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  • Serious and Major Traffic Offences and Penalties in Tasmania

    Most road users are not aware of how serious some of their actions are and the consequences that follow them. In Tasmania, some of these acts are considered serious traffic offences and have different penalties. The Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas) and the Traffic Act 1925 (Tas) provide for serious traffic offences in Tasmania and their penalties.

    You should know what these offences are and do your best to avoid violating the laws and facing charges in court. We will look at some of the severe traffic offences in Tasmania below with their penalties.

    If you get a conviction for a serious or major traffic offence in a Tasmanian court, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome on the results of your criminal background check in Tasmania.

    Death by Dangerous Driving

    Under section 167A of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas), it is a crime to drive a vehicle on Tasmania roads in a dangerous way that results in the death of another person. Driving dangerously could also mean driving at a very high speed which is risky to fellow road users. Such a person shall be charged with causing death by driving dangerously.

    Penalty

    An offence of murder ordinarily will always be harsh. The Criminal Code of Tasmania does not provide for any particular penalty for its offences. However, under section 389 of the Criminal Code Act 1924 (Tas), violations can be met with 21 years of jail time. In some situations, a fine will be paid. 

    Reckless and Negligent Driving

    Section 32(1) of the Traffic Act 1925 (Tas) makes it an offence to drive recklessly or in a negligent way on Tasmania roads. Even if death or significant physical harm occurs, it is still a crime under Section 32(2) of the Act.

    Penalty
    • Any person found guilty of this offence for the first time will be liable for 20 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment.
    • Any person found guilty of this offence and who is a second time or subsequent offender shall be liable to 40 penalty units and 4 years imprisonment.
    • If the negligent driving does not result in death or any injury, the driver will be liable for only 5 penalty units.
    • Where the sloppy driving results in bodily injury, the offender will be liable to a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units or up to 6 months of jail time. That will be for a first time offender. For a second time offender, on the other hand, you will be liable to 20 penalty units or imprisonment for 1 year.

    Reckless and Negligent Driving Resulting in Death

    Under section 32(5) of the Traffic Act 1925 (Tas), it is an offence to cause death by one's negligent driving.

    Penalty

    Anyone tried and convicted of this crime will face penalties, including 10 penalty units or a jail time of up to a year. That is for a first time offender. Where you are a second time or successive offender, you will be looking at 20 penalty units or a jail time of up to 2 years. 

    Drug Driving

    Drug driving means driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or with a certain amount of drugs in your system. Section 4 of the Road Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1970 (Tas) provides that it is illegal to drive under the effects of any narcotic.

    Penalty
    • A maximum punishment of one year of jail time or a fine of $5040 for a first time offender.
    • A second-time offender will be liable to a maximum jail time of 2 years or to paying a fine of $10,080. The offender may also be liable to a licence disqualification for 3 years. A licence disqualification of up to 6 years may also apply.

    Driving Unlicensed

    In the state of Tasmania, it is an offence to drive without a valid licence. Driving unlicensed in Tasmania includes driving with an expired licence, driving while the licence is suspended or driving with no licence at all. Under section 8 of the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 (Tas), driving without a driver's licence on the roads is an offence.

    Penalty
    • A first time offender will be liable to a maximum of 20 penalty units.
    • A repeat offender will be liable to a maximum of 40 penalty units or jail time for 3 months.

    Driving with a Suspended Licence

    Under section 9 of the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 (Tas), it is an offence for a person to drive a vehicle while the licence is under suspension.

    Penalty
    • 30 penalty units or a jail time of 3 months for a first time offender.
    • 60 penalty units or a jail time of 6 months for a repeat offender.

    Will a serious or major traffic offence in Tasmania show up on a nationally coordinated criminal history check?

    If an individual is found guilty of a serious or major traffic offence in a Tasmanian court, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of a police check.

    Individuals can obtain a background check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

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