Everyone knows that drink driving is bad, but some don’t realise the true magnitude of their actions until it’s too late. Despite better awareness and more access to transport methods, drink driving remains a common issue here in Australia. If you are considering drinking and driving, here are some hard truths and all the reasons why you shouldn’t.
Truth one: It’s going to cost you financially
Every guilty drink driving charge incurs a monetary fine as part of the penalty. The higher your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), usually the higher the fine will be as they are considered more serious offences. The cost of the fine can vary and can be anything from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Other financial costs include a court fee which is around $100, not to mention the time you may have to take off to attend court as you can’t pick and choose when you go. They’ll tell you the time and day that you are required to appear. If you have damaged your car while driving under the influence or someone else’s property, you’ll have to come up with the money to make the repairs.
Insurance companies do not cover damages relating to drink driving charges, so you’ll be out of pocket for the full amount.
High range drink driving charges and those who are repeat offenders may be ordered by the court to install an Alcohol Interlock Device. These are expensive and cost approximately $2,000 per 12 months here in Queensland. If you have been ordered by the court to have one of these installed, it needs to be put in before you get your licence back after your disqualification period.
The financial burden of drink driving is substantial, and taking the risk to save a few dollars on an Uber or taxi can cost you big time in the long run.
Truth two: You can get a criminal record
Drink driving is considered a serious offence here in Queensland, and the courts take a no-nonsense approach to handing out penalties. Depending on the type of charge you have or if this is a second drink driving charge within a 5-year period, you could be looking at life-changing penalties, a jail sentence and a criminal record to name a few. This can impact your ability to find employment in the future and many other countries will not let in foreigners with a criminal record, which can put an end to any travel plans you may have had now or down the track.
Truth three: You’ll be without a licence for some time
Drink driving charges must include a disqualification period as part of the punishment here in Queensland. There is no way around it, unfortunately.
For a low range drink driving charge you’re looking at anything from 1 to 9 months of not being able to drive. Mid-range and high range drink driving charges are much longer and can be 18 months to 2 years or more. This means you cannot drive anywhere during this time.
However, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence, but this is something you need to have organised well before your court date.
Truth four: Risk losing your job
A lot of jobs require you to hold a drivers licence these days and even if your job doesn’t request a licence as a prerequisite, not being able to drive to and from work can be a major inconvenience. If you don’t live in an area that has frequent modes of public transport or have an alternative source of getting to and from your job, you may lose it as a result. Not everyone is eligible for a work licence, and it is up to the Magistrate whether they deem your need for a work licence necessary or not.
Another way your drink driving conviction may impact your employment is if criminal charges of any kind are not tolerated by your employer.
Truth five: Your ability to complete everyday tasks and maintain a normal social life are affected
Most of us don’t think about how much we use our cars, but something as simple as being able to run to the shops, go to an appointment, or visit family and friends when you like is put on hold. While you can ask others to help, walk or catch public transport, this can prove a hassle, especially if you have been disqualified from driving for a long time. It’s important to note that even if you do get granted a work licence by a Magistrate, you cannot use it to drive anywhere except to and from work using the shortest route. This means driving and only going slightly out of your way to stop at the shops is a big no, no. Doing so and getting caught can result in a longer disqualification period and a more expensive fine at the very least.
It’s simply not worth the risk
Drink driving is simply not worth the risk to your wallet, employment, criminal record, social life, and licence. Losing your licence can impact virtually every aspect of your life, and once it’s done it can’t be undone. While all these things are major negatives, driving when you’ve had too much to drink and hurting someone is something that you’ll have to live with.
If you’ve been charged with drink driving and need legal advice, contact our expert team here at Drink Driver Lawyer to get in touch with a Gold Coast Drink Driver Lawyer.