Drink Driving Offences QLD

When it comes to drink driving offences in Queensland one of the major determining factors relating to the seriousness of the offence and category of drink driving charge that the Police may lay is the level of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading above the legal limit.

Obviously there are many other different factors which can determine the seriousness of a drink driving offence and the severity of the penalty that the Courts are expected to deal with such offences. Certain aggravating features involved in a drink driving incident which may increase the risk of hurt or injury or worse to others within the community will increase the seriousness of the offence since the moral culpability of the offender is increased. A person traffic record will also be taken into account when dealing with the drink driving offence before the Court.

On the flip side the Court will also take into consideration a whole range of subjective features relating to the personal issues surrounding the offender and the Courts may take these issues on board when considering the severity of the sentence that is imposed. Other mitigating issues can be successfully argued by an experience traffic law solicitor to help reduce the seriousness surrounding the drink driving offence and the severity of the sentence that the Court seeks to hand down.

It is very important that each different drink driving matter will be determined by the Courts on a case by case basis. As experienced traffic lawyers who deal with drink driving matters on a daily basis we know only to well that each case is different and deserves strategic and customised case preparation.

You should certainly be aware that even though an offence of drink driving is a very common criminal offence in the state of Queensland, it is an offence which is considered to be of a very serious nature for the mere fact that it involves putting other innocent people within the community at risk of being hurt or killed. It is for this reason that Courts are expected to hand down suitable punishment and sentences in order to deter others in the community from committing such an offence.

We have seen in recent times Parliament introduce new mandatory Alcohol Interlock laws for high risk drink driving offenders who have been charged with certain categories of serious drink driving offence and also for repeat drink driving offenders. The aim of these mandatory alcohol interlock laws is to deter more serious drink driving offenders from finding themselves back behind the wheel of their vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol when they have the opportunity to commence driving after they have served out the Court ordered disqualification period.

Most of the time a person charged with a drink driving offence in Queensland will be at very least facing a conviction, disqualification of their drivers licence for a period of time and a financial penalty. However, as we have previously mentioned each case is different and needs to be assessed on its own facts and therefore in some circumstances we can help you avoid getting a criminal conviction or a disqualification of licence.

There are many different options available at law to potentially avoid a loss of licence for certain drink driving offence and for this reason you should contact our expert drink driving lawyers to see whether or not you may be able to save your drivers licence.

The most common types of drink driving or alcohol related traffic offences in the state of Queensland are drink driving offences where the accused person records a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over the legal limit. There are also other alcohol related traffic offences that a person can be charged with such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Fair or Refuse a Breath Test or Analysis. All of the relevant alcohol related traffic offences in Queensland are governed by the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, these offences include:

(1) For this Act, a person is over the no alcohol limit if—

(a) the concentration of alcohol in the person's blood is more than 0mg of alcohol in 100mL of blood; or

(b) the concentration of alcohol in the person's breath is more than 0g of alcohol in 210L of breath.

(2) For this Act, a person is over the general alcohol limit if—

(a) the concentration of alcohol in the person's blood is, or is more than, 50mg of alcohol in 100mL of blood; or

(b) the concentration of alcohol in the person's breath is, or is more than, 0.050g of alcohol in 210L of breath.

(2A) For this Act, a person is over the middle alcohol limit if—

(a) the concentration of alcohol in the person's blood is, or is more than, 100mg of alcohol in 100mL of blood; or

(b) the concentration of alcohol in the person's breath is, or is more than, 0.100g of alcohol in 210L of breath.

(3) For this Act, a person is over the high alcohol limit if—

(a) the concentration of alcohol in the person's blood is, or is more than, 150mg of alcohol in 100mL of blood; or

(b) the concentration of alcohol in the person's breath is, or is more than, 0.150g of alcohol in 210L of breath.

The laws which relate to Drink Driving or Alcohol Related Offences in Queensland are found at Chapter 5 (Road Use) - Part 3 (Driving of vehicles and animals) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, these offences include:

 

Low Range Drink Driving in QLD

We regularly see people appear before the Magistrates Courts in Queensland for an offence of drink driving over the general alcohol limit but not over the middle range alcohol limit.   This particular category of drink driving is commonly referred to as Low Range Drink Driving in Queensland.

If a person records a Blood Alcohol Reading (BAC) over the general alcohol limit and below the middle range alcohol limit there the reading will be 0.050 or higher but lower that 0.100.  This particular offence of low range drink driving is one of the most common types of alcohol related traffic offences in Queensland since it can often come about due to a miscalculation of alcohol consumed or through an error of judgement. This offence of low range drink driving relates to offenders who hold a full open drivers licence and are not driving a special vehicle as categorised by law.

Whilst being charged with a low range drink driving offence may mean that you have not consumed a large amount of alcohol to record a Blood Alcohol Reading over the general alcohol limit, it is still deemed a very serious offences in the eyes of the law and the community since any amount of alcohol in a persons system can affect their ability to properly and safely function a motor vehicle.

Low Range Drink Drivers are often described as being slightly affected by intoxicating liquor. For that reason Queensland Courts seek to hand down specific punishments and sentences to act as a general and specific deterrence for these types of offences. Often if you have been charged with an offence of Low Range Drink Driving and it is your 1st offence then you can expect to be fined, issued with a disqualification of licence and received a conviction.  There are however, options available at law to offenders who are in very specific situations to avoid a disqualification of licence and also to avoid having a criminal conviction recorded against their name.

