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Can you get a work licence after a drink driving charge?

  • Hounsell Cunningham Criminal Defence Lawyers
  • March 13, 2019

Being caught drink driving is something that can happen to people from time to time. You might have been at a party the night before, not eaten anything, and then hopped behind the wheel to drive home – only to blow over! Or you might have had a lapse in judgement and driven your vehicle when you knew you shouldn’t have. Whatever the circumstances of your drink driving charge, there may be a chance for you to get a work licence (also known as a section 87 application) which will enable you to continue to drive for work purposes.

Having a licence is a privilege, not a right – and there are mandatory suspension periods which, by law, a magistrate must abide by. While losing your licence can be catastrophic, a work licence can help you keep your job.

Are you eligible for a work licence?

Only certain people are eligible for a work licence, and if you have been caught driving due to drink or drug driving, you may be eligible to seek a work licence if:

  • You intend to plead guilty
  • You need your licence to keep your job
  • There will be extreme hardship if you do not have a work licence
  • The magistrate can see that you are a fit and proper person

The circumstances of your charge are relevant; if you have been charged with another driving offence such as unlicensed driving or disqualified driving, then you will not be able to make an application for a work licence.

You will not be eligible to apply for a work licence if:

  • Your blood alcohol content was greater than 0.15%
  • You’ve been convicted of a previous drink or drug driving offence in the last five years
  • You don’t hold a current open Queensland licence
  • The purpose of your driving was for work (e.g. to deliver something between offices)

Note also that as this is a work licence, you do need to have a current job to be able to apply. You cannot be looking for work, and you cannot have been interviewing for jobs. It does not matter if you have even had an offer; if you are not currently employed then an application for a work licence will not be successful.

How to apply for a work licence

You will have been given a court date by the police which is usually detailed in a Notice to Appear. This will be the time when you show up to court and request an adjournment so that you can prepare the necessary documentation for your work licence application. The documents you need for your application include:

  • A restricted licence application form
  • Your own affidavit which talks about why you are seeking a work licence and the extreme hardship that you will suffer without your job
  • An affidavit from your employer confirming your employment and stating that if you do not have a licence you will lose your job

Note that the emphasis must be on how and why you will experience great and extreme hardship if your licence is not granted. You also need to show things like why you are a fit and proper person. Use as much detail as possible.

It can be very intimidating to produce these documents, not to mention complicated! Hounsell Cunningham can assist you in preparing the forms and creating your affidavits and will ensure that you provide all of the necessary information. Your chances of succeeding in your application are improved when your documents are thorough and concise, and that is where our experience comes in. We will then take away the stress and appear in Court with you to make the application.

Call Hounsell Cunningham today for peace of mind and legal expertise in making your work licence application in Brisbane or elsewhere in Queensland today. Call us now on (07) 3180 0104 or find us online.

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