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drinking and driving

Is Drink Driving A Criminal Offence In Queensland?

  • Hounsell Cunningham Criminal Defence Lawyers
  • September 23, 2019

Drink driving is one of the most common offences committed on Queensland roads, and it is an offence that can have devastating consequences.

Research has shown that 7% of Queenslanders admit to driving when they are over the limit. While many people know that drink driving can carry some heavy penalties, there is still confusion over whether or not drink driving is a criminal offence in Queensland. Read on to find out the answer to this question and learn some of the factors in determining a charge of drink driving in Queensland.

Need representation for a Queensland drink driving offence? The Hounsell Cunningham team is here for comprehensive representation and support when you need it the most. Call us on 07 3180 0104 today.

 

Is Drink Driving In Queensland A Criminal Offence?

There are two different types of offences in our Queensland legal system: regulatory offences and criminal offences. A regulatory offence is a minor offence, and this includes things like traffic violations. A criminal offence includes more serious matters. In some cases, a traffic offence can form a criminal offence, and this will be explained in more detail shortly.

  • A drink driving offence is a regulatory traffic offence, and you will not receive a criminal record, unless you are driving dangerously in addition to your intoxication, resulting in a police charge of dangerous operation of a vehicle.
  • A traffic offence is managed by penalising you against your licence.
  • When you are charged with a drink driving offence in Queensland, you are automatically submitted to a mandatory disqualification period of at least one month if your blood alcohol reading is above 0.10%.
  • Traffic offences only apply to your driving history and do not form a criminal record.

Note that if you have been ordered to a period of imprisonment as part of your drink driving offence, you will get a criminal record.

 

What Does It Mean If I Have A Criminal Record?

A criminal record can have a huge impact on your work and personal life. You will have to declare your criminal record to employers and having a criminal record can affect your ability to travel overseas. This is why you need to ensure you have the best possible outcome when facing a drink driving charge. It’s recommended that you always seek legal advice, even if you have been charged with a low-range drink driving offence.

  • Criminal records have a statutory limitation period of ten years, which means that after this time has elapsed, you do not have to declare criminal offences related to drink driving for most matters.
  • Some situations require a lifetime declaration of all criminal history, which may have an impact on your future.

 

Will I Get A Criminal Record For My Drink Driving Offence?

The short answer is no, probably not. A drink driving offence does not necessarily mean you will have a criminal record. But it is important to get legal advice for a drink driving charge for a number of reasons:

  • You are showing the magistrate who will hear your matter that you appreciate how serious this offence is, and you have taken the step of engaging legal representation to ensure you have the best possible support.
  • A lawyer can help you to submit an application for a work licence if you are eligible for one. This can be a huge benefit given the sometimes-complicated nature of making an application.
  • Legal representation means that you will be heard first in your matter in the magistrates court instead of having to sit there all morning and waiting to be called.
  • A lawyer understands the nature of proceedings in the Magistrates court and can support you throughout this process.

It is always best to have legal support when facing any sort of drink driving charge. That way, you will know what is going on and how to navigate your drink driving matter.

The Hounsell Cunningham team will provide you with comprehensive representation and support for your drink driving matter. Call us on 07 3180 0104 today or Mitchell on 0419 975 118 or Nathan on 0406 661 449.

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