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Brisbane Drink Driving Lawyers Explain Alcohol Limits

"While drink driving penalties can be influenced by previous offences, and whether people were injured as a result of the offence, most penalties for first time offenders are decided based on the severity of the offence, or in other words, by the alcohol limit that was exceeded."

To avoid being charged with a drink driving offence it is important to understand how alcohol limits are used to determine charges and penalties. Our Brisbane drink driving lawyers explain the essentials here.

 

Types of Alcohol Limits

In Queensland, alcohol limits are used to determine the penalty after being charged with drink driving.  These limits are divided into four categories based on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). These alcohol limits are:

  • ‘No alcohol’ limit: A driver will have exceeded this limit if they receive any BAC reading over zero. ‘No alcohol’ limits must be adhered to by drivers with learner, provisional or restricted licences.
  • General alcohol limit: A driver will have exceeded the general alcohol limit if their BAC is equal to or more than 0.05.
  • Middle alcohol limit: A driver will have exceeded the middle alcohol limit if their BAC is equal to or more than 0.10.
  • High alcohol limit: A driver will have exceeded the high alcohol limit if their BAC is equal to or more than 0.15.

 

What Alcohol Limit Applies To You?

Different alcohol limits apply to different drivers depending on their licence type and vehicle.

‘No Alcohol’ Limit

In terms of licence restrictions, you must not exceed the ‘no alcohol’ limit if you are:
  • A learner driver.
  • Driving under a P1 or P2 provisional licence, probationary or restricted licence.
  • Learning to drive a higher class of licence.
  • Still in the first twelve months of holding your RE motorcycle licence (whether it be provisional, probationary, restricted or open).
In terms of vehicle restrictions, you must not exceed the ‘no alcohol’ limit if you are driving or in charge of a:
  • Taxi, limo or any vehicle ready to accept bookings as a public passenger service.
  • A vehicle used by a driver trainer to provide driver training.
  • Truck (with a GVM greater than 4.5t).
  • Bus (built to carry more than twelve adults, inclusive of the driver).
  • A tow truck, pilot vehicle or escort vehicle.
  • An articulated motor vehicle.
  • A vehicle carrying a placard load of dangerous goods.
  • A specially constructed vehicle such as a tractor.

 

General Alcohol Limit

All open licence holders must not exceed the general alcohol limit of a BAC equal to or more than 0.05. However, as stated above, open licence holders of an RE motorcycle licence must not exceed the ‘no alcohol’ limit in the first twelve months of holding their open licence.

If you exceed the general alcohol limit while driving and are caught by the police you will be charged with drink driving.

 

Penalties For Exceeding Each Alcohol Limit

Drink driving penalties can be influenced by previous offences and whether people were injured as a result of the offence. For first-time offenders, most penalties imposed are based on the severity of the offence, in other words, by the alcohol limit that was exceeded.

The maximum penalties which may be applied to a first-time offender are as follows:

Blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC)

 

Licence disqualification Maximum fine amount Maximum term of imprisonment
Over 0.00, but under 0.05 BAC (learner, probationary or provisional licences, and drivers of particular motor vehicles)

 

3 to 9 months
$1,827
3 months
0.05 and over, but under 0.10 1 to 9 months
$1,827
3 months
0.10 and over, but under 0.15 3 to 12 months
$2,611
6 months

0.15 and over

Minimum of 6 months
$3,655
9 months

 

If your BAC is under 0.10 police will enforce a 24-hour licence suspension starting from the time at which you exceeded the alcohol limit that applies to you. If your BAC is equal to or over 0.10 your licence will be suspended until the matter is resolved in court.

 

How Brisbane Drink Driving Lawyers Can Help You

If you have been charged with a drink driving offence in Brisbane or surrounding areas you should seek legal advice from the best Brisbane drink driving lawyers you can find. Doing so will greatly improve your chances of lessening the severity of your penalty. Drink driving lawyers can also help you successfully apply for a work licence or special hardship order.

We offer free initial consultations (including in prisons) to assist with a number of traffic offence matters. Please get in touch with our lawyers either via Guest Lawyers’ email or by calling (07) 3211 3007. Our team of Brisbane drink driving lawyers will be happy to provide advice and assistance.