Traffic Offences can be difficult to navigate in the court system. Read more below about the types of traffic offences our Brisbane traffic lawyers can help you with.
Whether you need a work licence or have been charged with drink driving, contact the Brisbane experts at Russo Lawyers on 1800 558 533 for more information.
More Information about Traffic Law
Approximately 12,000 Queensland motorists are convicted of drink driving or drug driving offences each year. These offences are treated very seriously by the Courts and can have significant consequences to your life if you are convicted. Mandatory licence disqualification periods apply for drink driving and drug driving offences. The penalty imposed by the Court can range from large fines to serving an actual period of imprisonment.
We can provide you with advice on the expected penalty range for your matter. We can also appear for you before the Court to make submissions on your behalf to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
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If you are convicted of any of the following drink driving offences you may be subject to the alcohol ignition interlock condition upon obtaining a new licence:
- High range drink driving offence (>0.15);
- Driving under the influence of liquor;
- Failing to supply a specimen for analysis; and
- Any drink driving offence if you have previously been convicted of a drink driving offence within the last 5 years.
An alcohol ignition interlock device is a breath-testing device fitted to your car. Like a breathalyser, you will blow into the mouthpiece of the device and it will record your blood alcohol reading. You cannot start the car unless you record a 0% blood alcohol reading. You may also be asked to randomly provide a sample of breath while driving.
The interlock period will start when the disqualification period ends. The interlock period is 2 years if you choose not to have an interlock device installed; this means that you cannot legally drive for a further 2 years after the disqualification ends. If you do you risk being charged with unlicensed driving. The interlock period is reduced to 12 months if you abide by the condition by fitting a nominated car with an interlock device.
The interlock period may be extended if:
- you attempt or succeed in driving the vehicle without first providing a sample of breath;
- you drive a car when you know or reasonably ought to have reasonably known that the interlock on it was not operating properly; or
- the car’s interlock has been tampered or interfered with.
You can nominate the specific car to have the device installed and you will only be able to drive that car during the interlock period. You are responsible for all costs of having the interlock device installed and maintained. The costs of the interlock system are approximately $2000. Discounts may be available for holders of Health Care Cards issued by the Australian Government. If you do not wish to be subject to the condition, you can apply for an exemption. The Department of Transport and Main Roads will consider where you live and work, or any medical or hardship grounds. If an exemption is granted, an exemption certificate must be produced to police if requested.
There are harsh penalties for not complying by the interlock condition including fines and further disqualification periods.
Even a speeding offence can result in your licence being suspended if you accumulate too many demerit points whilst on a Good Driving Behavior Period or if you are convicted of an offence of driving more than 40 km/h over the speed limit. You should obtain legal advice about your eligibility to apply for a Special Hardship Order (please see below for further information).
Traffic law can be confusing and complicated. Many people charged with unlicensed driving and disqualified driving offences are completely unaware that they are driving without a valid licence.
If you are convicted of an unlicensed driving or disqualified driving offence you will NOT be eligible to apply for a Work License or a Special Hardship Order. Mandatory license disqualification periods apply. Disqualified driving carries a minimum disqualification period of 2 years. You should receive detailed legal advice before pleading guilty to a charge of unlicensed or disqualified driving.
A charge of careless driving involves an allegation that you did not drive with the care and attention expected of a reasonable driver. You do not need to have been involved in an accident to be charged with this offence. Careless driving can include not indicating when you turn or crossing double lines.
A charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle under section 232A of the Criminal Code (Qld) is a serious criminal offence.
What could be considered ‘careless driving’ or ‘dangerous driving’ will depend on the individual circumstances of each case. You could be subject to a lengthy licence disqualification period or even imprisonment if you are charged with these offences and should obtain legal advice immediately.
A work licence allows a person convicted of drink driving or a related offence to drive for employment purposes. It is also called a provisional, restrictive or day licence.
If you wish to apply for a work licence, the application must be made to the Court before you plead guilty to the charge. Otherwise, you are prevented from applying for the work licence at a future date. You should speak to a lawyer before you appear in Court. We can be contacted at any time to assist.
A SHO is a Court order which allows you to continue to drive under particular circumstances.
You may be eligible to apply for a SHO if your Queensland provisional or open driver licence has been suspended because:
- you have gained 2 or more demerit points when driving under an agreement to be of Good Driving Behaviour (GDB) for 1 year; or
- you have been convicted of an offence of driving more than 40 km/h over the speed limit.
You must lodge your application, along with your supporting evidence (for example, affidavit from your employer or doctor) with the correct Court within 21 days after your licence has been suspended.
A Court may grant a SHO to you if the Court is satisfied that:
- when the order is made, you hold an open or provisional licence that would be valid but for the suspension to which the SHO relates, and
- you are a fit and proper person to continue to drive, having regard to the safety of other road users, and
- the refusal to grant the SHO would cause extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living; or severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving you of your means of earning a living.
If you are granted a SHO the following restrictions will usually apply:
- the purpose for which you may drive a motor vehicle under your licence;
- the class of motor vehicle that you may drive under your licence;
- the times at which, or period of time during which, you may drive a motor vehicle under your licence; and
- that you may only drive a motor vehicle under your licence if you are carrying a copy of your SHO.
It is imperative that your SHO Application is properly prepared. We specialise in preparing detailed applications and affidavit material to ensure all of the relevant information is placed before the Court to give you the best chance of getting back on the road.
Your licence can be immediately suspended by authorities if you are charged with a drink driving offence in the following circumstances:
- your breath or blood alcohol concentration is 0.100 or above whilst operating or being in charge of a vehicle; or
- you fail to supply a specimen of breath, saliva or blood upon request; or
- you are charged with a second drink driving offence while an earlier drink driving offence is yet to be finalised in court; or
- you are charged with operating a vehicle dangerously whilst adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.
If your licence is immediately suspended it may be a number of weeks or months before your charge is finalised in Court. This may cause significant problems if you require a licence for work or other purposes relevant to you or your family.
Accordingly, you can apply for permission to drive until your charge is dealt with by the Court. This application is known as a ‘section 79E Order’.
If you are eligible to apply for a section 79E Order, the relevant application and supporting affidavits must be filed with 21 days of you being charged with a drink driving offence resulting in immediate suspension.
Only drivers with an open licence can apply for a section 79E Order and strict eligibility criteria apply. If the order is granted it will remain in force until the matter is finalised in Court.
We have extensive experience in providing advice and appearing before the Court urgently to make an application for a section 79E Order.
If you have been involved in or witness to a motor vehicle accident, you may have a legal obligation to remain at the scene of the accident and render necessary assistance to injured persons. In some circumstances there are also legislative requirements to provide the police with details of the accident.
Police officers are afforded additional powers of inquiry in relation to relevant vehicle incidents (see section 56 Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld)). A relevant vehicle incident is defined as:
“(a) an incident involving a vehicle on a road in which (i) death or injury was caused to a person; or (ii) damage was caused to a vehicle, tram, or train, or any other real or personal property; or (iii) death or injury was caused to an animal; or
(b) an incident involving a boat in which (i) death or injury was caused to a person; or (ii) damage was caused to a boat or any other real or personal property.”
The police may tell you that it is an offence not to answer their questions. You may still exercise your right to silence even if you are issued with a direction under this provision. You should obtain legal advice before providing any information to the police other than your correct name and address.