Drink Driving Penalties in Queensland
Updated on Sep 12, 2023 • 4 min read • 1291 views • Copy Link
Drink Driving Penalties in Queensland
In Queensland, if a person is caught driving while under the influence of alcohol, or with more than the maximum prescribed blood alcohol content (BAC), they will be charged with an offence. The penalties for drink driving offences are set out in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995. This page deals with drink driving penalties in Queensland.
Four BAC levels
In Queensland, there are four blood alcohol content (BAC) levels that apply to drink driving offences. These are:
- the no alcohol limit (0.00);
- the general alcohol limit (0.05);
- the middle alcohol limit (0.10) and
- the high alcohol limit (over 0.15).
Immediate licence suspensions
If a driver is caught with a positive BAC that is less than 0.10 (a low-range drink driving offence) then the police will issue them with an automatic 24-hour licence suspension.
In this situation, the police also have the power to issue an immediate licence suspension. This suspension remains in place until the matter is finalised by a court. This will occur if the person has:
- committed a low range offence while another drink driving matter is still being finalised;
- been charged with mid or high range drink driving;
- failed to provide breath or blood sample for analysis;
- been charged with dangerous driving in conjunction with a drink driving offence.
First time drink driving penalties
If a person is found guilty of drink driving in Queensland, and it is their first offence then the maximum suspension period ranges from three months to 12 months, depending on whether it is a low-range, medium-range or high-range offence. The maximum fine ranges from $2012 to $4025.
The penalties for breaching the no alcohol limit on a learner, probationary or provisional licence include a maximum licence suspension period of nine months, a maximum fine of $2012, and imprisonment for up to three months.
While terms of imprisonment are rare for first time drink driving offenders the courts do order a jail sentence if they believe the offence warrants a harsher penalty than a fine only.
Any driver who is caught with a BAC of over 0.05 but under 0.09 has committed a low range offence and can expect to receive a maximum suspension of nine months, a maximum fine of $2167, and if warranted the magistrate may order a term of imprisonment of up to three months.
A mid-range offence occurs when the BAC level is 0.10 to 0.149. The maximum suspension period for a mid-range offence is 12 months, with a maximum fine of $3096, and the court may impose a term of imprisonment of up to six months.
A person whose BAC level is 0.15 or greater has committed a high range offence. The suspension period for a high range offence is at the magistrate’s discretion with no legislated maximum period. It will not be less than six months. The maximum fine for a high range offence is $4334, and the court may impose a term of imprisonment of up to nine months.
Penalties for repeat drink drivers
Repeat drink driving offenders face higher penalties than those set out above. These include fines of up to $9288, and suspension periods of up to two years.
If a driver’s BAC is higher than 0.15, or they fail to provide a blood or breath sample their vehicle will also be impounded, and may even be confiscated permanently.
A driver will be considered a repeat offender if they have had a previous drink driving offence in the last five years.
Further requirements after suspension period ends
All drink drivers who have had their licence suspended will be required to hold a probationary licence for 12 months. They will have a no alcohol limit during this time.
A driver will also be required to have an interlock device fitted to their car for 12 months if:
- their BAC was 0.15 or greater;
- they failed to provide a breath or blood sample;
- they are a repeat drink driving offender.
If a person decides not to have the interlock fitted, they will be required to serve a further two-year suspension, after the conclusion of the original suspension period.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.
Affordable LawyersOur Go To Court Lawyers will assist you in all areas of law. We specialise in providing legal advice urgently – at the time when you need it most. If you need a lawyer right now, today, we can help you – no matter where you are in Australia.
How It Works
1. You speak directly to a lawyer
When you call the Go To Court Legal Hotline, you will be connected directly to a lawyer, every time.
2. Get your legal situation assessed
We determine the best way forward in your legal matter, free of charge. If you want to go ahead and book a face-to-face appointment, we will connect you with a specialist in your local area.
3. We arrange everything as needed
If you want to go ahead and book a fact-to-face appointment, we will connect you with a specialist in your local area no matter where you are and even at very short notice.