Drink Driving Penalties QLD

Drink Driving Penalties QLD

If you’re caught drink driving, you will receive a Court Attendance Notice, where your case will be heard in front of a Magistrate.

The Magistrate will decide the length of your licence disqualification and whether you will be fined or sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

The severity of the penalty will depend on two things:

  • blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the offence
  • traffic history, including whether you have been previously convicted of a drink driving offence.

First Drink Driving Offence

If you have been caught drink driving, and it is your first offence then the maximum suspension periods range from 9 months to 12 months with fines ranging from $1593.90 to $3187.80. If you are on a learner, probationary or provisional licence then you are on a no alcohol limit.

The following table shows the maximum drink driving penalties QLD that may apply for a first drink driving offence:

24-hour suspension

If your BAC is less than 0.10 then the police will issue you with an automatic 24 hour licence suspension. Your licence will be suspended for at least 24 hours from the time your BAC is confirmed as having exceeded the limit that applies to you.

Immediate suspension 

Your licence will be immediately suspended if you:

  • have been charged with a low range drink driving offence (over 0.0 but under 0.10 BAC) while:
    • an earlier drink driving charge is still pending; or
    • you were the holder of a section 79E order and your replacement licence is subject to an X4 condition
  • have been charged with a mid range or high range drink driving offence (0.10 BAC and over)
  • fail to provide police with a specimen of breath or blood when requested
  • have been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence.

The immediate suspension will only end when the matter has been dealt with by the court, and is either withdrawn or discontinued.

Repeat Drink Driving Offenders

Repeat Drink Driving DUI offenders face up to a maximum driver’s licence disqualification of a lifetime driver’s licence disqualification, depending upon the number of previous charges, and the Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) in each instance, with a mandatory minimum driver’s licence disqualification of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, again depending upon the number of previous charges, and the Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) in each instance.

A person who is convicted of a High Range Drink Driving offence where, within the 5-year period before such conviction, the person has been previously convicted of High Range Drink Driving, the person faces drink driving penalties QLD including licence disqualification of no less than 1 year.

Drug Driving

There is zero tolerance for driving with a relevant drug present, and any trace of a relevant drug in your system can be penalised.

If you test positive for drugs, your driver licence will be suspended for 24hours.

If you are then charged with driving with a relevant drug present and this is your first offence, your driver licence will remain valid until the charge is dealt with by a court, is withdrawn or otherwise discontinued.

However, if it is not your first offence, your driver licence will be suspended immediately until your court date.

When dealing with your charge of driving under the influence of a drug, a magistrate may:

  • disqualify you from driving for up to 6 months
  • fine you up to $3,413
  • impose a maximum term of imprisonment up to 9 months.

If you are charged with a repeat drug driving offence (you have been previously convicted of a drug driving charge in the last 5 years) a court may:

  • disqualify you from driving for up to 2 years
  • fine you up to $7,314
  • impose a term of imprisonment for a period of time determined by the court.

If you are charged with driving or being in charge of a vehicle with cannabis, ecstasy or ICE in your saliva or blood (but not with driving or being in charge or a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, which is a more serious charge), then you may be able to get a work licence but this must be done at the time you appear in the court to plead guilty, it cannot be done afterwards.

Serious Driving Offences

Dangerous driving or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is one of the most serious traffic offences in Queensland.   Dangerous driving is a criminal offence not just a traffic offence meaning a conviction can have very serious consequences.

The penalty for dangerous driving can be up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $4,000.00 and a lengthy disqualification of your driver’s licence.

If a person is injured or killed as a result of an accident it is possible to be charged with dangerous driving causing injury or death.   If any of the following aggravating circumstances exist then the maximum drink driving penalties QLD is increased to 14 years in prison:

  • at the time the person was adversely affected by alcohol or drugs; or
  • at the time the person was excessively speeding or taking part in an unlawful race; or
  • the person has previously been convicted for dangerous driving