If you are driving in Queensland and a police officer directs you to pull over, you must comply with this request. Under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, the police may require the driver to stop for questioning, a breath test, or even to search a vehicle. The police have several rights when pulling over a car, including the right to ask for their name and address, licence and registration, to conduct a random roadside breath or swab test, to question the driver and search the vehicle or the driver (only in particular circumstances). But what if a driver chooses not to pull over when requested? Here’s everything to know about evading police in Qld.
What Does the Law Say?
Section 754 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) considers it an offence of evading the police in Qld if the driver fails to stop their vehicle as soon as reasonably practicable when receiving directions to stop from a police offer using a police vehicle.
To prove that the driver did not stop as ‘reasonably practicable’, it must be established that a reasonable person in the circumstances would have stopped. If the driver of the motor vehicle takes action to avoid being intercepted by a police officer, this is considered sufficient evidence to prove an offence of evading the police in Qld.
Giving Direction to Stop
The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 is also very clear on what a police offer must do to order a driver to stop. Under Section 748, the police must be in or on a police service motor vehicle (motorcycle or car). They must bring their vehicle to a position in relation to the other vehicle, where either the driver of the police vehicle, or another police officer in that vehicle, can give the driver direction to pull over. The police must also give a physical or audible signal, or must display a warning light and sound an alarm.
Your Rights If You’re Pulled Over
If you are pulled over by the police, you do have the the following rights:
- The right to ask for proof of identity and to explain why they are requesting your details
- The right to not answer a question asked, if there’s a reasonable reason for doing so
- The right to record the names of any witnesses to the event
For a first time offender, the penalty for evading police in Qld is a fine of 50 penalty units or 50 days served in a correctional facility. The maximum penalty that may be imposed is a fine of 200 penalty units or a prison term of 3 years. The act also states that the court must impose a mandatory 2-year disqualification period on the offender’s drivers licence.
If the police request to conduct a roadside breath test, and the police detects alcohol on your breath, you may be charged with other offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you have been charged with evading the police in Qld, it is best to contact a traffic lawyer to see what possible defences may apply to your situation. Potential defences include:
- The police offer did not give an audible or physical signal to pull over, or did not turn display a warning light or alarm
- A “reasonable person” would have found it impossible to stop the vehicle
- The police officer was not in or on a police motor vehicle
Speak to Our Lawyers at Guest Lawyers if You’ve Been Charged With Evading Police in Qld
If you have been charged with evading police in Qld, and you believe there was no reasonably practicable way to pull over, or, you believe you were not given an audible or physical sign to pull over, you may need to speak to a traffic lawyer. Our team at Guest Lawyers work for all persons charged with any traffic offence, including evading police. If you require legal representation, please get in touch with our team.