The legislation that applies to low range drink driving offences in Queensland comes under section 79(2) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, this section is outlined below:

79 Offence of driving etc. while over general alcohol limit but not over middle alcohol limit  (2) Any person who, while the person is over the general alcohol limit but is not over the middle alcohol limit:

(a) drives a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or

(b) attempts to put in motion a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or

(c) is in charge of a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel;

is guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty not exceeding 14 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

Middle Range Drink Driving in QLD

One of the other very common alcohol related traffic offences which occur regularly in Queensland is that of Middle Range Drink Driving. This is considered a more serious offence than that of Low Range Drink Driving because it means that the Blood Alcohol Read (BAC) of the offender is higher, thus increasing the potential for accident or injury on the roads.

The Middle Range Drink Driving category in Queensland means that the offenders Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading is either 0.100 or higher but below 0.150. Middle Range Drink Driving is considered very serious by the Courts and the Community since a persons ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is very likely to be impaired causing the potential for detrimental consequences occurring such as an accident. Middle Range Drink Drivers are often described as being moderately affected by intoxicating liquor.

Penalties for Middle Range Drink Driving offences are quite rightly increased compared to that of the lower offence of Low Range Drink Driving and this therefore means that obtaining a Restricted Work Licence can be more difficult (yet not impossible) and also avoiding a criminal conviction can also be very hard to avoid.

In Queensland the Traffic Law legislations outlines the following laws when it comes to Middle Range Drink Driving offences, this law comes under section 79(1F) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995:

79 Offence of driving etc. while over middle alcohol limit but not over high alcohol limit  (1F) Any person who, while the person is over the middle alcohol limit but is not over the high alcohol limit—

(a) drives a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or

(b) attempts to put in motion a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or

(c) is in charge of a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel;

is guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty not exceeding 20 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

High Range Drink Driving or Drive Under the Influence (DUI) in QLD


When it comes to the most serious offence of drink driving in Queensland the law points to the category of High Range Drink Driving or the offence of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).   Where there is a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading above 0.150 then a person is said to be classed as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) which attracts very serious penalties.

The offence of Drive Under the Influence (DUI) in Queensland is considered so serious because when a person is deemed to be Driving Under the Influence then their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is significantly impaired that the likelihood of an accident or a worse consequence from occurring is significantly increased.   A drivers faculties are considered to be well affected by the intoxicating liquor that it proves to be a very serious threat to other peoples safety within the community.

The higher the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading is above the High Range Drink Driving limit of 0.150 the more serious the moral culpability is for the offender. The higher the reading the more aggravated the particular offence becomes.  Police often describe a person charged with driving under the influence as being well affected by intoxicating liquor.

Overtime various studies have been conducted nationally and internationally which support the premise that a person who operates a motor vehicle with a High Range Blood Alcohol Reading or who is considered to be Driving Under the Influences poses a significantly greater risk to others on the road.

The laws of Queensland which relate to High Range Drink Driving and/or Drive Under the Influence (DUI) offenders come under section 79(1) and (3) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, these sections are set out below:

79 Offence of driving etc. while under the influence

(1) Any person who, while under the influence of liquor or a drug— (a) drives a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or (b) attempts to put in motion a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or (c) is in charge of a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; is guilty of an offence and liable to a penalty not exceeding 28 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 9 months.

79 Presumption that defendant is under the influence of liquor if over high alcohol limit

(3) If on the hearing of a complaint of an offence against subsection (1) the court is satisfied that at the material time the defendant was over the high alcohol limit, the defendant is conclusively presumed to have been at that time under the influence of liquor.

Refuse or Fail Breath "Test"

When a person is pulled over by police for the purpose of giving a breath test then it is a criminal offence to either refuse to provide that breath test or to fail the breath test after being provided with sufficient opportunity to provide a sample.

Police will generally offer a person the opportunity to provide a breath test as a preliminary indicator to assess whether there could be a positive blood alcohol reading on that person's breath.  If the person refuses to provide a breath sample then police have the ability to charge them with an offence of refuse to provide a breath test.  If the person fails to provide a sufficient breath sample during this test then as a matter of procedure police will generally offer them three (3) attempts in which to provide an appropriate breath sample.

If the person fails those three (3) attempts then they are at risk of being charged with refuse or fail to provide a breath test.  Once a person either refuses or fails to provide a sufficient breath sample police will usually insist that they provide a more accurate breath sample by way of a breath analysis.

Refuse or Fail Breath "Analysis"

Similar to the offence of refusing or failing to provide a breath "test", this offence of refusing of failing to provide a sufficient breath "analysis" is a far more serious offence because it basically means that police are unable to assess what your true blood alcohol reading is.

By way of procedure police will generally offer a person three (3) attempts in which to provide an appropriate breath "analysis" sample however should they fail those attempts or refuse to provide an appropriate sample then they are at risk of receiving a charge of refuse of fail breath "analysis".

Such an offence is deemed very serious by the Courts and is usually considered on the same level of seriousness as a higher range PCA offence which can carry significant penalties and sentences."

Contact Our QLD Drink Driving Lawyers

Boorman Lawyers DUI specialists are experts in traffic & drink driving offences in QLD. We are available to advise you on your chances of obtaining a DUI Restricted Work Licence in QLD.
7 Panitz St Bundall, QLD 4217 AU
Phone: 1300 941 900
Email: jboorman@boormanlawyers.com.au
QLD DUI Restricted Work Licence - was written by Joshua Boorman of Boorman Lawyers QLD.

Choose Your Topic Below

Why Choose Our QLD Traffic Lawyers?

Related Topics