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Driving Whilst Suspended in Tasmania

Updated on Dec 01, 2022 3 min read 350 views Copy Link

Michelle Makela

Published in Oct 16, 2015 Updated on Dec 01, 2022 3 min read 350 views

Driving Whilst Suspended in Tasmania

The Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 makes it an offence to drive whilst your licence is suspended or disqualified in Tasmania. There are many reasons why a licence may be suspended or disqualified.  If you are caught driving on a public road in Tasmania, without a valid licence you will be guilty of an offence. Penalties for the offence of driving whilst suspended in Tasmania include disqualification, fines or even imprisonment.

A driver’s licence may be suspended in Tasmania or be disqualified for the following reasons;

  • The offender has never held a licence in Tasmania.
  • The offender has a licence that has expired and not been renewed.
  • The individual has a licence that is under suspension for administrative reasons (i.e. medical grounds).
  • The offender has accumulated demerit points that warrant a suspension/disqualification.
  • The offender has accumulated speeding or other traffic offences that require a suspension/disqualification period to be imposed.
  • The offender has committed a criminal offence i.e. drug driving and a suspension/disqualification period has been ordered by the court.

In the event that you have already been suspended or disqualified from obtaining a licence, and are caught driving on any public road within Tasmania, you will be guilty of an offence.

Driving whilst suspended in Tasmania

Under section 9 of the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, it is an offence to drive on a public road whilst your licence is subject to a suspension. This offence covers local licenses as well as foreign licences subject to a suspension period. Further, this section of the Act makes it an offence for a person to employ an individual and permit them to drive a motor vehicle on a public street if their licence is subject to a suspension.

The maximum penalty for a first offence is a fine of 30 penalty units or imprisonment for three months. For a second or subsequent offender, a fine will generally be imposed of up to 300 penalty units as well as a term of imprisonment of up to six months. The courts, depending on the severity of the case, may choose to impose a fine or imprisonment, or both. It is important to note that the court will also impose a period of licence disqualification.

Driving whilst disqualified in Tasmania

Under section 13 of the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a public street in Tasmania whilst your licence is subject to a disqualification. A person’s first offence carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 40 penalty units or imprisonment for six months, or both, and a licence disqualification period of up to three years. A second or subsequent offence can attract a fine of up to 80 penalty units, imprisonment for up to 12 months. or both, and licence disqualification for a period of up to five years.

Defences

In rare circumstances, a person may succeed in defending a charge of driving while suspended or disqualified. The most common defence is that the offender did not know, or could not have known that their licence was subject to a suspension/disqualification. However, this defence will only be available in limited circumstances and is subject to many exceptions.

In some circumstances, a defence of duress or sudden and extraordinary emergency may also be available.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

Published in

Oct 16, 2015

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 
Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 

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