What is a restricted licence?
In Queensland, if you have been charged with a drink driving or drug driving offence, and have lost your licence, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted licence (also known as a ‘work licence’). It is not something you are automatically given just because you need it for work – there are some strict criteria that must be met first, therefore, it is given only in limited circumstances.
What restrictions are placed upon you?
A restricted licence is not just the same as your regular licence. There are heavy penalties for drivers caught not obeying their restrictions. The purpose of a restricted licence is to allow you to continue to earn a living if your work specifically involves driving; for example, a delivery driver, builder, plumber or postman.
When on a restricted licence, you are limited to:
- the times of day you can drive;
- the type of vehicle you can drive;
- the reasons for which you can drive; and
- passengers in your vehicle.
When on a restricted licence, you are not permitted to drive to the shops, take your children to or from school or drive to appointments. Your restricted licence is strictly for work purposes only. For this reason, a restricted driver may also be required by the courts to:
- complete a logbook when driving; and
- wear a work uniform whenever driving.
Who is eligible to apply for a restricted licence?
When convicted of a drug driving or drink driving offence, you can be either disqualified or suspended from driving. A solicitor can assist you to demonstrate to the court that you meet the conditions of a restricted licence. To prove this, you must demonstrate:
- you are a fit and proper person to continue to drive under the authority of a restricted licence; and
- you require a driver’s licence to earn your living, and refusal to make an order for a restricted licence would cause you or your family extreme hardship.
To be eligible, there are a few additional criteria that must all be met including:
- You had a blood alcohol concentration level of less than 0.15 percent when you were caught;
- You were not driving for your job or already under a work licence when you were caught for one of the offences listed above;
- You were on an open drivers licence (not a learner of a provisional license);
- You have not been convicted of drink driving or dangerous driving in the last five years; and
- You have not had your licence disqualified, suspended or cancelled in the last five years.
If you are approved to have a restricted licence by the court, you must take care to follow the special conditions outlined in the order, such as driving only for work purposes and with a zero blood alcohol concentration. In addition to this, following a restricted licence period, drivers may also be required to hold a probationary license for a further 6 to 12 months.
If you have been caught drink driving or drug driving, and are unsure about whether you might qualify for a restricted licence, get in touch with one of our restricted work licence lawyers to discuss your circumstances. Contact us for a free consultation.