After a big night, some people may feel that they are okay to drive the next day, but it is not uncommon for people to be charged for driving with alcohol or drugs still in their body, even after a good night’s rest. Depending on your traffic history, it may impact your ability to hold a driver’s license due to the risk of suspension and disqualification. If you heavily rely on your car for work, you may be able to apply for a restricted licence to prevent you from losing your livelihood.
by Joel Murgha
What is a restricted licence?
A restricted licence is more commonly referred to as a work licence. This is a court-issued licence which allows certain disqualified drivers to drive so that the disqualified person may continue to earn a livelihood and is usually subject to multiple strict conditions.
When can the Court issue a restricted licence?
A person applying for a restricted licence must:
- be convicted by a court for drink driving or driving while a relevant drug is in the person’s blood or saliva; and
- be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence.
An application for a restricted licence is to be made at the court proceeding at which the person applying is being convicted and suspended from holding a Queensland driver licence for committing a relevant alcohol or drug related driving offence.
What does the Court consider?
Before making an order for a restricted licence, the Court must be satisfied that the person applying for the restricted licence is:
- a fit and proper person to hold a restricted licence; and
- the refusal of a restricted licence would cause extreme hardship to the applicant or the applicant’s family by depriving the applicant of the ability to earn a livelihood.
The Court will not simply issue a restricted licence because it is more convenient for the applicant to drive to work. There must be a genuine need for the licence so that the applicant can continue working and earning a living.
When the Court must not issue a restricted licence:
The Court must not issue an applicant with a restricted licence under any of the following circumstances:
- the applicant’s licence has been suspended or cancelled, or the applicant has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence within the 5 years previous; and
- the applicant has been convicted of drink driving, driving while a relevant drug is in the person’s blood or saliva or dangerous driving in the 5 years previous; and
- the offence that resulted in the applicant being disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence occurred in an activity directly connected with the applicant earning a livelihood; and
- the applicant was not authorised to drive the vehicle under their driver licence at the time; and
- the applicant was on a restricted licence at the time of committing the offence which resulted in the applicant being disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence.
Additionally, the Court is unlikely to issue a restricted licence for people that are disqualified because of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver is presumed to be driving under the influence of alcohol if they are driving whilst of the high alcohol limit which a Blood Alcohol Concentration of over 0.15. These are more serious offences and cannot apply to restricted licences.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of circumstances and there may be further circumstances in which the Court may or may not issue a restricted driver licence. Therefore, it is important to speak with a solicitor about your circumstances and obtain individually tailored advice. If you have been charged with drink driving or driving while a relevant drug is present in your blood or saliva contact us today to discuss obtaining a restricted licence.