How Demerit Points Work In Queensland
Unlike many other states where drivers start off with a certain number of demerit points and lose them for violating traffic laws, Queensland drivers start with none, and they get added if a traffic offence is committed. How many demerit points will be added to your record will depend on the type of offence you have committed. Here are some common examples of traffic offences that add demerits points:
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Using a mobile phone whilst driving
- Failing to obey a traffic signal
- Drug driving
- Drink driving
How many demerits points can I incur before losing my licence?
The maximum number of demerit points a driver can acquire is listed below:
- Open Licence – 12 within 3 years
- Provisional Licence (all types) – 4 within 1 year
- Learner Licence – 4 within 1 year
- Good Behaviour Licence – 2 within 1 year
What happens if I reach my demerit points limit?
It will depend on the type of licence you hold. Here is a breakdown of each type of licence and your options if you’ve reached your maximum number of demerit points:
Open drivers licence
If you have accumulated 12 or more points within 3 years and you have an open licence, you will have two options. You can either have your licence suspended or you can undergo a good driving behaviour period.
This is what both will entail:
If you choose to have your licence suspended, the suspension period is usually for 3 months however, if you have accrued more than 20 demerit points, it may last up to 5 months. If you drive during the suspension period, you will be prosecuted for driving while unlicensed and you will lose your licence for even longer.
Good driving behaviour period
By choosing a good driving behaviour period, you agree to be bound by the rules for a full year. Driving is not restricted, but you cannot get more than one demerit point during that time. You will have violated the good driving behaviour period if you obtain two or more demerit points within a calendar year. Your licence will then be suspended for a period of six months or longer. If you opt for this option, you must ensure that you are vigilant when driving and following the road rules otherwise you could be without a licence for a substantial amount of time.
If you have a provisional licence, and you have got 4 or more demerit points within one year, you will have the option to choose either a licence suspension of three months or a good driving behaviour period of 1 year.
This is what both will entail:
If you choose to put a 3-month licence suspension in place, the suspension term will begin on the day you specify on the notice. If it is determined that you drove while this suspension was in effect, you will be charged with driving while unlicensed and you will be required to appear in court.
Good Driving Behaviour Period
By selecting to be on a good behaviour period, you can keep your present licence and continue to drive however, if you get two or more demerit points in the good behaviour period, your licence will be suspended for six months.
If you have a learner’s permit in Queensland and accumulate four demerit points within a year, your driver’s licence will be suspended for three months. You won’t have to surrender your driver’s licence but as a learner driver, you don’t have the option of a good driving behaviour period available to you. Your licence will be suspended and it will begin on the date specified in the notice.
What happens if I don't make a choice in time?
If you don’t choose between a good behaviour driving period or a licence suspension by the allocated timeframe, your driver’s licence will automatically be suspended.
What will happen if I am caught driving while my licence is suspended?
Driving while your licence is suspended and getting caught will result in you being charged with driving while unlicensed.
You must appear in court, and if you are found guilty, the court will:
Impose a 6-month suspension and the ability to hold or get a driver’s licence; up to $5,500 in fines; or up to a year in jail.
Upon the expiration of your suspension, if your licence has not expired, it will be immediately reinstated. If it has, you must renew it before you can drive again.
If the court suspended your licence because you were caught driving while suspended, you must go to the Department of Transport and get a new licence before you can get behind the wheel.
Special hardship orders
If a suspended licence would cause you and/or your family significant hardship, you might qualify to file for a special hardship order. A court ruling known as a “special hardship order” permits a suspended motorist to drive only in certain, constrained situations.
What do I do if wasn't driving at the time of the offence?
If you were not driving your vehicle at the time of the offence, the person who was driving may be able to complete a statutory declaration to accept responsibility for the traffic offence depending on the deadlines of your infringement notice.
To discuss your options, call the Queensland Revenue Office at 1300 360 610.
How do I access the images associated with the offence?
If there are any images associated with your alleged offence, you should be able to access them by visiting https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/onlineservices. From here, you select the “My infringements” tab and click “see offence image”.
Can I check how many demerit points I have?
Yes, you can! You can check how many demerit points you have online at www.service.transport.qld.gov.au. This is a free service and it can be accessed by you at any time.
Losing your licence due to an accumulation of demerit points?
If you are going to lose your licence due to an accumulation of demerit points, reach out to the team at Drink Driver Lawyer to discuss your options. We are experienced traffic lawyers and can offer expert advice on the matter. Contact us today for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Demerit points are a system used in Queensland to discourage traffic offenses. They are assigned to your driving record when you commit certain traffic violations. Accumulating demerit points can result in penalties such as fines, license suspensions, and the requirement to complete driver education programs.
When you commit a traffic offense, demerit points are added to your driving record. The number of points depends on the severity of the offense. If you accumulate a certain number of demerit points within a specific period, you may face penalties, including license suspensions or restrictions.
Demerit points stay on your driving record for a specific duration, depending on the offense committed. In Queensland, most demerit points remain on your record for three years from the date of the offense.
Absolutely, a traffic lawyer can provide valuable assistance if you are dealing with demerit points and their associated penalties. They can help you understand your options, challenge unjust demerit points, and offer legal representation when necessary.
Please note that the information provided in this FAQ is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. Each case is unique, and it is crucial to consult with a qualified traffic lawyer to obtain personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.