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When is a Driver in QLD Disqualified from Driving?

Suspensions and licence cancellations are imposed for drink driving and other serious offences

Driver licence suspensions and disqualifications are imposed for many reasons in Queensland. This article will help you understand why they happen and how you can avoid them.


Suspensions are imposed automatically under certain circumstances. They include:

  • Having 12 or more demerit points on your driving record in any 3 year period
  • Failing to pay fines
  • A conviction of exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more

If your licence is suspended, you will receive a notice telling you when the suspension starts and how long it will last. You can drive legally as soon as the suspension ends.

Immediate suspensions

Immediate (on-the-spot) suspensions are imposed by the police if they believe you:

  • Drove with a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or higher
  • Drove under the influence of a drug or alcohol
  • Refused an officer’s request for a breath or blood sample

Engaged in drink driving while another drink driving charge is pending

An immediate suspension will remain in effect until your case goes to court. At that point, the court will decide whether your licence should be disqualified and for how long. You will receive credit against the disqualification period for the time your licence is suspended.

An immediate 24 hour suspension is imposed if your test result is at least 0.05 but less than 0.10.


After conviction of certain traffic offences, the court may cancel your licence and impose a period during which you are disqualified from driving. Those offences include:

The court determines the length of your disqualification when sentencing you after a conviction. The shortest disqualification period is one month. Progressively longer disqualifications are imposed as offences become more serious. A disqualification is mandatory if you drove with a BAC of 0.15 or higher and for certain repeat offences.

If you are disqualified, you cannot legally drive until you apply for and are granted a new driver licence. You are not eligible to apply for a new licence until the disqualification period ends. If you receive a new licence, it will probably be a probationary licence. Conditions (such as using an alcohol interlock and restrictions on late night driving) may be imposed on your probationary licence.

Avoiding a disqualification

One way to avoid a disqualification is to avoid a conviction. You should ask a lawyer whether you might have a defence that would keep you from being convicted.

A lawyer can also help you persuade the court to impose a lenient period of disqualification or (unless a disqualification is mandatory) no disqualification at all.

If you are disqualified, the court might be willing to authorise the issuance of a work licence. If you are eligible for a work licence, a lawyer can help you ask the court for one.

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