Traffic Matters

Ferrall & Co.

Traffic Matters

In our everyday lives, our driver’s licence allows us to travel to work, school drop-off and pick-up, the supermarket, essentially anywhere and everywhere the roads lead. Traffic offences can strip a person of their license to drive, which can have a detrimental effect on their life, with some experiencing immense personal and financial hardship.
From drink driving charges, to applications for special hardship licences, and serious criminal charges involving the use of motor vehicles. Ferrall and Co. are experienced in traffic matters and are able to guide you through the legal process to achieve the best outcome. For this to happen, you should obtain our independent legal advice as soon as you can in relation to any traffic offences.
Traffic Matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

The seriousness of the traffic offence will often determine the severity of the penalty imposed. While many people are let off with a fine, others will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period of time. Disqualification periods can last from months to years. Some people may be even be sentenced to a period of imprisonment.

Traffic offences and the penalties that can be imposed for them can have significant ramifications on people’s lives.

The penalties can include:

  • A monetary fine
  • A period of licence disqualification lasting from months to years
  • Imprisonment

The police are permitted to approach people and ask them questions at any time, as anyone else in the community can do. If you are approached by police, there are certain things you are required to tell them but there are also things you aren’t. You should provide them with your name and address.  However, contact a solicitor if you are concerned about their questions.

It is very important you are aware of what to say and what not to say. It is very much like the old Kenny Rogers song, “Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em”, and definitely, “know when to walk away”.

It is best to stay quiet and try not to talk your way out of a problem. There is nothing you can say in that moment that will help you in Court and this can only harm your prospects.

When asked by a police officer, you must give them your correct name and address. The police must warn you it is an offence for you to not tell them your correct details.

In car accidents and other traffic offences the police have broader powers to obtain information from people. However, generally once you have told the police your name and address you are able to remain silent.

It is important for you to remember that police are usually recording everything that is happening around them, in every location. The police often have audio recorders in their shirt pockets, and front-line police have body-worn cameras on their shirts. There is no such thing as ‘off the record’ when it comes to police.

Yes. You can definitely ask the police officer whether you have to answer their questions or whether you are obliged to let them do something to you or your property/vehicle. There is no harm in asking if you can refuse their request.

Head home, think it over, and seek legal advice as soon as you can. From there you can decide what your best approach is.

If the police have decided to charge you with a criminal offence, they will issue you with a Notice to Appear. This is a small paper slip which usually has handwritten information on it including; your personal details; the details of the charge/s you have been issued; when you have to appear in Court; which Court you have to appear in; and the arresting officer’s details. The slip will be written by the arresting officer in a carbon copy booklet. Each Notice to Appear is done in triplicate. The officer will provide you with one copy and keep the other two.

Yes. If you have been given a Notice to Appear you must attend the Court listed on the Notice at the time and date written on the slip. If you fail to appear, a warrant is likely to be issued for your arrest and you will be charged with Failing to Appear. If, for some reason, you can’t appear on that date you should contact the Courthouse as soon as possible to let them know.

A Notice to Provide Personal Particulars is a notice issued by the police, usually with the Notice to Appear. The Notice to Provide Particulars gives you seven days to report to your local police station so that they can take your photograph, fingerprints and a DNA sample.

If you fail to attend within the seven days, you are likely to be charged with an offence for failing to provide your particulars.

If you are caught drink driving in Queensland, you will be provided with a Notice to Appear in the closest Magistrates Court to where the police intercepted you. The police will process you and the magistrate will decide on your penalty on the day of your Court appearance. This can include a monetary fine, a period of licence disqualification, or a prison sentence.

A number of factors will determine how severely you are punished. These include your blood alcohol reading at the time of interception, the length of your past traffic history and what offences are included on it, and any previous drink driving convictions you have had.

The penalties for drink driving offences are governed by the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 which is commonly referred to as TORUM. There are four alcohol limits in Queensland. Where your reading sits within these limits will affect the severity of your penalty. The four alcohol limits include the no alcohol limit (0.00), the general alcohol limit (0.05 to 0.09), the middle alcohol limit (0.10 to 0.149), and the high alcohol limit (over 0.15).

If your blood alcohol reading is less than 0.10 when you’re intercepted, you will be processed and issued with an automatic 24-hour licence suspension. Once this lapses you will be able to drive up until your Court date. The police are able to also issue you with an immediate suspension of your licence and this will remain in place until your matter is finalised by the Court.

The police will immediately suspend your licence if you have committed a low range drink driving offence (0.05 to 0.09) while you have another prior drink driving offence still underway in the Courts.

The police will also immediately suspend your licence if; you have been charged with mid (0.10 to 0.149) or high (over 0.15) range drink driving on this offence; or you fail to provide breath or blood sample for analysis; or you are charged with dangerous driving in conjunction with a drink driving offence. This suspension will remain in place until your matter is dealt with by the Court.

The Court is unable to use the time between you being charged and the matter being finalised by the Court as “time served” so it is best to have the matter dealt with by the Court as soon as possible.

There are many determining factors which play a part in what penalty will be applied to your first drink driving offence. These include your type of licence, your blood alcohol reading, your age, your prior traffic history, and any other aggravating circumstances (i.e. whether your vehicle was crashed).

Even though it is unusual for a Magistrate to sentence a first-time drink driving offender with a prison sentence, it is in their power to assess each case and determine the punishment on its own merits. If a Magistrate believes the circumstance of a particular case warrant a penalty of a prison term, then they will order it.

These licences allow no alcohol in your system at all. You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period between three and nine months, a fine up to a maximum of $1,868, with a possible term of imprisonment for up to three months.

These licences allow no alcohol in your system at all. You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period between three and nine months, a fine up to a maximum of $1,868, with a possible term of imprisonment for up to three months.

If you are caught with a blood alcohol reading of over 0.05 but under 0.09, you will be considered to have committed a low range drink driving offence. The Court has the discretion to disqualify your licence for a period between one and nine months. They can issue a fine of up to $1,868, and a possible term of imprisonment of up to three months.

If you are on an open driver licence and are charged with a mid-range offence (a blood alcohol reading of between 0.10 to 0.149), you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence for a period of between three and 12 months. There may also be a maximum fine of $2,669, and a possible term of imprisonment of up to six months.

Open licence holders who are caught high range drink driving (a blood alcohol reading of 0.15 or greater) will be disqualified from holding or obtain a driver licence for no less than six months. They may also face a maximum fine of up to $3,736 and a possible term of imprisonment of up to 9 months.

The Court will believe that you have no care for the law or safety of others and will sentence you with harsher penalties. The Court can see you fined up to $6,600 and face a disqualification of your licence for up to two years. If your blood alcohol reading is higher than 0.15 or you fail to provide a blood or breath sample, your vehicle will be impounded, and possibly confiscated permanently and sold by the government.

You will be considered a repeat offender if you get caught drink driving and have had a previous drink driving offence in the last five years.

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Traffic Matters

Traffic offences can strip a person of their license to drive, which can have a detrimental effect on their life, with some experiencing immense personal and financial hardship.

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