Work Licences – Drink Driving Offence
I’m going to court for drink driving and I’m pleading guilty. I’m unemployed but I’m looking for work. Can I apply for a work licence?
No, you can’t. To get a work licence, you have to show the court that if the court says no, this will cause you or your family extreme hardship by depriving you of your means of earning a living. So if you’re unemployed, you won’t be able to show the court that not getting a licence will deprive you of your means of earning a living.
There is no other special licence you can get.
I’m going to court for drink driving and I’m pleading guilty. I’m the only driver in the family and I need to take my children to/from school, take my mother for cancer treatment etc. I can get a special licence, can’t I?
No, you can’t. There’s no special licence you can get for any of these sorts of things. It doesn’t matter how much you need a licence, or how good your reasons are, because it’s not for work, there is just no power for the court to give you a licence.
I’m going to court for drink driving and I’m pleading guilty but I need my licence for work. Can I just tell the court this when I plead guilty and get a work licence?
No. To get a work licence you must be able to say “yes” to all of the things below:
at the time you were caught for drink driving you:
- held a current Queensland open driver’s licence for the vehicle you were driving
- had a blood alcohol level of less than 0.15%
- weren’t driving for your job or already under a work licence
- weren’t driving under a licence that required your blood alcohol level (BAC) to be zero e.g. if you are on a learner, provisional, probationary or restricted license.
- at the time you apply for the work licence you hold a current Queensland open driver’s licence
- in the last five years you have not:
- been convicted anywhere of drink driving or a similar offence
- been convicted in Queensland of dangerous driving
- had a licence suspended or cancelled (except in some circumstances)
Even if you can say “yes” that all of these things apply to you, to get a work licence:
- you must apply to the court at the time you are convicted and before the court orders that you are disqualified from driving
- you must show the court that
- you are a ‘fit and proper person’ and
- that if you don’t get one this will cause you or your family extreme hardship by depriving you of your means of earning a living.
If you are able to satisfy each of these requirements, it will be necessary to complete an Application and prepare an Affidavit by you and your employer explaining that you will lose your job if you have no licence.
The court may want you or both you and your boss to give evidence as well as reading your affidavit/s.
If the court gives you an order for a work licence, read the conditions very carefully. Driving outside the conditions of your work licence is breaking the law and your work licence will be cancelled.
The court order is not a licence, it is an order saying you can have one, so do not drive until you have been to Queensland Transport with the court order and Queensland Transport has noted your licence.
If after a court makes an order for a work licence and your job circumstances change, you can make an application to the court to change things. It is a similar process to the application for the work licence.
Remember, if you do get a work licence your alcohol limit is zero. So if you drive or attempt to drive with a work licence with any alcohol in your system you are breaking the law.
If you wish to make an Application for a work licence, please contact one of our lawyers for legal advice.
Last time I got caught drink driving I could drive until I went to court. This time the police said I can’t drive from now on even though I’m not in court for a while. What’s going on?
The law has changed. For all drink driving offences your licence is suspended immediately for at least the next 24 hours.
For some drink driving offences (for example if you were caught driving over the high alcohol limit, that’s a BAC of 0.10% or more) your licence is suspended immediately not just for 24 hours, but until you go to court and finalise your case.
During the time you are waiting to go to court for the drink driving offence, you can apply in writing to the court for a special licence.
It’s hard to get this sort of licence because there are not many circumstances where you will be able to show the court you should get one. So if you intend to plead guilty when you do go to court for the drink driving, you might decide it’s not worth trying for a special licence for the time you are waiting to go to court.
If you’ve had your licence suspended until court and you’re thinking about applying for a special licence, please contact one of our lawyers for legal advice.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our solicitors, please contact us.