LiveChat Loading...

Australian National Character Check livechat loading
Australian National Character Check livechat loading

Drink Driving and DUI Penalties in Queensland (QLD)

The information on this webpage is to be read in conjunction with this disclaimer:
Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

Drink driving in Queensland and Australia, in general, is a serious traffic offence. If you are caught driving with BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of certain levels, you will be charged and sentenced according to the law.

Drink driving cases in Queensland are handled in a QLD Magistrate court with the Queensland police authority as the prosecution team.

The charges and punishments for a drink driving offence depends on factors like;

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration at the time of the offence (while driving)
  • If the offender has a running traffic charge or a good behaviour bond
  • Previous conviction in a drink driving offence

If you receive a court summon to appear before the jury for a Drink driving offence, appear with a lawyer. It will be "suicidal" to think you can defend yourselves. In some cases the Magistrates may deny your submission if you appear without a lawyer.

Your best bet for arguing or pleading a drink driving charge is to employ or inform an experienced lawyer.

What are the Penalties for a Drink Driving offence?

The penalty an offender gets follows the Queensland regulation on Traffic Offences. However, the prosecution team must prove to the jury that the offender drove or moved their vehicles with such BAC levels.

There are 4 levels of BAC and related punishments;

Learner, Probationary License holders and Drivers of particular vehicles;

Holders of these types of licenses with BAC levels between 0.00 – 0.05 face a license disqualification period of between 3 – 9 months.

The court can also find them a maximum amount of $1929, and impose an imprisonment term of 3 months.

Depending on the degree of the act, the court may impose all or parts of this punishment on the offender

BAC levels of (0.05-0.099)

If the court finds you guilty of driving within this BAC level, you may be looking at a license disqualification period between 1 and 9 months.

Also, the offender may be fined a maximum amount of $1,929 with/or a maximum imprisonment term of 3 months

BAC levels (0.10 – 0.1499)

All license holders guilty of driving with such BAC levels face a license disqualification period of 3 – 12 months. Also, the court can decide to slam them a possible $2,757 fine with/or a 6-month maximum imprisonment term

However, the punishments depend on the degree of the offence and other factors.

BAC levels (0.15 and over)

This is the highest level of drink driving offence. All license holders driving with such BAC levels face a minimum license disqualification period of 6 months. The court may also decide to impose a fine amount of $3,859 with/or a maximum imprisonment term of 9 months.

Immediate license suspensions

If you are caught driving at BAC levels under 0.10, the Police have the power to suspend your license for a 24 hour period.

Your Driving license will also be suspended immediately if:

  1. You are charged with a low range drinking offence (0.00 – 0.10) BAC while;
    • An earlier drinking charge is lingering
    • You hold a section 79E order, with a replacement license subject to an X4 condition.
  2. Caught driving with a mid/high range drink driving offence (0.10 and over) BAC
  3. Refuse to provide the Police with a breath specimen or blood sample when requested
  4. Operate or drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance

This immediate license suspension continues till the drink driving charge is completed in the court; withdrawn, acquitted or discontinued.

Penalties for repeat offenders in drink driving

When considering a drink driving charge, part of the factor is whether the accused is a repeat offender. All non-first time offenders usually get stiffer penalties than first-time offenders. A repeat offender is a person who has had a drunk driving conviction within the last 5 years.

Those charged with a repeat drink offence may;

Have their car impounded, especially for BAC levels over 0.15 and/or fail to provide a blood/breath specimen)

  • Have their licenses disqualified for up to 2 years
  • Get a fine of up to $8,271
  • Sentenced to an extra imprisonment term by a court

How do I get my Driver License back after disqualification?

Try as hard as possible not to get your license taken or seized from you. It includes engaging a good legal team and exploring all possible defence routes. However, if the court pronouncement is not in your favour, it means your license will be seized from you.

For the entire duration when your license is seized, you are prohibited from operating or driving a car. In some cases, this can even include moving your car within your property. It is a graver offence to operate a vehicle without a license or during a suspension.

If your license is suspended, and your appeal for a good behaviour period fails, you must wait out your disqualification period

How do I get my Driver License back after disqualification?

You can apply for a re-issuance of your driver license once your disqualification period is over. However, you will initially get a probationary driver license for 12 months. This period is a no-alcohol limit period; you must not drink within/close to driving.

Also, the drivers will have to fit an interlock device to their car for 12 months if their BAC was 0.15 or greater, repeat offenders and drivers who refused to provide breath or blood samples.

An interlock device requires drivers to take a breathing test before driving their vehicle. People who must have an interlock device fitted to their vehicle cannot drive another within this period.

Does a drink driving offence show up on a police check?

One of the drawbacks with having a Drink Driving conviction is that such records will show up on your police check. A drunk driving charge will show up as a traffic offence on a police check.

A police check result contains details of an individual criminal history sourced from the national database.

A police check Queensland is an important document to most private or public employers and organisations. Most employers will reject a candidate with certain “related” convictions on their police check Queensland.

How can I escape a Drink Driving charge?

A drink driving charge is a serious matter at the magistrate. Your best bet is for your legal team to seek loopholes in the charges from the prosecution.

However, it is best to avoid intoxicating drinks or drugs hours before driving.

Copyright & Disclaimer

The content on this website is communicated to you on behalf of Australian National Character Check™ (ANCC®) pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act).

The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction of this material may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

You may include a link on your website pointing to this content for commercial, educational, governmental or personal use.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.

Need discount police checks? We beat prices!

About ANCC

ANCC® enables individuals and approved legal entities to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check, which is commonly referred to as a national police check. The nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid all over Australia and can be used when applying for Employment, Probity, Licencing, or Commonwealth check purposes. Get discount police checks online. We beat prices!


based on 493 Google Reviews


based on 175 Product Reviews

Helped of customers and counting.

Not sure where to start?

Book in a free consultation with us to discuss your organisation's employment background check needs, or to get an overview of the ANCC Business Portal.