A licence and the ability to drive on the road can be one of the most valuable services provided by the Government. It is not until that ability to drive is threatened that how important that licence is to your day to day activities and work is revealed. In Queensland the courts have only limited circumstances where they can grant a licence rather than allowing a disqualification. These are where a person is charged with drink driving and without a licence they will lose their job or where a person has incurred 2 or demerit points whilst on a good driving behaviour period. These types of applications are highly technical and not something most people should attempt without a lawyer.
A work licence (also known as a restricted licence or day licence) is a special type of licence that may be issued by the court to persons convicted of a low or mid range drink driving charge (a BAC reading under .15). A work licence replaces your normal Queensland drivers licence for the period of the disqualification imposed by the court.
A work licence can only be used for work purposes; you cannot use a work licence to drive to the shops or dropping kids off at school. A work licence is designed to allow you to continue to earn a living where a driver’s licence is an essential component to you earning a living.
To be eligible to apply for a work licence you must
- hold a current Queensland open driver's licence for the vehicle you were driving
- have had a blood alcohol level of less than 0.15%
- not have been driving for your job or already under a work licence when arrested
- not have been driving under a licence that required your blood alcohol level (BAC) to be zero e.g. if you are on a learner, provisional, probationary or restricted license.
- In the last 5 years not lost your licence
In order for the court to grant a work licence you must show the court that you are a 'fit and proper person' and that if you don't get a work licence this will cause you or your family extreme hardship by depriving you of your means of earning a living.
The court may restrict the hours and circumstances in which you can drive. A work licence requires extensive affidavit evidence of both yourself and your employer to convince the court you should receive a work licence. A work licence must be applied for before you plead guilty, you cannot apply for a work licence after the court finds you guilty of drink driving or drug driving. Clarity law are experts on work licences, we have acted for all types of people in their applications, from self-employed people and business owners to professional drivers and salespeople. By engaging Clarity Law you will get professionally drafted affidavits and expert representation in the court. We are happy to discuss, free of charge, whether you can apply for a work licence and what restrictions the court may impose on you.
Special Hardship Licences
A special hardship, SHO or demerit points licence is a form of work licence issued when you exceed 2 points on a good driving behaviour period or have exceeded the speed limit by more than 40 km/h.
If you accumulate too many points, Queensland Transport will write to you giving you the choice of a licence suspension (usually 3 months) or a 12 month good behaviour driving period. If you choose the suspension or do not reply to this letter, then you have no appeal and cannot get any other licence during the suspension.
If you opt for a good behaviour driving period and lose two or more points during that time, in limited circumstances you can apply to a magistrates court for a special hardship order to enable you to drive for particular purposes only. The grounds for applying are:
If you have had your licence disqualified by a court or suspended in the last five years you are not eligible to apply for a special hardship licence
If you are granted your special hardship application your licence suspension ends from that date but you can only drive in accordance with the conditions in the special hardship order. Generally the licence conditions will specify you may drive for work purposes or certain defined occasion’s e.g. taking someone to hospital on a regular basis to receive treatment.
You must lodge an application for a special hardship licence within 21 days of the date the licence suspension starts. The application for the special hardship licence must be undertaken in the Magistrate’s court nearest to where you live.
Any application for a special hardship licence will require detailed affidavits from yourself and in some cases your employer. We are happy to discuss, free of charge, whether you can apply for a special hardship licence and what activities the court may allow you to drive for. If your licence is important you should not apply to the courts without a lawyers assistance.
If you need more information visit our special hardship licence page.