The Queensland State Government is conducting road safety week throughout Queensland. One of the important reasons behind this is the number of deaths on Queensland and Australian roads each year. The current road toll this year in Queensland is 150 fatalities, up from 134 at the same time in 2014.

The Australian Transport Council reports that 30% of fatal crashes in Queensland are related to alcohol and drug driving and one in five drivers and bike riders killed in road accidents in Australia are over the blood alcohol limit.

A road user that has been found to be in charge of a vehicle while over the alcohol limit will be disqualified for holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence for a period of time if convicted by the Court. The length of the suspension period is dependent on such factors as the amount of alcohol in the blood, the individual’s traffic history and the circumstances surrounding the offence. As with the Queensland Police Service, the Courts take a strict view with regards to drink and drug driving and in sentencing a person for such an offence, seeks to deter further such behaviour both personally and generally.

A person convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol may have grounds to apply for a work licence by an application in writing to the Court made after they have been convicted and sentenced.  Persons that are driving or being in charge of a vehicle with cannabis, ecstasy or ICE in their saliva or blood may also be able to apply for a work license. However, if a person has been charged with the more serious offence of driving while under the influence of drugs they will not be eligible to apply for a work licence.

The law provides that a person must show they are fit and proper to apply for a work licence and prove to the Court that not granting the licence would cause the person or their family extreme hardship by depriving them of their means of earning a living. The Court will require an affidavit from the individual’s employer, stating that they are required to have a vehicle for work purposes and their employment is dependent on having a licence. If the person is self-employed they will need to have an affidavit that states they require a vehicle for their employment and that no alternative means of transport is suitable. The person will also need to prove to the Court, by way of an affidavit, the hardship that will be suffered if they lose their employment, this should include an outline of weekly expenses and earnings to show the impact the loss of licence will have on them and/or their family.

A work licence should not be seen as second chance for an individual convicted with a drink or drug driving offence to continue driving after being sentenced. Likewise, an individuals who have successfully obtained such a licence may only use it for the purposes of work and as restricted by the order of the Court. This means that you can only drive a vehicle at set times and for the purpose of your employment. If you were charged with drink or drug driving whilst you were using a vehicle for work purposes, you will not be able to obtain a work licence.

The Court will not grant a work licence if an individual has had a license suspended or cancelled in the previous five years.  If a person has been convicted of dangerous driving or similar drink or drug driving offences they may also be unable to apply for a work licence. Likewise, if an individual is unemployed or retired the Court will not grant a work licence.

If you have any questions regarding drink or drug drive or would like to book a consultation for legal advice, feel free to contact me at

Shane Ulyatt