Police suspension notice
In NSW, section 224 of the Road Transport Act 2013 gives NSW Police the power to issue an on-the-spot suspension of a driver’s licence in certain circumstances. The effect of this is that you are suspended from driving from the moment your receiving the notice: either for a specified period of time or until the determination of the Court. This is commonly referred to as a ‘Police Suspension’.
When Can Police Immediately Suspend a Licence?
The circumstances in which Police can exercise this power are set out in an exhaustive list contained in section 224(1) of the Act. Police can issue an immediate notice of suspension to a person who:
Has been charged by Police with:-
- Murder or manslaughter, if the offence is caused by a motor vehicle;
- Wounding, causing grievous bodily harm intentionally, recklessly or by an unlawful act, if the offence is caused by a motor vehicle;
- Dangerous driving;
- A prescribed concentration of alcohol offence, where the blood alcohol reading exceeds 0.079;
- Engaging in conduct in relation to racing or drag racing;
- Refusing to submit to breath testing or a breath analysis;
- Wilfully altering the concentration of blood alcohol in your system; or
Issued with a Penalty Notice by Police for:-
- Exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 45km/hr;
- Exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 30km/hr, if you are a provisional or learner licence holder; or
- Driving whilst unaccompanied by a supervising driver as the holder of a learner licence.
How Long do Police Have to Issue an Immediate Notice of Suspension?
If Police wish to serve you with an immediate notice of suspension it must be done within 48 hours of the charge being laid or the penalty notice being issued for one of the above offences.
Holders of Interstate or Overseas Licences
NSW Police have the power to suspend driving licence privileges where a licence has been issued by a road transport authority in another jurisdiction. This means an interstate or international driver cannot drive in NSW upon withdrawal of their privileges in NSW, but they can drive in another state until the reciprocation of the suspension catches up with them. This is different to the Immediate Notice of Suspension issued to the holder of a NSW licence. If you hold a NSW Driver’s Licence, on being issued an Immediate Notice of Suspension, your licence will be suspended and should be surrendered to NSW Police, you will not be permitted to drive in NSW or any other jurisdication.
What Can I do About it?
If you have been issued with an Immediate Notice of Suspension, you have the right to lodge an appeal against that Notice.
This must be lodged in and heard in a Local Court of NSW.
Refer to our page on Police Suspension Appeals for information on the procedure and tests for this type of appeal.
WHERE TO NEXT?
In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.