There are a variety of traffic offences in Queensland, some more serious than others, that may cause you to lose demerit points, receive a fine, have your licence suspended, or see you serve a term of imprisonment.
The Queensland road rules are governed by the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009. The Regulation outlines the rules drivers must obey while on Queensland roads. The Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 and the Criminal Code cover the more serious traffic offences such as dangerous driving, and outline police powers, penalties and procedural information.
Even some minor traffic offences will require you to go to Court, and if convicted can affect any criminal history check required in the future.
Penalties Under QLD Traffic Law
Certain traffic offences can result in the immediate impoundment of your vehicle for 90 days. This can occur if you:
- evade police
- are involved in a race between vehicles
- do a burn out
- cause your vehicle to make unnecessary smoke or noise, or
- are involved in dangerous or careless driving.
For repeat offenders your vehicle may even be forfeited to the state. This means your vehicle becomes a government asset which can be destroyed or sold. Excessive speeding offences of greater than 40km/hr will result in an automatic suspension of your licence for 6 months.
The most serious of the traffic offences is being charged with dangerous driving which can result in a 3 year term of imprisonment. If you kill someone while driving dangerously you can also be charged with manslaughter, for which the penalty is up to life imprisonment, or dangerous driving causing death which can result in a jail term of 10 years.
Driving while suspended by the Court is deemed contempt of the court system, and you will receive a further suspension of a minimum of 2 years. Repeat driving while suspended charges can result in a term of imprisonment.
QLD Licence Disqualified?
If your licence has been disqualified for greater than two years, you can apply to the Court to have your suspension lifted. The court will take into consideration:
- the offence committed to get disqualified
- your behaviour since the offence occurred
- your character, and
- the hardship not being able to drive is causing you and your family.
You will need to include an Affidavit outlining why the disqualification should be lifted, and a copy of your traffic history. Disqualifications are not lifted lightly, as the Magistrate is in effect revoking an Order made by the Court. If successful you can take the Order into the Department of Transport and have your licence re-issued.
You will still need to comply with the Department’s requirements which will depend on how long you have not held a licence. You may be required sit a licence test and be on a provisional or learners licence. If the Court refuses your application you will have to wait another 12 months before you can reapply. It is therefore imperative that you seek legal advice from an experienced traffic lawyer prior to filing the application.
Hardship Order QLD
If the Department of Transport has suspended your licence because you have been charged with driving more than 40 km over the speed limit, or you have received more than one demerit point while on your 12 month good behaviour licence, you can apply to the court for a Special Hardship Order.
This Order will allow you to obtain a special licence to drive, but there are strict requirements, and you only have 21 days to apply from when your suspension starts. To be eligible:
- you must not have had your licence suspended or cancelled in the past 5 years
- you must have held a current QLD provisional or open licence immediately before the licence was suspended
- you must show the court you a fit and proper person, and
- you must show the court that if you don’t get a special hardship order, you or your family will suffer extreme hardship due to not being able to work.
Part 14 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Driver licensing) Regulation 2010 outlines the requirements on obtaining a Special Hardship Order.