and
    • Not have been convicted of a like or similar offence, dangerous driving or had a licence suspended or cancelled in the past five years in any state or territory.

If you wish to apply for a work licence or check your eligibility to apply, please contact us to discuss your matter.

If you have been charged and found guilty of drink driving or driving whilst a relevant drug is present in your blood/salvia, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence under section 87 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM).

A work licence is simply a restricted licence that can be issued to you by the Court that would allow you to drive for the strict purposes of completing your employment during the period of your licence disqualification.

If you are successful in your application and you are granted a work licence by the Court, they will place you under strict conditions that you must follow during the disqualification period. These include:

  • That you must only use the work licence for purposes directly connected with your means of earning a livelihood;
  • That you must only drive a certain class of vehicle;
  • That you must only drive for certain purposes connected to your employment by the most direct route;
  • That you must only drive in between the hours that you are permitted to do so (this will be different for each person depending on their circumstances); and
  • That you must carry a copy of the Work Licence Order with you at all times.

Other conditions that may be impose may include:

  • That you can or cannot carry passengers (work colleagues only) with you;
  • That you must carry and maintain a log book; and
  • That you must wear a uniform/clothes connected to your employment whilst driving.

To discuss applying for a work licence or possible restrictions, please contact us. 

If you have been charged and found guilty of drink driving or driving whilst a relevant drug is present in your blood/salvia, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence under section 87 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM).

A work licence is simply a restricted licence that can be issued to you by the Court that would allow you to drive for the strict purposes of completing your employment during the period of your licence disqualification.

If you are successful in your application and you are granted a work licence by the Court, the Court will issue you an order that allows you to obtain a special licence (work licence) from the Queensland Department of Transport. This licence will have strict conditions which you must follow to avoid further punishment or having your work licence revoked. The Court will also issue you the licence for the period of your disqualification.

At the end of your disqualification period, you must attend the Department of Queensland Transport and reapply and pay for a new licence. You are not allowed to drive to the Department of Queensland Transport yourself as this is not directly connected to your employment (as required under the work licence). You must have someone else drive you or catch public transport.

Once at the Department of Queensland Transport, you must check the status of your licence. If eligible, you may apply and pay for a new licence. Once your new licence is granted, you will be restricted to a zero blood alcohol limit and also only have four (4) points. These restrictions will apply to you for a period of twelve (12) months.

If you have been charged and found guilty of drink driving or driving whilst a relevant drug is present in your blood/salvia, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence under section 87 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM).

A work licence is simply a restricted licence that can be issued to you by the Court that would allow you to drive for the strict purposes of completing your employment during the period of your licence disqualification.

To be successful in your application, you must satisfy the court of 2 main limbs, including:

  1. that you are a fit and proper person to the be the holder of a work licence having regard to the safety of other road users and the public generally; and  
  2. that a refusal of a work licence would place you or your family in a position of severe financial hardship or deprive you of a means of earning a living.

As part of your Application, you must file and serve Affidavit material outlining your circumstances of hardship and evidence as to how you say you are a fit and proper person to be the holder of a licence.

If you are successful in your application and you are granted a work licence by the Court, the Court will issue you an order that allows you to obtain a special licence (work licence) from the Queensland Department of Transport.

If your application is refused, on the basis that you are ineligible, not found to be fit and proper or that you have not satisfied the court of your hardship, you will be disqualified from driving for a period of time without a work licence. This means that you cannot drive at all during the period of disqualification.

Once refused, you cannot apply for a work licence again during the period of disqualification. You will however have 28 days to appeal the decision before a Judge should you wish. 

In short, yes. If you plead guilty or you are found guilty of certain traffic and criminal offences in Queensland (including but not limited to drink driving, drug driving, suspended driving, disqualified driving, dangerous operation of a vehicle), the court must under legislation cancel your licence and disqualify you from driving for a period of time. This licence disqualification will apply not only in Queensland, but in all states and territories of Australia. The period of time you are disqualified will depend on the offence you are charged with together with your previous traffic history (generally anywhere between 1 month to 5 years). The Court also, under some circumstances, may disqualify you from driving absolutely.  If you lose your licence for more than 2 years, you may be eligible to apply to have the disqualification removed after 2 years without having a licence.

In short, yes. If you plead guilty or you are found guilty of drink driving offences (or drug driving offences) in Queensland, the court must under legislation cancel your licence and disqualify you from driving for a period of time.

Section 79 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM) deals with vehicle offences involving alcohol and drugs. Under this section, if a person drives, attempts to put in motion or is in charge of a vehicle, that person is liable to strict penalties that can include imprisonment. In addition to this penalty, under section 86 of the TORUM, the court must cancel the person’s licence and disqualify the person from holding a licence for a period of time. That period of time will depend on the specific offences and the individuals traffic history.

If you are required to drive for the purpose of maintaining your employment, you may be able to apply for a work licence for the period of your disqualification.

If you have any questions regarding your licence and disqualification, please contact us.

