Driving with blood-alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit is a serious offence in Queensland. Conviction can result in heavy fines as well as licence suspension, licence disqualification, potentially probation, community service, or even gaol time. It doesn’t matter whether you are driving on public or private property; whether you feel intoxicated; or how long it has been since you finished your drink; if your BAC is over the applicable limit you’re in trouble.
As soon as you are charged with a drink driving offence your drivers licence will be suspended, with your BAC determining the length of this suspension. If your reading was under 0.10% your licence will be suspended for 24 hours from the time you were charged. Should you drive while this suspension is in effect you face a possible 6 month licence disqualification, a potential fine of more than $5,200 or imprisonment for up to 1 year. If your reading was 0.10% or more then your licence will be suspended until the matter is finalised in court. Driving while this suspension is in place will lead to a disqualification ranging from 2 years up to 5 years as well as a fine and potential imprisonment.
Should you refuse to take a breath test you are committing a serious offence with penalties equivalent to being found to have a blood concentration level of 0.15% or above. These include a heavy fine, disqualification from holding a driver’s licence for at least 6 months, potential imprisonment and an order for a alcohol ignition interlock to be installed. This applies even if you have no alcohol in your system at the time you refused to undertake the breath test.
If convicted for drink driving in Queensland your drivers licence will be disqualified from the moment the Magistrate finalises your matter, not from the date of the offence; for a period determined by the Magistrate based on your blood alcohol content at the time of the offence; the legal limit that applied to you at the time of the offence; and any previous history of similar offences. This disqualification will range from 1 month to 12 months or more. Once this disqualification has ended you still can’t drive until you have a new licence; therefore, you will need to obtain a new licence from Queensland Transport. If you are found driving while your licence is disqualified you will be charged with disqualified driving and if convicted be disqualified from holding a drivers licence for a further 2 to 5 years, while also facing a fine of at least $7,800 or be imprisonment for up to 18 months.