There has been a lot of media attention recently on the issue of whether the police can, or should be able to, fingerprint drink drivers. This has resulted in Harper Finch Lawyers receiving a number of enquiries from concerned citizens about whether they’ve been made to provide their fingerprints when they should not have been. We therefore thought that we would take this opportunity to provide some clarification about the law as it currently stands.
In Queensland, the police can only order a person to provide fingerprints in certain circumstances. For example, a person can be required to provide their fingerprints if they have committed an offence against the Weapons Act 1990 or the Explosives Act 1999. Alternatively, they can be made to provide their fingerprints if they have been charged with an offence that has a maximum penalty of at least 1 year’s imprisonment.
The maximum penalties for first-time drink driving/DUI offences in Queensland range from 3-9 months. Therefore, a person should not be required to provide their fingerprints if charged with a first-time drink driving/DUI offence
However if a person has previous drink driving/DUI offences or if the offence was committed at the same time as another offence (such as driving dangerously while intoxicated), then the maximum penalty can increase beyond 9 months and even 1 year. In these circumstances, the police can ask you to provide your fingerprints for their records.
If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law, call Harper Finch Lawyers without delay to make sure that your rights are protected.