Driver licence suspensions and disqualifications

If you have allegedly committed a traffic offence, you may have your driver licence suspended. There are different types of suspensions, all with different reasons for the suspension occurring. Regardless of the type of suspension or why you have received it, it is illegal to drive on Queensland roads if driver licence is disqualified or suspended.

Reasons for driver licence suspensions

Some of the more common reasons for a licence suspension include:

  • Having lost 12 or more demerit points on your driving record in any 3-year period
  • Failing to pay fines
  • A conviction of exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more
  • Administrative action taken against you, such as a medical condition that affects your ability to drive safely

Immediate and on the spot suspensions

If a police officer believes you have committed a serious traffic offence, they can suspend your licence on the spot, or within 48 hours after the police interaction.

Some of the reasons which are classified as a serious traffic offence include:

  • driving with a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or higher
  • driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • refusing to cooperate for a breath or blood test with the police
  • been charged with a low-level drink driving offence while an earlier such charge is still pending a court hearing

Licence disqualifications

A licence suspension is different to a licence disqualification. A disqualified licence is given for offences such as:

  • a drink driving or drug driving offence
  • a dangerous driving offence
  • a criminal offence involving the driving or use of a motor vehicle
  • an unaccompanied learner infringement

Other reasons for losing your licence

A person can also have their driver license suspended, cancelled or varied for a number of other reasons including, but not limited to:

  • having insufficient knowledge of road law, or inability to drive
  • not complying with a penalty imposed by a court for an offence related to operating a vehicle
  • having failed to comply with a licence condition

When can you drive again?

The notice of suspension you will receive in the mail will tell you when the suspension starts and how long it will last. You can drive legally as soon as the suspension ends.

The timing of the suspension may change if you successfully appeal and defend the offence in court. You may be found either be found not guilty or guilty but no conviction is recorded.

You do not need to reapply for your licence at the end of the suspension period, provided it has not expired. If your licence does expire while you are suspended, you cannot renew it until you have finished your suspension period.

More information about driver licence suspensions:

If you have been charged with a traffic offence, such as drink driving in Queensland, it is a good idea to seek advice from a criminal lawyer who is experienced in successfully handling traffic cases. This can help to reduce the chances of you receiving a severe penalty, and a criminal conviction. Get in touch with one of our qualified lawyers to understand more about the options available to you such as restricted work licences or special hardship orders (SHO).

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