If you are caught driving with a blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.05, you may be charged with drink driving and face a range of penalties depending on the severity of the offence. Your driver’s licence will be suspended immediately for 24 hours and you will have to go to court. At minimum, you will lose your licence and receive a monetary fine but repeat offenders and those who have committed additional offences may result in higher penalties such as imprisonment or community service orders. Facing a first-time drinking charge can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. The rules and regulations surrounding drink driving charges can vary from state to state. Here’s what you need to know about first-time drink driving charges in Queensland.
The legal alcohol limit in Queensland
If you are caught driving with a blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.05, you will be charged with drink driving.
The legal BAC limit in Queensland is 0.05 grams per 100 ml of blood or 50 millilitres per 100mls of breath. If your BAC is found to be this or above this level, it could result in fines and loss of licence as well as additional charges.
The above limit only applies if you hold a current open-class licence with no restrictions. If you have a Learner’s Licence, a Provisional Driver’s Licence or a Probationary Licence, your legal alcohol limit is zero. Anything over this is considered drink driving and you will be charged accordingly.
Your driver’s licence will be suspended immediately for 24 hours
Your driver’s licence will be suspended immediately for 24 hours. This means you cannot drive or get behind the wheel of a vehicle, even if it’s parked.
You can apply for an exemption from this rule if your job requires that you drive, such as being an ambulance driver. Additionally, if your employment requires you to drive, or you need to drive to and from work, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted licence.
Why are drink driving offences considered serious in Queensland courts?
Drink driving is dangerous and can ruin your own life or someone else’s. If you drink and drive, you are putting yourself at risk of having an accident that could result in serious injury or death. It is also illegal to drink alcohol while driving.
You will have to go to court
If you are charged with drink driving, you will have to appear in court on a date specified by the police. You will need to appear in person at this time.
If found guilty of drink driving or pleading guilty, a fine will likely be imposed as part of your punishment.
In addition, you will have to pay additional court fees and may also be ordered to complete community service.
At minimum, you will lose your licence and receive a monetary fine
At minimum, you will lose your licence and receive a monetary fine. The duration of your suspension can vary depending on your BAC at the time of the offence and the type of licence you hold. You may also be required to do community service or an alcohol interlock program.
Below are the maximum penalties for a first time drink driving charge
Learner, Probationary or Provisional licences that are over 0.00 but under 0.05 BAC – disqualification period of 3 to 9 months, a maximum fine of $2,012 and a maximum jail term of 3 months.
Drivers with a BAC of 0.05 and over, but under 0.10 – a disqualification period of 1 to 9 months, a maximum fine of $2,012 and a 3-month maximum jail term.
Drivers with a BAC of 0.10 and over but under 0.15 –
disqualification period of 3 to 12 months, a maximum fine of $2,875
and a maximum jail term of 6 months.
For drivers with a BAC of 0.15 and over – the disqualification period is a minimum of 6 months, a maximum fine of $4,025 and a maximum jail term of 9 months.
More serious consequences will apply for repeat offenders and those who have committed additional offences
If you are a repeat offender, the consequences for drink driving will be much more serious. You could face higher fines and longer licence suspensions. The more times you have been convicted of drink driving previously, the longer your licence will be suspended and the higher your fines will be.
Under tough new laws, drink drivers will have to undertake an education course and the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program has been expanded to more offenders. Despite increased awareness and heavier penalties for drink driving, it continues to be a prevalent issue and is still a leading cause of road-related deaths.
Should I seek legal advice for my drink driving charge?
If you’ve been charged with drink driving in Queensland, the first thing you should do is contact a traffic lawyer for advice as they can help you look into acquiring Work Licenses QLD. While you can choose to represent yourself, there are several benefits to hiring a lawyer to represent you. They can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are not compromised in any way.
Knowing your rights
If you are facing a drink driving charge, it is important to know your rights. You should be aware that:
- You have the right to legal representation
- You have the right to be informed of your rights in a language you understand (if necessary)
- You have the right to an interpreter if English is not your first language or if you have a hearing impairment or speech impairment.
Police officers must treat all people with dignity and respect at all times during their interaction with them.
With a skilled traffic lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be respected and maintained throughout the legal process.
When you are facing a drink driving charge, it is important that you know what your rights are and how to protect them.
Contact the drink driving law experts
Contact the drink driving law experts at Drink Driver Lawyer today! We help people just like you navigate through the legal jargon and court process to ensure you achieve an outcome that you are entirely satisfied with. Get in touch today!
DISCLAIMER: This is general information only and should not be used in place of legal advice.