Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Monday, 17 July 2023 18:01

High range drink drive - Can you get a work licence?

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If you are charged with high range drink driving in Queensland, you may be wondering if you will be able to get a work licence?


Understanding high range drink driving

High range drink driving refers to operating a motor vehicle or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher. This offence carries substantial penalties due to the increased risk posed to the driver, other road users, and the community as a whole. The consequences can include hefty fines, and lengthy periods of licence disqualification.

In Queensland courts the term DUI is not used however UIL meaning driving under the influence is another term for a high range drink driving charge.


How do I know what my reading was?

The police will perform a roadside test.  This is just a presumptive test usually using a hand held device, the reading merely indicates a possible reading.  If you are over the alcohol limit then you will be taken to an approved place like a police station or booze bus for the proper test on an approved breath analysing instrument.  It is this test that is the conclusive test.  The police will tell you the result and provide you with an official breath analysis certificate.

If the reading is at or greater than .15 you are charged with high range drink driving.


I did not drive high range I just refused the breathalyser

If you refuse to give a sample of your breath or blood without a legitimate excuse the charge will be failing to provide a specimen and is considered under the law to be a high range drink driving charge.

The rational for this is that if it wasn’t considered high range then people who knew they were driving high range would always refuse a specimen.


So can I get a work licence with a high range drink driving charge?

If you are charged with high range drink driving in Queensland you cannot get a work licence.  The law mandates only people charged with low or mid-range drink driving can potentially apply for a work licence.  A high range drink driver is barred under the law from getting a work licence and the magistrate cannot change this no matter your circumstances.


Are there any defences to avoid the high range drink driving charge?

There are a number of possible defences to a drink driving charge, but the courts are reluctant to accept them. Some possible defences include not being in charge of the vehicle, not having driven in the 3 hours before the test.

It is also a limited defence if the police did not follow the correct procedure when requesting a sample of breath or blood.

In reality most defences are very limited.  We have a whole page about drink driving defences.


So what can I do if I cant get a work licence?

The minimum disqualification for a first time high range drink driver is 6 months.  The best idea would be to hire a lawyer and try and get the minimum disqualification period.

We have a full article on the best way to get the lowest disqualification for a drink driving charge.


How do I get more information or engage you to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone

  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  3. Click here to book a teleconference at a time that suits you

  4. Email our firms founder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5. Send us a message on Facebook Messenger

We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide information to assist you, if you want to engage us then great, if not then you at least have more information about drink driving. You won’t be chased or hounded to engage us.  Remember its critical you get advice before going to court, a drink driving charge will have an impact on you, your family and your employment or business.  

Steven Brough

Steven Brough is the Founder of Clarity Law.  He is one of the most experienced traffic lawyers in Queensland having appeared in court many thousands of time throughout Queensland since 2010.  He has authored over 100 articles about every aspect of traffic law in Queensland.

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