Traffic Law

Being charged with Drink Driving? Know your rights and back on your feet!

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What is Drink Driving?

A drink driving charge is determined based on the amount of alcohol content in your Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test.

If you are caught driving beyond the prescribed alcohol limit, you will be charged with a drink driving offence.

In Queensland, there are 4 alcohol limits. These limits are used to apply penalties if you’re caught drink driving. The limits are:

No alcohol limit: 0.00
General alcohol limit: 0.05 – 0.099
Middle alcohol limit: 0.10 – 0.149
High alcohol limit: 0.15 and above
Traffic Law

What are the penalties for Drink Driving?

First Time Drink Driving

Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration Licence Disqualification Period Maximum Fine Maximum Imprisonment Period
0 – 0.049 3 – 9 months 14 Penalty Units 3 months
0.05 – 0.099 1 – 9 months 14 Penalty Units 3 months
0.10 – 0.149 3 – 12 months 20 Penalty Units 6 months
≥0.15 Minimum of 6 months 28 Penalty Units 9 months

Repeat Drink Driving

Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration Licence Disqualification Period Maximum Fine Maximum Imprisonment Period
≥ 0.15 Up to 2 Years 60 Penalty Units Determined by Court

*Please click here to find the current value of the penalty unit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The police use a breathalyser to find out if you have consumed any alcohol. The breathalyser will show your Breath/Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

For below drivers, if your BAC is not zero, you are breaking the law:

  • You have a learner licence
  • You have a provisional, probationary or restricted licence (for example, a ‘P’ licence)
  • You have a class RE motorbike licence and you have held that licence for less than 12 months or you are learning to ride a class R motorbike
  • You drive a tractor or specifically constructed vehicle
  • You drive a truck, a bus, articulated vehicle, road train, a vehicle carrying dangerous goods, a tow truck, pilot vehicle, taxi, limousine or driving instructor vehicle

For all other drivers, if your BAC is 0.05 or more, you are ‘over the limit’ and you are breaking the law.

The short answer is no.

24-hour suspension

Your licence will be immediately suspended for the next 24 hours if:

  • the police pulled you over
  • you are over your legal BAC limit
  • the BAC is less than 0.10

If you drive within that 24 hours, even if it is just to go back to where you left your car and drive it home, you are breaking the law.

Immediate suspension

For some drink driving offences, you licence is suspended immediately, not just for 24 hours. If you drive any time before you go to court, you are breaking the law. These include:

  • Driving or in charge of a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.10 or more
  • Not giving the police a breath specimen or allowing them to take blood for it to be analysed
  • A second drink driving offence while you still have a drink driving charge to be finalised in court

The immediate suspension will end when the drink driving charge:

  • has been dealt with by the court
  • is withdrawn, or
  • discontinued

You may be eligible to apply for a special licence to allow you drive before you go to court. Contact our experienced traffic lawyers at Ascent Lawyers for more information.

No. A drink driving offence is a regulatory traffic offence. You will not receive a criminal record unless you are driving dangerously in addition to your intoxication, resulting in a police charge of dangerous operation of a vehicle.

It is possible for you to apply for a work licence if:

  • you held an open licence at the time of the offence
  • are charged with low or mid-range drink driving
  • had no suspensions of your licence in the last 5 years

This must be done at the time you appear in the Court to plead guilty. It cannot be done afterwards.

You cannot apply for a work licence if you are charged with high range drink driving (DUI).

Sadly, you can face drink driving charges even if you were not driving the vehicle!

The law sees you as being in charge of the car as soon as you are in the driver seat and have the keys close by!

The unfortunate answer is yes.

According to the law, whether or not the car was on a road is irrelevant. This means that even if your car was parked on private property or a parking lot, the police can still charge you with drinking driving.

The answer is yes. You will always be disqualified from holding or getting a Queensland driver’s licence if you found guilty for drink driving. The period of disqualification depends on your BAC levels and your personal circumstances.

The disqualification period begins immediately after the court has sentenced you. You should hand in your driver’s licence to the Prosecutor at the Court or the Department of Transport.

You can apply to have your driver licence reissued.

You will be issued with a probationary licence, which you must hold for at least 1 year. During this 1 year, when driving, you must carry your probationary license at all times and have a 0 blood alcohol concentration.

You may need to complete a short online drink driving course or the repeat drink driving course.

You may also be subject to the alcohol ignition interlock requirement once your disqualification period ends.

We firmly believe your driving privileges must be protected.

We sort through the complexity, penalties, and circumstances to give you the best possible option.

We explain everything to you, so you know what will happen from beginning to end, giving you peace of mind.

We make sure your case is heard in court as soon as possible, wasting less of your valuable time.

We give you constant updates, so you can stay informed throughout the entire process.

You can take advantage of our free initial consultation, tell us your story today!

We will contact you as soon as possible, your interests are our top priority.

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Do not risk your licence.
Do not risk your future.

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