Brisbane- (07) 3172 7100 Ipswich- (07) 3050 7148 reception@cravenlawyers.com.au

OFFENCES OUR TRAFFIC LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU WITH 

Careless driving of a motor vehicle (Driving without due care and attention)

The law expects drivers of vehicles to exercise due care and attention and reasonable consideration for other road users. A failure to do this could lead to being charged with an offence of careless driving, commonly known as driving without due care and attention under Section 83 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld).

This is a less serious offence than dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. However, it can arise in circumstances where a driver is not paying attention to what is in front of them and has to take evasive action because of their inadvertent attention. There does not have to be any accident caused in order for a person to be charged with this offence, it is purely down to the manner of driving of the road user.

The maximum penalty for the offence of careless driving of a motor vehicle is 40 penalty units ($4,876.00) or 6 months imprisonment.

Disqualification

The Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld) provides a Magistrate/Judge may disqualify a person from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence absolutely or for any period of time.

Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle (Dangerous Driving)

It is an offence under section 328A(1) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) to operate (i.e. drive) or interfere with the operation of a vehicle in a dangerous manner.

This offence is considered by the Courts to be very serious and this is reflected in the maximum penalty, which is 3 years imprisonment or 200 penalty units ($24,380.00).

The maximum penalty increases to 5 years imprisonment or 400 penalty units ($48,760.00) in certain circumstances, namely, if the person: –

(a) at the time of committing the offence was adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; or 


(b) at the time of committing the offence was excessively speeding (driving or operating a vehicle at a speed more than 40km/h over the speed limit) or taking part in an unlawful race or unlawful speed trial; or 


(c) has been previously convicted either upon indictment or summarily of the offence of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle under section 328A
 of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

The maximum penalty also increases in other circumstances where death or grievous bodily harm is caused.

What is operating or interfering with the operation of a vehicle dangerously?

The Criminal Code states that this means:

“..operate, or in any way interfere with the operation of, a vehicle at a speed or in a way that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including—

(a) the nature, condition and use of the place; and 


(b) the nature and condition of the vehicle; and 


(c) the number of persons, vehicles or other objects that are, or might reasonably be expected to be, in the place; and 


(d) the concentration of alcohol in the operator’s blood or breath; and 


(e) the presence of any other substance in the operator’s body.”

If you have been charged with the offence of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle call Craven Lawyers now for professional advice.

Drink Driving (DUI)

Drink driving is one of the most common traffic offences persons commit, because it is not always easy to gauge if you are over the limit. The Courts take a very dim view of drink driving offences because of the potential harm that can be caused to other road users as a consequence of the intoxication.

Please remember drink driving offences apply to not only persons who are driving a vehicle, but also persons who attempt to put in motion a vehicle, and persons in charge of a vehicle.

The penalties for drink driving are severe and can result in a penalty involving a term of imprisonment. In some circumstances the legislation provides that the Court must impose a term of imprisonment.

The penalty imposed will depend on a number of factors, including: –

♦ the circumstances of the driving.

♦ your antecedents (age, background etc.).

♦ if you have a prior criminal or traffic history.

♦ the type of driver licence held by you at the time of the offence (if any).

♦ your Blood Alcohol Concentration level (BAC) at the time of driving.

♦ the type of vehicle that was being driven.

The Transport Operations and Road Use Management Act 1995 (Qld) is the piece of legislation that governs drink driving offences. The legislation is very complicated and there are many different penalties that are applicable depending on the blood alcohol concentration and whether or not a person has previously been convicted of traffic offences or offences under the Criminal Code involving driving.

At Craven Lawyers we can assist you with your case in this complex area of law and achieve the best possible outcome for you in your circumstances.

Alcohol limits

Queensland has 4 different types of alcohol limits that determine the different types of penalties that may be applicable. These 4 types of limits are: –

(1) No alcohol limit

You will be over this limit if the concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath is greater than zero.

(2) General alcohol limit

You will be over this limit if the concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath is greater than 0.05 BAC.

(3) Middle alcohol limit

You will be over this limit if the concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath is greater than 0.10 BAC.

(4) High alcohol limit

You will be over this limit if the concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath is greater than 0.15 BAC.

Penalties & Disqualification Periods

Driving while over the no alcohol limit but not over the general alcohol (0.05 BAC) limit if particular type of driver or licence

The maximum penalty for a first time offender is 14 penalty units ($1,706.60) or 3 months imprisonment. PLEASE NOTE the maximum penalty increases in certain circumstances.

The mandatory disqualification period for a first time offender is 3 to 9 months from the date of conviction. PLEASE NOTE the maximum period of disqualification increases in certain circumstances.

Driving while over the general alcohol limit (0.05 BAC), but not over middle alcohol limit (0.10 BAC)

The maximum penalty for a first time offender is 14 penalty units ($1,706.60) or 3 months imprisonment. PLEASE NOTE the maximum penalty increases in certain circumstances.

