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Here are the consequences of being caught drink driving on your P's

Having a provisional licence, aka being on your P's as its informally known, means that you have restrictions on your licence, and one of them is you must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of zero at all times when driving, but what happens if you get caught drink driving on your P's? In this post, we'll share all you need to know about this topic in the hopes that if you do hold this licence type, you'll think twice before getting behind the wheel after a drink or two.


The Law for P Platers When it Comes to Drink Driving

Regardless of where you live in Australia, a zero alcohol limit applies to all Provisional licence holders across the country. The penalties and process involved with committing this offence do differ though depending on where you live. If you get caught with a BAC of even 0.01, you will be charged with a drink driving offence.

What Happens if I Get Caught Drink Driving on my P's?

You can be pulled over or stopped by the police anytime and anywhere and be asked to complete a breath analysis test. Riding a bike while over the legal limit will incur the same penalties as driving as well as controlling any vehicle, ie, a jetski. The breathalyser will give the police an on the spot indication of your BAC. If you have blown over the legal limit of zero, you will be asked to provide a second sample. This will then be your official reading. You will be given a notice to appear in court if you are over the limit, and your licence will immediately be suspended for 24 hours. You will be able to resume driving after this if you had a low-range BAC in most instances. If you have been charged with a mid-range or high-range drink driving offence, your licence will most likely be suspended on the spot and this suspension with remain in place until your matter is heard in court. The same applies if you have failed to give a sample of your breath when requested or you have been charged with additional offences along with drink driving.

Possible Penalties for Drink Driving When on your Ps

Queensland carries harsh penalties for drink driving offences, and the penalty for a provisional licence holder with a low range drink driving charge is a mandatory disqualification period and fine. The minimum time is 3 months for this charge those with mid to high range drink driving charges or additional charges will carry more harsh penalties such as longer disqualification periods, bigger fines and even jail terms for more serious offences. The Magistrate will be the one who determines the penalty for your drink driving charge.

Possible Penalties for First Time Drink Driving Offenders

Here are some of the maximum penalties for first-time drink driving offences:

Provisional Licence Holders

The maximum penalty for a first time low range drink driving offence on a provisional licence is 9 months, and the maximum fine is $1,929.

Mid-range drink driving offences carry a maximum of 12 months disqualification and a maximum fine of $2277.90. Additionally, a prison term of up to 6 months may be considered for this offence although, it’s not common for first-time offenders with no prior driving history.

High-range drink driving offences carry the harshest penalties of all. The disqualification can be a maximum of 18 months, and the fine is a staggering $3,187,80. A jail term of up to 9 months is possible.

I need my licence for work, can I apply for a work licence?

Unfortunately, provisional licence holders are not eligible to apply for a work licence regardless of whether they need it to maintain their employment. Work licences or restricted licences are only available to eligible open licence holders. You will need to make alternative transport arrangements for when your licence is disqualified.

How can I avoid losing my licence to drink driving while on my Ps?

It can be so tempting to just have a drink or two and drive home because you feel fine, however, if you get caught drink driving while on your P’s and, you need your car for work or to be able to do normal everyday activities, the burden can be quite significant. Here are some simple ways you can avoid this scenario:

  • Get a friend to be a designated driver
  • Ask for a lift from your family
  • Get a taxi or uber
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages when you know you have to drive
  • Stay at a mates place
  • Use public transport

What happens if I've been caught more than once drink driving while on my P's?

If you have been charged with drink driving for the second time in less than 5 years, the penalties are typically very harsh. Some may include:

  • Your licence may be disqualified for 2 years
  • Your car may be impounded
  • Your fine can be more than $8,000
  • You may need to have an alcohol interlock device installed in your car
  • A term of imprisonment may be imposed as part of your penalty


If you have been caught drink driving on your P’s, you don’t have to go at it alone. Contact the professionals here at Drink Driver Lawyer. We specialise in this area of the law and handle cases like yours every day.

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