Most people are aware that they will lose their driver’s licence for a period of time if they are caught drink driving in Queensland. However many people don’t realise that there can be many other consequences that can impact them as a result of drink driving.
Alcohol Interlock Device
If you have been caught drink driving twice in 5 years, or if you were caught drink driving with a reading above 0.15%, you will be required to install an alcohol interlock device in your vehicle before you are eligible to get a new licence after your disqualification period ends. These devices are attached to your vehicle’s ignition and prevent you from starting your vehicle unless you blow into the device and it records a nil alcohol reading.
These devices can be very expensive to install and can cause all sorts of complications for people, such as those who drive multiple cars for work.
There is a procedure where you can apply to have an exemption from the device but there is no guarantee that the application will be successful.
Recording of a Conviction
If you plead guilty to a drink driving offence, or if you are found guilty at the end of a trial, you will be sentenced by the magistrate. One of the considerations for the magistrate is whether to record a conviction on your traffic history or not. Ordinarily a conviction WILL be recorded, unless the magistrate is convinced that it shouldn’t be.
Convictions can create significant difficulties for people who, for example, are applying for a new job or who want to travel overseas. For this reason, it is obviously better to have no conviction recorded.
Impact of Previous Convictions
If you are convicted of a drink driving offence and you have a previous drink driving offence within the last 5 years, then your minimum disqualification period will automatically increase. The amount that it will increase will depend on the seriousness of both your previous drink driving offence and your current one. In this way, you are effectively being double punished for an offence you may have committed 4 years earlier.
If you are caught drink driving in Queensland with a reading of below 0.15%, then your licence should be automatically suspended for a period of 24 hours. If, however, your reading is higher than 0.15%, your licence will be suspended until it is finalised in court. Given that your case might not be finalised for a month or more, it means that your licence will be suspended until your matter is finalised and then it will be disqualified for a further period of time (assuming you are convicted of the offence). This can result in extended periods of time without your licence which can cause severe hardship, particularly for those who need their driver’s licence for work or personal reasons.
As can be seen, there are a number of consequences that can come with drink driving in Queensland. This is just another reason why you should reconsider getting behind a wheel after drinking.