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Driving While Disqualified

Driving while disqualified occurs when you continue driving on the roads after your licences has been disqualified by a court or by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (“DTMR”).  This offence is dealt with under section 78 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld).

In recent years the courts have been handing down severe penalties, including imprisonment, for persons who drive whilst disqualified so it is highly recommended you seek legal advice to ensure you secure the best outcome for your circumstances.  Even if imprisonment isn’t a serious risk in your case, there are substantial fines that can be imposed, which can be argued down with the right representation.

The penalties

The potential penalties include a minimum loss of licence for six months or between two and five years.  Repeat offenders face the additional possibility of being sent to jail.

A summary of the disqualification types, periods, maximum fines and imprisonment sentences are set out below.

Reason for disqualificationDisqualification periodsMaximum fineMaximum imprisonment
Disqualified by a court from holding or obtaining a licence2-5 years60 penalty units18 months
Disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence due to allocation of demerit points6 months40 penalty units12 months
Right to drive in Queensland on a non-Queensland licence suspended due to allocation of demerit points6 months40 penalty units12 months
Disqualified for driving more than 40km over the speed limit 6 months40 penalty units12 months
Suspended for non-payment of fines1-6 months40 penalty units12 months
Repeat unlicensed driver1-6 months40 penalty units12 months
Licence or right to drive immediately suspended 2-5 years40 penalty units12 months
Never held a licence3 months40 penalty units12 months

Could I go to jail?

It is highly unlikely you will be sent to jail for your first driving while disqualified offence, but there have been cases where this has occurred.

Factors taken into account when determining if a jail sentence is appropriate include:

  • previous traffic history,
  • the seriousness of the offence,
  • the period of time that has passed since the initial disqualification, and
  • any reasons as to why you were driving at the time.

Possible defences

You may be able to defend the charge as an “honest and reasonable” mistake.  The only grounds this defence will be accepted is if you can provide evidence that you truly believed you were licenced to drive at the time.  You can also put forward the defence that you did not receive a notification from either the court if the matter was dealt with in your absence or from DTMR.

It is highly recommended that you seek legal advice in regards to any possible defences so that you can approach your case in a manner that will see you receiving the best possible outcome.

How we can help

Q&S’s traffic lawyers can expertly navigate traffic laws complexities, advise you on potential penalties, identify any mitigating factors that will assist your defence to get you the best possible result, ensure all required documentation is prepared in a timely manner, provide extensive support in the lead up to court appearances, respond to your questions in a timely manner and provide reliable and professional representation in all court proceedings.

Why choose us?

You will be talking to a real expert, local to you.  You will not be treated like a file number, but as a real person, and a person going through a difficult and stressful experience.  Get expert advice, not just what you want to hear, in a language you can understand, not legal jargon.

Office locations

Q&S’s expert traffic lawyers are available at any of Q&S’s seven offices.

Get in touch!

Book a traffic law consultation, submit an online enquiry below or speak to an expert traffic lawyer on 1800 999 529.

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