Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a serious offence in Queensland and will almost always result in court proceedings with harsh penalties. To make sure you are fairly represented and your penalties are minimised, guidance from an experienced traffic lawyer is invaluable. Here, our team at Guest Traffic Lawyers Brisbane has written up a guide on what to expect if you’ve been charged with a DUI, and more importantly, how our lawyers can help you.
What Happens Once You have Been Charged with a DUI
If you have been intercepted by the police while driving under the influence of liquor, after you have been charged you will incur an immediate license suspension up to the date your matter is finalised in Court.
The only change in this regard is if your blood alcohol concentration is under 0.10. If this occurs, your license will only be suspended for 24 hours and you can continue to drive up to your final Court date.
Once your case is taken to court, a magistrate will determine how long your drivers license will be disqualified and whether or not you will be fined or given a jail sentence.
If your reading is under 0.15, you may also be eligible for a work licence.
A Guide to Drink Driving Penalties
Drink driving penalties are determined based on your blood/breath alcohol concentration at the time of the offence, and whether you have been previously convicted of a similar offence. The table below displays penalties that may apply for a first offence.
|Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration||Licence Disqualification||Maximum Fine||Maximum Jail Time|
|Over 0.00, but under 0.05 BAC (learner, probationary or provisional licences, and drivers of particular motor vehicles)||3 – 9 months||$1,706||3 months|
|0.05 and over, but under 0.10||1 – 9 months||$1,706||3 months
|0.10 and over, but under 0.15||3 – 12 months||$2,438||6 months
|0.15 and over||Minimum of 6 months||$3,413||9 months|
While the above table acts as a general guide to possible penalties for drink driving offences, the Magistrate has additional sentencing options including ordering that you be subject to probation or a jail term (either allowing you to remain in the community or serving actual time in custody).
An alcohol interlock device is a mandatory requirement if you are convicted of driving a motor vehicle while you have an alcohol reading of 0.10 or above. This device will be fitted to your car at the conclusion of your disqualification period.
This is why it is imperative to have a specialist traffic lawyer by your side to ensure your penalty is less severe.
What Happens if You Have Had Repeat Drink Driving Offences?
If you have been charged with a traffic offence in the past five years, your penalty will be increased based on the number of offences and the level of seriousness. Penalties for repeat offenders can range from having your car impounded, fines of over $7,000 or a license disqualification of up to two years.
It is also worth being aware that if you are caught driving during an existing license disqualification period, your license can be disqualified for up to five years. Repeat offenders will most definitely require assistance from the more experienced traffic lawyers Brisbane is home to.
Applying for a Drink Driving Work License
If your license has been suspended until your charge is finalised in court, you might not be able to drive for a lengthy amount of time (this time may not be included in your final disqualification period). If this is the case, a traffic lawyer may be able to assist you in obtaining an S79E license which will allow you to drive for work whilst your matter progresses through the Court process.
If your license has already been disqualified, and you need to drive for work, it is possible to apply for a restricted work license. This will allow you to drive during specific days and hours depending on the needs of your work. Applying for a restricted work license is a complicated process and involves proving your worthiness for such a license.
You will need to satisfy the Court that you are a fit and
proper person to drive a vehicle having regard to your past history and that you will suffer extreme financial hardship if your licence is disqualified. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you obtain professional guidance from a traffic lawyer.
How the Best Traffic Lawyers Brisbane Has to Offer Can Help
If you have been charged with a traffic offence in Brisbane or the surrounding areas, you should seek legal advice from the best traffic lawyers Brisbane can offer you. Doing so will greatly improve your chances of lessening the severity your penalty.
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 experienced Brisbane drink driving, drug driving and traffic lawyers will be more than happy to assist you.