Due to Queensland’s strict driving and traffic laws, it is surprisingly easy to find yourself at risk of losing your driver’s licence due to an error of judgment or a mistake that you might have made.
If you find yourself in a position where you face the suspension or disqualification of your Queensland driver’s licence, you should be aware that there are a number of special licence applications that are available for certain drivers who are at risk of losing their licence.
A number of these licence applications are set out below however you should always seek legal advice if you face the loss of your driver’s licence as there may be other options available to you.
If you face a suspension of your licence by Queensland Transport, you may be eligible for a “special hardship licence”. This licence not only allows you to continue driving for work purposes but also for any other purpose that is considered important enough by the Magistrate.
You can apply for a special hardship licence if:
- You have accumulated too many demerit points while on a Good Driving Behaviour period; and/or
- You face a suspension due to a high speed offence.
Special hardship licences are not granted automatically – you will need to convince the Magistrate that you deserve the licence. This can be a difficult challenge and you should seek legal advice if you need to apply for a special hardship licence.
Click here to find out more about special hardship licences.
If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, your licence will be disqualified for at least 1 month. Depending on the licence that you hold or the alcohol reading, the minimum disqualification could be 3 months or even 6 months.
If you find yourself facing a drink driving charge, you may be eligible for a drink driving work licence. If you are granted this licence, you will be able to continue driving for work purposes only. This means that you cannot drive for any other purpose other than for purposes directly connected with your ability to earn an income.
To apply for a drink driving work licence, you first need to show that you are eligible to make the application. For example, you cannot apply for a DUI work licence if:
- You were driving for work purposes when charged with drink driving;
- The alcohol reading was 0.15% or above (this is a “high range” DUI offence);
- Your licence was suspended or disqualified within the last 5 years (some exceptions apply).
If you are eligible to apply for a drink driving work licence, you will still need to convince a Magistrate that the application should be granted in your favour.
When deciding whether to grant the application, the Magistrate will consider a number of factors including:
- Your previous traffic history;
- The circumstances of the DUI offence; and
- What type of hardship you will suffer if the application is refused.
Applying for a DUI work licence can be a very complex and time-consuming process. Also, you only get one chance at making the application so if you are unsuccessful, you don’t get a second opportunity. For these reasons, it is important that you seek legal advice before you take any steps towards applying for a drink driving work licence.
Occasionally, a person commits a very serious traffic offence or a series of offences which results in a very long disqualification period – this can even include a lifetime driving ban. Unfortunately many people in this situation are unaware that they may be able to apply to a Court for the removal of their licence disqualification.
Before they can make this application, they need to be able to show that at least 2 years have passed since their most recent disqualification commenced. This means that if your licence was disqualified for up to 2 years, this application does not apply to you before the disqualification must be for a period longer than 2 years.
The next step is to convince a Magistrate or Judge that you deserve to have your licence back. This can be extremely difficult because the long disqualification means that you must have done something very serious to result in the lengthy disqualification being imposed. Therefore you will need to show that you have changed your ways and that you have a genuine need for your licence.
If you have been disqualified for a period of more than 2 years, contact us now to discuss how we can help you get your licence back.
We have not covered all the licence applications that are available to drivers in Queensland. Therefore if you face the loss of your licence for any reason, you should get in contact with us for an obligation-free chat. Even if there is no licence application available to you, we are confident that we can help to minimise the time you will be without your licence.