By Sarah Camm
The countdown to Christmas is filled with many wonderful events, Christmas parties, family barbecues, and other opportunities to have a few cold drinks in the amazing weather Brisbane has to offer this time of year. It is important that employers and employees plan how to get home from the office Christmas party, and where possible arrangements are made to stay over at your mate’s house rather than driving home. But mistakes happen, and sometimes those mistakes can mean you are facing an extended period without a drivers’ licence.
If you need your drivers’ licence for work, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted licence under section 87 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld) (“TORUM ACT”).
There are a couple of important things to note regarding applying for a restricted licence:
- you must apply for it, it will not be automatically granted
- evidence in the form of an affidavit will be required from you, your employer and sometimes other family members setting out your circumstances
- the application must be made and heard when you are disqualified, that is, when you are sentenced for the offence
- the court will impose the conditions it sees fit when granting the restricted licence, and you must not drive a vehicle for other purposes or other than in accordance with the court’s orders
- the court will take the granting of a restricted licence into account when sentencing you for the offence, which may result in a longer period of disqualification
To be eligible for a restricted licence you must satisfy the following criteria:
- you must be charged with, and convicted of, one of the following offences:
- drink driving, with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) reading of less than 0.15
- driving with a relevant drug in your blood or saliva
- failure to provide a specimen of breath or saliva at the roadside (but not at the police station)
- as a consequence of the conviction, you will be disqualified from driving
- the court must consider you are a fit and proper person to hold a restricted licence, having regard to the safety of other road users and the public generally
- extreme hardship would be caused to you or your family because you would be unable to earn an income. General hardship, such as an inability to take children to school or medical appointments will not satisfy this criteria, even if you are the only member of your family who drives.
You will be ineligible for a restricted licence if:
- this will be your second conviction for a similar offence, or you have previously had your licence cancelled or suspended, in less than 5 years;
- your BAC reading was 0.15 or higher
- the offence occurred while you were driving for work purposes
- the offence occurred whilst you were driving with a restricted licence
- the offence occurred while you were driving a vehicle you were not authorised to drive
- you are a learner driver or on your p-plates
- you are unemployed
At Just Us Lawyers we can help put you in the best possible position to be successful in your application for a restricted licence. If you have been charged with a drink driving offence, and you will be unable to keep your job without being able to drive, contact our office on 07 3505 0355 for advice on whether you will be eligible for a restricted licence, and for assistance in making the application to court.