If you plead guilty or you are found guilty of certain traffic and criminal offences in Queensland (including but not limited to drink driving, drug driving, suspended driving, disqualified driving, dangerous operation of a vehicle), the court must under legislation cancel your licence and disqualify you from driving for a period of time.

That period of time will depend on the offence that you have been charged with as well as your previous traffic and criminal history.

Section 86 of the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act (TORUM) deals with licence disqualification periods. Some examples are outlined below:

No limit Drink Driving (Learner, probationary or provisional licence)

Upon conviction, a person charged with drink or drug driving whilst they are subject to a no alcohol limit is subject to 3 to 9 months disqualification for their first offence or 3 to 18 months disqualification for their second offence.

Low Range Drink Driving (0.05% – 0.09%)

Upon conviction, a person charged with low range drink driving or drug driving is subject to 1 to 9 months disqualification for their first offence or 3 to 18 months disqualification for their second offence.

Middle Range Drink Driving (0.10% – 0.14%)

Upon conviction, a person charged with mid range drink driving is subject to 3 to 12 months disqualification for their first offence or 3 to 18 months disqualification for their second offence.

High Range Drink Driving (0.15% or over)

Upon conviction, a person charged with high range drink driving is subject to a minimum of 6 months disqualification for their first offence, or 12 months disqualification for their second offence.

Fail to Provide specimen of breath

Upon conviction, a person charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath is subject to a minimum of 6 months disqualification for their first offence.

Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle

Upon conviction, a person charged with dangerously operating a vehicle is subject to a minimum of 6 months disqualification.

Under Queensland legislation, if you have been charged with and convicted of High Range drink driving (DUI), failing to provide specimen of blood or breath, repeat drink driving or dangerous driving whilst being intoxicated, you will be subject to the Alcohol Interlock Program through the Department of Queensland Transport. This program will apply to you after the period of your disqualification and requires you to have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock fitted to each vehicle that you drive for a period of 12 months.

An Alcohol Ignition Interlock is a device that will be fitted to your vehicle and will prevent your vehicle from starting unless you provide a specimen of your breath which contains a no alcohol reading.

This program is automatic upon being found guilty or pleading guilty to the abovementioned offences. The program does not need to be ordered by the court and will be enforced by the Department of Queensland Transport.

If you are subject to interlock, you will be required to pay all associated fees to installing the interlock and removing the interlock. Some eexemptions for the program exist under very strict requirements.

If you have any questions regarding the Alcohol Interlock Program, please contact us. 

Similar to drink driving, under the law, the Police can ask you to pull over at any time and request a random drug test from you. This initial test is generally done by Police taking a swab sample of your salvia. Further, if the Police reasonably suspect that you have been driving or have been in charge of a vehicle whilst under the influence of drugs, they can make you take a blood test.

Failing to provide police with a specimen of your salvia or blood when requested and without lawful excuse can result in being charged and having to go to court. If found guilty and convicted of failing to provide a specimen, you will face strict penalties and lengthy disqualification periods.

Similar to drink driving, under the law, the Police can ask you to pull over at any time and request a random drug test from you. A saliva test will generally detect drugs such as cannabis, MDMA, and methylamphetamine (speed or Ice). If you have taken any of these drugs, they are likely to stay in your system for long periods of time and you should be aware of this prior to driving or being in charge of a vehicle. If you are caught drug driving, the police do not have to prove that you were not driving safely. It is simply enough to have drugs in your system at the time of driving a vehicle or being in charge of a vehicle to be charged with an offence.

If you are the driver of a motor vehicle and the police require that you provide a mouth swab for the purpose of the detection of drugs, then you must comply with their request.  If you fail to provide a sample then you may be charged.  If a positive preliminary sample is provided on the roadside then the police will request that you provide a second test.  You must comply with that request.  The second test will be sent to the police laboratory for analysis.  If that second test is positive then you will be served with an analyst certificate and a notice to appear to go to court. 

 

It does not matter that you were not under the influence of drugs at the time of driving, the offence is driving whilst relevant drugs are present in your system.

 If you are found guilty or plead guilty to offences concerning drink or drug driving, a conviction will likely be recorded against you on your traffic history. In Queensland, there are both traffic histories and criminal histories. A conviction for drink or drug driving does not appear on your criminal history.

Under section 12 of the Penalties and State Sentences Act, the court has the power to consider whether or not to record a conviction in circumstances where a person has not received a term of imprisonment. If you are not subject to a term of imprisonment and you wish for the court to consider not recording a conviction against you, you need to make submissions concerning the following factors and why you say a conviction ought not be recorded:

  1. the nature of the offence; and
  2. Your character and age; and

the impact that recording a conviction will have on you including your economic or social wellbeing or your chances of finding employment. 

If you plead guilty or you are found guilty of drink or drug driving offences in Queensland, the court can impose penalties on you that include terms of imprisonment. The likelihood of you receiving a term of imprisonment can depend on many factors such as, whether you have previous criminal or traffic history, the seriousness of the allegations against you and the position or submissions of the Police in relation to the matter.

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