Licence Disqualification (Vic)
In Victoria, a person who is found guilty of criminal offences that involve the use of a vehicle may have a period of licence disqualification imposed as part of their sentence. If the offence is a serious motor vehicle offence, it is mandatory for the court to disqualify the offender from driving for a specified period. The court also has the power to disqualify a person from driving for any other offence. This page deals with licence disqualification and licence suspension in Victoria.
Division 3 of the Sentencing Act 1991 contains sentencing provisions relating to the imposition of periods of licence suspension or disqualification.
Serious motor vehicle offences
Under section 89 of the Sentencing Act 1991, a person who is found guilty of a serious motor vehicle offence must have their licence suspended or be disqualified from obtaining a licence.
The minimum periods of licence disqualification that apply to these offences are set out in the table below. There is no maximum period of disqualification.
|Serious Motor Vehicle Offence||Minimum period of licence disqualification|
|Manslaughter arising from driving a vehicle||Two years|
|An offence that involves serious injury arising from driving a vehicle||Two years|
|Culpable driving causing death||Two years|
|Dangerous driving causing death or serious injury||18 months|
|Murder or attempted murder arising from driving a vehicle||Two years|
|Dangerous or negligent driving while being pursued by the police||Two years|
|Stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle||Three months|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol that leads to an offence of causing serious injury, or that involves an offence of kidnapping or carjacking||12 months|
|Driving under the influence of alcohol that leads to an offence of causing serious injury, or that involves an offence of aggravated carjacking||Two years|
There are also mandatory licence disqualification periods that apply to serious traffic offences such as drink driving, drug driving, dangerous driving and excessive speeding. These mandatory period are set out on this page.
What happens when a licence is suspended?
When the court makes an order of licence suspension, the offender’s licence or learner’s permit is cancelled and they are prohibited from obtaining another one for a specified period.
If the offender does not hold a Victorian licence or learner’s permit, but holds a licence or permit interstate, they will be disqualified from driving on Victorian roads for the disqualification period.
The order generally commences on the day of sentencing, but a court can order that it commence on a later date if need be.
Discretionary licence disqualification
Under section 89A of the Sentencing Act 1991, courts have a discretion to impose a licence disqualification period when a person is found guilty of any other offence for the period that the court specifies. Where no period is specified, the period of disqualification is three months.
If a person is sentenced to a period of licence disqualification, they may appeal against this order to the County Court.
When a person commences an appeal against a disqualification order, the court may stay the order of disqualification until the appeal has been heard. If a disqualification order is stayed, the offender will be allowed to continue driving until the appeal is heard. If the County Court confirms the disqualification order, the disqualification period will commence on the date of the appeal decision.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.