Drink Driving

Writing Slide

What is the offence?

Little man holds a red Question MarkThere are four drink-driving ranges which are in effect in Queensland as follows:

  1. Driving over the no alcohol limit (.00);
  2. Driving over the general alcohol limit (.05);
  3. Driving over the mid alcohol limit (.10); and
  4. Driving over the high alcohol limit (.15).

For more information on the respective ranges read our blog article “Drink driving ranges. What are the general, mid and high alcohol ranges?”

What is the penalty?

The following table indicates the maximum penalties for each of the most frequent offending ranges.

Offence Fine (Penalty Units) Imprisonment
No Alcohol Limit 14 3 Months
General Alcohol Limit 14 3 Months
High Alcohol Limit-nil prev 28 9 Months
High Alcohol Limit- 1 Prev 60 18 Months
High Alcohol Limit- 2 Prev  – Mandatory
Drug Driving 28 9 Months

What does the court take into account in sentencing?

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

  • The reason for your driving at the time of the offence.
  • Your previous traffic history.
  • Your Manner of detection. That is whether you were intercepted by police due to RBT or whether it was the manner of your driving that brought you to the attention of the police.
  • Was the unlicensed driving associated with the commission of another offence?
  • Your personal circumstances.
  • Any other circumstances the Court considers relevant.

Frequently asked questions.

FAQQ. Do the Courts consider drink driving to be a serious offence?
A. Drink driving is a serious offence in Queensland. Both the Government and the Courts are increasing the penalties that are imposed for drink driving offences. There are additional requirements for repeat and high range offences.

Q. If I am convicted of drink driving am I able to apply for a work license?
A. If you meet the requirements then you may be eligible for a restricted work license. You will need to demonstrate that the loss of licence will cause you extreme financial hardship and further that you are a fit and proper person having regard to your history. For more information on a work license application click on the link below:

Work licence applications

Q: Do I have to be driving my car on even in it to be charged with an alcohol-related offence?
A: In short the answer is no. As long as you are “in charge” of the vehicle you can be found guilty of an offence and be subject to mandatory disqualification periods as outlined above. For more information see our blog article “Do I Have to Be Driving My Car to Be Charged With Drink Driving?

Q: I have a previous low range offence within the last five (5) years. Will I have to install an alcohol interlock device?
A: Yes the Government introduced laws in late 2011 to require the installation of an alcohol interlock device where there have been previous convictions within the last 5 years. For more information about alcohol interlock devices see our blog article “Alcohol Interlock Devices

Q: Can I defend an allegation of driving over the requisite blood alcohol concentration BAC?
A: Gatenby Criminal Lawyers has a history of successfully representing drivers who dispute the allegation of drink driving. There are numerous circumstances, which can give rise to a defence. The most regular deficiency in the police case exists where the police have breath tested some time after the driving has occurred.

If you are concerned that the police have not followed the correct procedure or there is an anomaly with the reading, you should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers for urgent advice. It may be that you are eligible for a restricted license pending the finalisation of your charges.

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