If you have been caught drink driving in Qld and face losing your licence, but need to be able to drive for work, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence. A work licence will allow you to keep driving for the purposes of employment for a set period of time.
Do I qualify for a Work Licence?
You may apply for a work licence ONLY if:
- your BAC level was not high range (ie., was less than 0.15%);
- you were not driving for work when you were pulled over;
- you have not been caught for drink driving within the preceding 5 years; and
- you held a valid open or provisional licence at the time of the offence.
How do I apply for a Work Licence?
You must notify the Magistrate that you intend to apply for a work licence after you have been found guilty (whether that be by pleading guilty, or by pleading not guilty and then being found guilty) but before the Magistrate cancels your licence.
You will need to submit an application form along with an affidavit, which sets out information such as your work details, family details, income and circumstances of the offence. You will also need an affidavit from your employer confirming that you require a licence in order to perform your job.
You will need to prove to the Court’s satisfaction that you are both a fit and proper person to continue to drive under the licence; that you need the licence to earn a living, and that if you aren’t granted the licence, you or your family will suffer extreme hardship.
What are the conditions of a Work Licence?
The Magistrate may set conditions on the licence such as the time of day you are allowed to drive, the purposes for which you may drive, the number of passengers you may carry and the type of vehicle you can drive.
You should be aware that the period of suspension applicable under a work licence is often double the original licence suspension period which would apply if a work licence had not been granted.
What if I breach the terms of the Work Licence?
If you accumulate 4 or more demerit points while driving on a work licence the licence will be cancelled. You will not be able to apply for a provisional or learner’s licence for the remainder of your original disqualification period, or, if that period is less than 3 months, then for 3 months in total.
If you breach the conditions of the work licence (ie. you are caught driving for non-work related purposes) then your licence will be cancelled. You would then need to reappear before the Magistrate again, who will determine a further period of disqualification. You may also be fined up to $1200.