Drug Driving – Drive under the influence of a drug

What is the offence of drive under the influence of a drug?

A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road while they are under the influence of a drug.

If a police officer reasonably suspects that your driving ability has been impaired by any drug you may be required to provide a specimen of blood for analysis. If you fail to provide a specimen, or a drug is detected in your blood, you will be charged with driving under the influence of liquor or a drug.

What is the penalty?

When dealing with your charge of driving under the influence of liquor or a drug, a magistrate may:

  • disqualify you from driving for up to 6 months
  • fine you up to $3,413
  • impose a maximum term of imprisonment up to 9 months.

If you are charged with a repeat drug driving offence a court may:

  • disqualify you from driving for up to 2 years
  •  fine you up to $7,314
  • impose a term of imprisonment for a period of time determined by the court.

If you fail to provide a specimen of saliva for testing, a court may:

  • disqualify you from driving for up to 9 months
  • fine you up to $4,876
  • impose a term of imprisonment of up to six months.

What does the court take into account in sentencing?

There are a number of factors that the court will take into account when determining the appropriate penalty. The include:

  • The reason for your driving at the time of the offence.
  • Your previous traffic history
  • Was the drug driving associated with the commission of another offence.
  • Your personal circumstances.
  • Any other circumstances the Court considers relevant.

Frequently asked questions.

Q. Do the Courts consider driving under the influence of a drug to be a serious offence?
A: The rising Queensland road toll means that Magistrates are taking a zero tolerance approach to the offence. For a first offence you would expect a fine and a period of disqualification.  Subsequent offences can result in longer disqualification periods and may attract imprisonment of up to three months.

Q: If I am convicted of driving under the influence of a drug am I able to apply for a work license?
A:If you are charged with driving under the influence of a drug you are not eligible for a work license no matter how great your need for one.

Q.If I am convicted of driving under the influence of a drug am I able to apply for a Special Hardship Order?
A:If you are charged with driving under the influence of a drug you are not eligible for a Special Hardship Order.

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