If you are convicted of a drink driving offence in Queensland, you face a mandatory licence disqualification of at least 1 month. Therefore if you rely on your driver’s licence for your employment, one of the first questions you will need to answer is how you are going to get to and from work without your licence.
In this situation, you may be eligible for a drink driving work licence which will allow you to continue driving for work purposes only.
Applying for a work licence can be a complicated process and you only get one change. It is therefore important that you hire an expert DUI and drink driving lawyer who understands your situation and who can ensure you get the very best outcome possible.
Read on to find out more about drink driving work licences.
What is a Work Licence?
If a person is convicted of drink driving (DUI) in Queensland, he or she will face a minimum licence disqualification period of 1 month. Similar penalties apply for drivers who are convicted of driving with drugs in their system such as cannabis, ecstasy and ice.
For many people, the loss of their licence for any period of time will cause them extreme financial hardship as they will lose their job and their only source of income, leaving them unable to financially support themselves or their families.
In these circumstances, the person can apply to court for a ‘work licence’, also known as a ‘restricted licence’. This licence allows the person to drive only for work purposes and only within the hours ordered by the court. It does now allow you to drive to the local shops to pick up groceries or to drop off children at school. The conditions therefore are quite strict.
How to apply for a Work Licence
A number of steps are involved in applying for a work licence in Queensland after you have been charged with a DUI offence.
The correct application form need to be filled out accurately and completely. These can be obtained from any Magistrates Court.
An affidavit will also need to be supplied with your documentation. An Affidavit is a written oath you make in front of a Justice of the Peace and will need to include your work details, the circumstances of the offence, family details, your income and your weekly expenditure.
You may also need to ask your employer to come to court with you to give evidence about your need for a licence to do your job and how your employment will be negatively impacted if you lose your licence. Alternatively, the police may only require an affidavit from your employer and they will not be required to go to court.
When can you apply for a Work Licence?
Once you have been charged with a DUI offence, you will receive a notice to appear in court.
You must advise the Magistrate that you want to apply for a work licence. This should be done before you are convicted and before the court disqualifies your licence.
All of the material you need to apply for a work licence needs to be lodged in the relevant courthouse. If you do not supply this material when required, your application may be rejected.
For the application process to proceed smoothly for you and in your favour, contact us to discuss how we can help..
Once the Magistrate has considered all the material along with any submissions the police prosecutors may have, he or she will decide on the penalty that will be imposed on you for drink driving and whether a work licence will be granted and what conditions will apply.
Am I eligible to apply?
Not everyone who has been convicted of drink driving can apply for a work licence, as there are a number of preconditions that must first be satisfied. Some of these include:
- Correct Licence Type – You will need to hold a current Open Queensland driver’s licence to apply for a work licence in this State.
- Alcohol Reading – Your alcohol reading must not have been over 0.15% when you were caught for the offence.
- Driving for Work Purposes – You must not have been driving for work purposes when caught drink driving or while holding a restricted work licence.
- Suspension – Your driver’s licence must not have been suspended or disqualified in the last 5 years (some exceptions apply).
It is also important to note that work licences cannot be granted if you are unemployed but looking for work, or if it is convenient for you to have a licence but you do not need it for your job.
A work licence will also not be granted if you need to take your children to school or relatives to medical appointments or if you have a job that requires a licence but you could easily get a new job where a driver’s licence is not needed.
Even if you satisfy the preconditions, you need to convince the court that you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence and that you will suffer extreme financial hardship if your application is refused. With strict criteria in place, a magistrate can easily refuse your application, which is why it is worthwhile seeking out a lawyer to assist with your defence and give you the best chance possible at receiving a work licence.
Factors affecting eligibility to apply for a Work Licence
Even if you meet the eligibility criteria above, the success of your application depends on a number of factors, including:
Prior Traffic History
The state of your driving history will significantly impact your eligibility for a work licence in Queensland. If you have not been convicted of drink driving, dangerous driving or similar offences in recent years, this will increase your chance of receiving a work licence.
Hardship if Application Rejected
The court will need to be convinced that you would suffer actual financial hardship if you lost your driver’s licence. It is not enough that you might only suffer some financial loss. The most obvious way to convince the magistrate of this is to show that you would lose your employment if you lost your licence and that you do not have any backup funds available.
The court would also need to consider alternative arrangements that could possibly be made to get to and from work such as taking public transport and so on. If an alternative form of transport is possible, you will almost certainly be denied a work licence.
It is important that you are fully prepared for your application because in Queensland you only get one opportunity to apply for a work licence. If you are unsuccessful, you will lose your licence and will be unable to drive for the period of time ordered by the court.
You should seek legal advice to determine whether you are eligible for a work licence. If you are eligible for a work licence, you can trust that we will do everything we can to ensure the application is granted.
How we can help you with your Work Licence
Make sure you have the very best chance possible when you face court for your drink driving offence by having Harper Finch Lawyers handle your case. Our DUI lawyers have been through this process many times before and we always fight to get our clients the best results.
We have successfully helped hundreds of our clients to obtain work licences so we know how to convince the magistrate that the application should be granted in your favour. We also know how to reduce the period of your licence disqualification and the fine you will receive.