What other penalties could I get?
For provisional (P plate) drivers
If you are convicted for any traffic offence, the court may order that the “provisional” period of the licence be extended by up to 12 months.
For truck or commercial passenger vehicle drivers
If you are convicted for DUI, driving with a medium or high range blood alcohol content, or refusing a breath test, you will be disqualified from holding a special purpose licence for a minimum of 5 years.
What is ‘a second or subsequent offence’?
This is a complex matter beyond the scope of this guide and you should seek legal advice if you think it may apply to you. In most cases, past offences which were dealt with by way of a traffic infringement notice count as a prior offence for this purpose.
Alcohol Ignition Lock licences
The law says that in some circumstances second or subsequent drink or drug driving offenders may be allowed to drive during the final part of their disqualification period under an Alcohol Ignition Lock (AIL) licence. An AIL is a device that stops a vehicle being started unless the driver blows into it and has a blood alcohol reading of less than .02%. AIL licensed drivers are only allowed to drive a vehicle fitted with an AIL. Depending on the type of offence, the court can give an AIL licence period of between 6 months and 3 years. The driver must pay for the cost of installing and regularly servicing the AIL and these costs are significant, although a Low Income Earner Subsidy is available. If the court gives a disqualification period which includes an AIL licence period, it is up to you whether to get an AIL licence or to just serve the whole disqualification period.
Drive while disqualified
While you are disqualified from holding a licence for a period, you are not allowed to:
- get a licence
- drive a motor vehicle on a public street or public place.
Driving while disqualified is a serious offence, and the court usually gives a sentence of imprisonment, even for first offenders. The maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment. In some cases, the sentence of imprisonment is suspended on the condition that you are in home detention. Your disqualification period may also be extended.
It is an offence to drive in the Northern Territory while you are disqualified interstate. There are similar laws in other parts of Australia. If you are disqualified from driving in the Northern Territory, do not drive anywhere else in Australia without getting legal advice from that state first.
If you drive while disqualified, you are likely to receive a prison sentence.
Other sections in this guide:
The information in this guide is current as at February 2019. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. It is correct at the time of publication, but laws change. If you have a legal problem you should seek advice from a lawyer.