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Licence Suspensions (Qld)

A Queensland driver’s licence will be suspended in a number of circumstances. A license can be suspended because a person has committed certain traffic offences, been summonsed to court in relation to traffic offences or because the driver has accrued the maximum number of demerit points. This article deals with licence suspensions in Queensland.

When are licence suspensions issued?

A Queensland license will be suspended if:

  • An enforcement order has been issued by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) for unpaid fines;
  • The driver has accrued the maximum number of demerit points within a given period;
  • The driver has been found guilty of driving more than 40 km per hour over the speed limit;
  • The Department of Transport and Main Roads or the Queensland Police have decided to suspend the person’s license because of something that affects their ability to drive – for example, a medical condition.

Offence to drive after license suspension

If a person drives while their licence is suspended for any of the above reasons, they may be charged with unlicensed driving. A person found guilty of unlicensed driving will be disqualified from driving for a period of between one month and six months. They may be fined or imprisoned for up to 12 months.

Immediate licence suspensions

Under section 79B of the Transport Operations (Road Management) Act 1995, when a person is charged with an offence under certain circumstances, the person’s driver’s licence is immediately suspended. This will occur where the person is charged with:

  • A drink driving, offence with a BAC of 0.10 or higher;
  • A low level drink driving offence while another such offence is still pending;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
  • Refusing to provide a breath sample or blood sample;
  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

The license remains suspended until the matter is finalised by a court or the charge is withdrawn or discontinued.

Offence to drive after immediate license suspension

If a person drives after they have received an immediate suspension, the court must disqualify them from driving for a period of between two and five years. They may also be fined up to $5.300 or imprisonment of up to 12 months.

Licence suspensions and replacement licences

If a person’s licence is suspended because they are charged with a drink driving offence, a court may permit the person to continue to drive in certain circumstances. The person may then continue to drive if they obtain a replacement licence under section 79F.

Demerit points and license suspensions

The number of demerit points a driver is allowed to accrue depends on the type of license they hold.

Open licence

In Queensland, a person on an open license may accrue 12 demerit points within a 3 year period. When 12 demerit points are accrued, the driver will receive a Notice to Choose, which will require them to either have their license suspended for a requisite period or agree to keep driving under good behaviour driving period for one year. The period of license suspension depends on the number of demerit points that were accrued within the 3 year period.

Provisional licence

A person on a provisional driver license may accrue up to 4 demerit points within a one-year period. If a driver on a provisional license accrues 4 points within a year, they will receive a Notice to Choose, requiring them to choose between having their license suspended for three months and driving under a period of good driving behaviour for one year.

Learner licence

If a person on a learner license accrues 4 or more demerit points within a year, their learner licence will be suspended for three months. This will be confirmed by mail. The license does not need to be handed in.

Good driving behaviour period

If a driver elects to be subject to a good driving behaviour period, they may continue to drive but must not accrue more than two demerit points within the one-year period. If two demerit points are accrued, they will be subject to a six-month licence suspension.

If no nomination is made, the license will be suspended for three months.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Fernanda Dahlstrom

This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

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