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Drink Driving and DUI Penalties in Queensland

In Queensland, drink driving is considered a serious offence. The outcome of being convicted for a drink driving offence results in a mandatory licence disqualification which can result in severe consequences for an individual. 

Generally speaking, the higher the BAC reading, the worse the punishment will be for a person. In Queensland, there are four basic categories of drink driving. These are:

  • No alcohol limit (a BAC reading above 0.00%) – this category is applicable to those in specific circumstances. For example, learners, P1 and P2 licence holders and drivers of trucks, taxis and limousines.
  • General alcohol limit (above 0.05 BAC reading but below 0.10);
  • Middle alcohol limit (above 0.10 BAC reading but below 0.149 BAC); and
  • High alcohol limit (also referred to as a DUI or UIL) which is any BAC reading that is 0.15 or above. 

The outcome of being convicted of a drink driving offence may lead to job loss and affect the personal circumstances of an individual and/or their family.

It is vital to engage a drink driving lawyer as soon as possible. At McConnell & Saldumbide Criminal Lawyers, we have extensive experience in representing those charged with various drink driving offences and regularly obtain extremely successful outcomes. 

What are the Drink Driving Limits in Queensland?

In Queensland, there are generally four categories of drink driving. 

1. No Alcohol Limit

There are circumstances in which some drivers cannot have any alcohol in their blood when driving on Queensland roads. 

This includes: 

  • Learners, P1 and P2 licence holders and restricted licence holders. 
  • Drivers of trucks, taxis, limousines, tow trucks and tractors.

If you commit this offence, your licence will be disqualified for a minimum period of 3 months. 

You are not eligible for a work licence if you are convicted of driving over the no alcohol limit.

2. General Alcohol Limit

In Queensland, the general alcohol limit is 0.05%. This means that those who hold a valid QLD driver’s licence are allowed to drive when between 0.00% to 0.05%. 

The mandatory minimum licence disqualification in these circumstances is a period of at least 1 month.

You may be eligible for a work licence if you satisfy all other requirements. 

3. Middle Alcohol Limit

The mid-range drink driving limit is 0.10%. If you are caught driving with a BAC reading at 0.10% to 0.149% you will be charged with driving over the middle alcohol limit.

The mandatory minimum disqualification period for this offence is a period of at least 3 months. 

You may be eligible for a work licence if you satisfy all other requirements. 

4. High Alcohol Limit

This is the most severe drink driving offence in Queensland and occurs when the person has a BAC reading of 0.15% or greater. This charge is also known as ‘Driving under the Influence of Liquor’ (or “UIL” or short). 

This is a serious offence with the minimum disqualification period being 6 months with no maximum disqualification period. 

You are not eligible for a work licence if convicted with a high range drink offence. 

Possible Penalties for Drive Drinking

As well as a licence disqualification, there are a range of sentencing options open to the Magistrate. These include:

  • Fines: This can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the seriousness of the offence and a person’s previous traffic history. 
  • Probation: This involves meeting with a probation officer to monitor a person’s behaviour and to provide support and assistance if possible. This can be a period from 6 months to 3 years. 
  • Community Service: This requires a person to perform a specified number of hours of unpaid community service as a way of ‘paying back their debt’ to the community.
  • Imprisonment: A jail sentence is an option for a Magistrate in more serious circumstances or for repeat drink drivers. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to Represent Me on a Drink Driving Offence? 

Drink driving is treated as a serious offence in Queensland, no matter the reading. It is our advice that you engage representation as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome. The impact of being convicted of a drink driving charge can have significant consequences on you and your family. 

At McConnell & Saldubmide Criminal Lawyers, we guide you through the process in detail and give expert advice as to how to achieve the best outcome possible. This may be through obtaining character reference material, undertaking driving courses and participating in alcohol abuse programs to tender to the Magistrate. Our solicitors appear before various Courts throughout Queensland and mould their submissions to suit each individual case to obtain extremely successful results. 

Furthermore, our solicitors can advise if you are eligible for a work licence and if so, assist with the drafting of the material that is required by the Court to make a successful application. 

Contact our office today to book a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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