When you have been caught drink driving, you face a mandatory exclusion period of driving for a minimum of one month. The disqualification period you actually receive will vary depending on a range of factors. For many people, their licence is vital to their life; whether that’s dropping the kids off at school, visiting friends, going shopping, or going to work.
It’s important to remember that having a licence is a privilege, not a right, so if you have been caught drink driving, the disqualification period imposed is designed to remind you of the value of this privilege.
Despite this, in some cases the courts will allow an application for a restricted licence called a work licence. While being punished for drink driving is important, if this punishment impacts on your ability to earn money and will cause extreme hardship, then the court can exercise some leniency.
At Lawler Magill we can help you to apply for a work licence and ensure that your chances of having this licence approved are as favourable as possible. Call us on (07) 3236 5656 today to find out about how we can help you with your work licence application.
What is a work licence?
This is a restricted type of licence that allows you to drive for work — even when your normal driver licence is cancelled.
Good to know: A work licence is officially called “a restricted licence under section 87 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995”.
You can apply for a work licence through the court – you cannot apply for a work licence online. If you are granted a work licence the magistrate who is hearing your matter can impose certain restrictions on things like when and where you can drive to.
- Just because you drive to work does not mean you can automatically get a work licence.
- A work licence is hard to get; there are strict criteria to adhere to. A magistrate can and will refuse your application if they are not satisfied that you are fit to hold a restricted licence.
It’s important to get legal advice when applying for a work licence. As a legal practitioner, we are experienced in making applications for restricted licences and can ensure that your information is as comprehensive as possible.
Am I eligible to get a work licence?
You might be eligible to get a work licence if you meet certain conditions relating to the offence you are being charged with. You must:
- be charged with drink or drug driving (or fail to provide a sample of breath at the roadside)
- plead guilty to your offence and facing losing your licence
- need your licence for work
You must be pleading guilty to one of the following offences:
- drink driving
- being in charge of a vehicle while you are over the legal limit
- driving with a relevant drug in your saliva or blood
- being in charge of a vehicle with a relevant drug in your saliva or blood
- failing to supply a breath or saliva sample at the roadside
If you have been charged with being under the influence of drugs or alcohol – such as if you have a blood alcohol content of 0.15 per cent or more – you will not be eligible to apply for a work licence.
You also need to meet the following conditions:
- you have a current open Queensland driver licence for the type of vehicle you were driving for the relevant offence listed above
- your blood alcohol content was less then 0.15 per cent
- you weren’t driving for your job at the time
- you were not already on a work licence
- you haven’t been convicted (anywhere) of a drink driving or similar offence in the last five years
- you haven’t been disqualified or suspended from driving in the last five years
- you haven’t been convicted of drink driving or a similar offence in the last five years
If you meet all these conditions, you then need to apply to the court.
Applying to the court for a restricted/work licence
Even if you meet all the criteria above, you must then apply to the court. In your application you must:
- Show the court you are a fit and proper person. You can provide evidence to this effect through written affidavits from trusted persons who are fully aware of the circumstances surrounding your charges.
- Show the court that you will lose your job and your income if you do not get a work licence, and that this loss of income will cause extreme hardship to you or your family.
Note that in some cases you won’t need your licence to drive for work, but you cannot get to work without a licence — there is no public transport and there is no one to drive you to work. Even if it takes you two hours to get to work on the bus, the court will consider that you have means to get to work and likely won’t grant a work licence.
- You won’t be able to get a work licence if you simply find it more convenient to get to work with a licence.
- You cannot get a work licence if you are unemployed, even if you are looking for work.
- You won’t be able to get a work licence if you could easily get another job which you do not need to get a licence for.
- You cannot get a work licence if you are the only driver in your family and you need to take your children to and from school.
The bottom line is, having a licence is a privilege. No matter how good your reasons are if you don’t need a licence to keep you job and thus your income then the court is not going to grant you a work/restricted licence. As always, get legal advice if you are facing legal matters like applying for a work licence.
At Lawler Magill we can help you apply for a work licence and ensure that your chances of having this licence approved are as favourable as possible. Call us on (07) 3236 5656 today to find out about how we can help you with your work licence application.