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Repeat Offender QLD

Drivers who have previous drink driving convictions will receive as penalties higher fines, longer durations of disqualifications and most likely imprisonment for the current charge.

For one prior conviction within the period of five years under Section 79 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act Queensland, the offender may be imposed a maximum penalty of 60 penalty units or 18 months imprisonment. The penalties will only get more severe the more there are prior convictions.

Research has indicated that the majority of repeat drink drivers are alcohol dependent, which means they do not have the ability to control their alcohol intake so they will most likely be convicted repeatedly for drink driving. Because of the increased and repeated risk they impose on road users in Queensland, the penalty of cumulative disqualification has been imposed upon repeat drink drivers.

The cumulative disqualification means that the penalty of periods of disqualification for each drink driving conviction will no longer be served simultaneously. Instead, they periods of disqualification will be served one after another so that the repeat drink driver will be kept off the road for the full periods of each of the penalties of disqualification that he has been sentenced with.

Subsequent periods of disqualification will not begin until after full service of the first period of disqualification. This stiff penalty is aimed at being an incentive for drink drivers not to commit subsequent drink driving offences.

As this is a criminal offence, the police are required to provide proof beyond reasonable doubt that the offender was actually in the driving seat at the time the vehicle was stopped and was therefore driving over the BAC limit. However, the accused can claim that he was not behind the wheel of the vehicle when it was stopped or the BAC reading was not correct. To do this though requires the experience of an experienced lawyer who knows how to ensure that any evidence provided by the police is fully backed up by irrefutable evidence so that the offender gets a fair hearing and is not unfairly penalised.

Drink driving offences are considered "Major Offences" under the law and thus attract heavy fines, periods of licence disqualification and possibly terms of imprisonment

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