07 Mar

Work Licence for Drug Driving Offences


Man in vehicleIf you are pleading guilty to an offence of drug driving, the Court must, in addition to any other penalty, disqualify you from holding or obtaining a motor vehicle driver license.  In some circumstances you may be eligible to apply for a restricted work license.

Unfortunately, in Queensland, there is no capacity to grant you a Special Hardship Order for a drug driving offence. A Special Hardship Order would ordinarily enable a person to attend to activities such as taking children to and from school or attending to medical appointments with the ill. In Queensland however there is only a capacity to grant a license for work purposes.


There are two types of drug driving offences in Queensland. You may be charged with driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of drugs.  Alternatively, you can be charged with an offence of driving while relevant drug is present.  The regulations prescribe the following drugs as being as “relevant drug”:

  1. Cannabis;
  2. Ecstasy; or
  3. Ice;

If you are charged with driving or being in charge of a vehicle whilst under the influence of a dangerous drug you are prohibited from obtaining a work license or any other sort of order that would allow you to drive during the disqualification period.

If you fall into this category and continue to drive in breach of the disqualification period you would face an offence of disqualified driving and would be subject to a further disqualification period of between two to five years. See our previous disqualified driving blog post.

If you are charged with driving, or being in charge of a vehicle with a prescribed drug in your system than you may be eligible for a work license.


To be able to apply for a work license for an offence of driving with a relevant drug present you must be able to answer “yes” to the following.

  1. At that time you were intercepted driving with the relevant drug present, you held a current Queensland open driver license for the class of vehicle that you were driving;
  2. At the time you were intercepted you were not driving for your employment;
  3. You were not driving on a work license whilst the relevant drug was present;
  4. At the time you applied for the work license you hold a current Queensland provisional or open driver license;
  5. You have not been convicted of an offence of driving with a relevant drug present or a drink driving offence within the last five years;
  6. You have not been convicted of an offence of dangerous driving within the last five years; and
  7. Have not had a license suspended or cancelled other than through SPER;

If you are able to answer yes to all of these things then you are eligible to apply for a work license.

Work Licence Procedure

An experienced traffic lawyer will be able to guide you through the Application process, draft your affidavit material and appear in court on your behalf.  Our previous Blog What to Know before applying for a Qld Restricted Work Licence”  offers more advice about the application process.


This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services providers.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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