The mandatory disqualification period for a first time offender is between 1 to 9 months from the date of conviction. PLEASE NOTE the maximum period of disqualification increases in certain circumstances.

Driving while over the middle alcohol limit (0.10 BAC), but not over high alcohol limit (0.15 BAC)

The maximum penalty for a first time offender is 20 penalty units ($2,438.00) or 6 months imprisonment. PLEASE NOTE the maximum penalty increases in certain circumstances.

The mandatory disqualification period for a first time offender is 3 to 12 months from the date of conviction. PLEASE NOTE the maximum period of disqualification increases in certain circumstances.

Driving while over the high alcohol limit (0.15 BAC)

The maximum penalty for a first time offender is 28 penalty units ($3,413.20) or 9 months imprisonment. PLEASE NOTE the maximum penalty increases in certain circumstances and in some circumstances the legislation provides the Court must impose a term of imprisonment.

The mandatory disqualification period for a first time offender is 6 months from the date of conviction. PLEASE NOTE the maximum period of disqualification increases in certain circumstances.

Possible Defences to a drink driving charge

  1. The breath, saliva or blood specimen taken by police to prove the offence was taken more than three hours after you had driven the vehicle, been in charge of the vehicle or attempted to put in motion of the vehicle.
  2. You were not driving the vehicle.
  3. You did not attempt to put the vehicle in motion.
  4. You were not in charge of the vehicle.
Drug Driving

Driving while under the influence of drugs

Like drink driving, it is an offence in Queensland to drive, attempt to put in motion or be in charge of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence of a drug the maximum penalty is 28 penalty units ($3,413.20) or 9 months imprisonment.

PLEASE NOTE the maximum penalty increases in certain circumstances.

Disqualification: The Court will disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for a period of up to 6 months. PLEASE NOTE this disqualification period increases if you have been convicted of certain offences within a period of 5 years of the present offence.

Driving while a relevant drug is present in blood or saliva

It is also an offence in Queensland if you drive attempt to put in motion or be in charge of a motor vehicle while a “relevant drug” is present in your blood or saliva. The relevant drugs are: –

(1) 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (a.k.a batmans, ecstasy, ekkies, E, pills, roundies, smilies);

(2) Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (a.k.a cannabis, dope, ganja, grass, hashish, hash, marijuana, M.J, mary jane, pot, puff, reefer, sinsemilla, skunk, spliff, weed);

(3) Methylamphetamine (a.k.a ICE, crystal meth, glass, GO, quartz).

If you are found guilty of driving while any of the above drugs are present in your blood or salvia, the maximum penalty is 14 penalty units ($1,706.60) or 3 months imprisonment.

PLEASE NOTE the maximum penalty increases in certain circumstances.

Disqualification: The Court will disqualify you from driving for a period of between 1 and 9 months. PLEASE NOTE this disqualification period increases if you have been convicted of certain offences within a period of 5 years of the present offence.

Unlicensed driving (Driving without a licence)

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on the road in Queensland without holding a valid driver licence for the type of vehicle being driven. This is quite a common offence for some persons if they have lost demerit points or have debts with the State Penalties and Enforcement Register (SPER). If you fail to pay your debts with SPER they can disqualify you from driving. The issue for some people arises when they move house and don’t notify Queensland Transport or SPER of their move and consequently never get notified that their driver licence has been suspended.

The penalties for this offence vary depending on the circumstances.

If at the time you committed the offence you were not disqualified by a Court order from holding or obtaining a driver licence, then the maximum penalty is 40 penalty units ($4,876.00) or 1 year’s imprisonment.

If you committed the offence at a time when you were disqualified by a Court order from holding or obtaining a driver licence then the maximum penalty is 60 penalty units ($7,314.00) or 18 months imprisonment.

Disqualification periods

If you committed the offence at a time when you were disqualified by a Court order then you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for a period of between 2 and 5 years.

You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for a period of 6 months, if: –

♦ you committed the offence at a time when you were disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence because of the allocation of demerit points.

♦ you committed the offence while your authority to drive on a Queensland road under a non-Queensland driver licence was suspended because of the allocation of demerit points.

♦ you committed the offence while you were disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence because you had been convicted of an offence under the Queensland Road Rules of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit.

♦ you committed the offence while your authority to drive on a Queensland road under a non-Queensland driver licence was suspended because you had been convicted of an offence under the Queensland Road Rules of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit.

You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for a period of between 1 and 6 months, if:-

♦ you committed the offence while your driver licence was suspended under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999.

♦ you committed the offence while your authority to drive on a Queensland road under a non-Queensland driver licence was suspended under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999.

♦ you committed the offence while you were a repeat unlicensed driver for the offence.

Call Us Now on (07) 3172 7100 and let us help

you to get back on the road.