Drug Driving Lawyer Beenleigh

Drug Driving Law Firm at Beenleigh in Queensland


Thank you for visiting our website.  This page will give you all the information you need about drug driving charges in the Beenleigh Court.  Whether you came to this page by searching for a drug driving lawyer near me or for Beenleigh drug driving lawyer we know this is a very difficult and stressful time and you need to be sure any lawyer you hire is both experienced with drug driving charges in court and just as importantly one you trust.

We understand if you have a Drug Driving charge in Beenleigh Court whether it driving with a relevant drug in the system or driving under the influence of a drug that you need immediate solid advice on your options and whether you could apply for a work licence.  We also understand you want a lawyer that will communicate with you and not just take you money and not return your calls or emails.  Finally you need to know what your costs will be and that is why all of our prices are fixed and are listed clearly on our website, there is no hidden fees or extra costs. 

The thousands of appearances in court we have made means that we have the experience to give you accurate advice and the best way to get the lowest penalty possible. 


What is drug driving?

There are two possible drug driving charges in Queensland either;

  • driving whilst a relevant drug is in the system; or
  • driving under the influence of a drug (“DUI”)



Driving with a relevant drug in your system

The is the lessor of the drug driving charges.  It is generally imposed where a salvia test shows up positive but the person is not otherwise showing any signs of being affected by that drug.  It is the most common drug driving charge for a person who has taken drugs the night before or some days earlier and driven not feeling they are affected by drugs.

For an open licence holder with no previous disqualification in the last 5 years the minimum disqualification starts at 1 month and can go as high as 9 months.  In many cases a person in this situation could apply for a work licence.  Beenleigh Court has certain rules when they will hear a work licence and you can contact us to discuss how a work licence application is heard.


Driving under the influence of a drug

Driving under the influence of a drug (“DUI”) is the more serious of the drug driving charges in Queensland.  It is generally charged where a person is showing signs of being affected by drugs or where there is an accident and a blood sample is taken, tested and found to contain high levels of drugs.

The minimum disqualification period for this charge is 6 months, if the person has no previous convictions.  It is not possible to apply for a work licence or any type of hardship licence if you are charged with driving under the influence of a drug.

You can be charged with driving under the influence of any type of drug not just the ones tested for in the salvia test.  This means you can be charged with driving under the influence of legal prescription drugs.

Often we see this charge where a person is alleged to have shown indica of being affected by drugs like;

  • The manner of driving
  • A person physical condition and appearance
  • Behaviour and attitude
  • A person’s eyes and breathing
  • Speech
  • Coordination
  • Memory
  • Health
  • Conduct at watch house or with police

Whilst the police would generally seek a salvia or blood test it is legal for them to charge someone for drug driving based on the driver’s indicia alone.



What drugs do Queensland police test for?

In Queensland the police test for the following drugs;

  1. Methylamphetamine – also known as speed or ice
  2. MDMA – the active ingredient in ecstasy
  3. THC – the active ingredient in cannabis

However if you are charged with driving under the influence of a drug then that can be any drug including legally prescribed drugs.


Are there defences to a drug driving charge?

Most defences to a drug driving offence have now gone.  The tests the police carry out are considered to be accurate and are accepted by the courts.  If we are engaged we always look for any possible defences that may exist.


Can you get a work licence if charged with drug driving?

If you are charged with a driving with a relevant drug charge, then you may be able to get a work licence but this must be done at the time you appear in the court to plead guilty, it cannot be done afterwards.  For more information on applying for a work licence if charged with drug driving go to our work licence webpage for more information.

If you are charged with driving under the influence of a drug (“DUI”) you cannot apply for a work licence or indeed any type of licence to keep driving during your disqualification. 

A work licence only allows you to drive for work purposes you cannot get a work licence or hardship licence to be able to drive for person reasons i.e. driving your children to school.  In Queensland a period of disqualification must be imposed and so if personal driving is critical all you can do is try and minimise the disqualification period as much as possible.

Well thought out submissions and arguments before a Magistrate can in our experience significantly reduce the length of your disqualification.  There are a number of factors that can lead a Magistrate to impose the lowest penalty possible, we know them all.



What do police have to prove?

As always, it if for the police to prove you committed the offence. It is generally quite easy to prove a charge of this kind. police have very wide powers to test a driver or someone they suspect of driving for drugs.  Most of the time a person charged with this offence will either be sitting in the driver’s seat of a car before they were tested, or had been driving a car before testing.

The testing for drugs must occur withing 3 hours of the incident that bought the driver to the police attention.


What happens if you are charged with drug driving?

If you plead guilty, the Beenleigh court will usually deal with your matter immediately. The magistrate will read the charge to you and ask you how you plead. The magistrate may also ask you if you are entering the plea of your own free will. The police prosecutor will then read the outline of facts and give the magistrate copies of the drug analysis certificate, your criminal history and traffic history (if any). The police prosecutor may also offer an opinion as to what penalties should be imposed on you.

After the prosecutor has spoken, the magistrate will give you an opportunity to speak. Your lawyer (or you if you don’t have a lawyer) will then put explain what occurred, why it occurred, the positive things you have done since the offence, your general good character and the impact the penalty including the disqualification will have on you. This is done to support asking the magistrate to give you the minimum penalty that can be argued for on the strength of those facts and circumstances.

The court will also consider any other material you might have obtained that will help reduce the penalty such as character references or completing a driving course such at Queensland Traffic Offenders Program (“QTOP”).

Once your lawyer has spoken, the magistrate may seek further clarification of certain matter from the police, from your lawyer, or from both. The magistrate will then convict you, impose a penalty and disqualify you from driving for a certain period of time. That licence disqualification takes effect immediately.

If you have applied for a work licence, the magistrate will indicate whether the application is granted. If it is granted the magistrate will state the conditions on which the licence is granted.

Once you are disqualified, you must immediately surrender your driver’s licence to the police prosecutor. It is an offence to be in possession of your licence after you have been disqualified from driving.



Are there any loopholes for drug driving?

They are no “loopholes” for drug driving charges.  The police must of course follow the rules and if they don’t it might open up the possibility of a defence but that is rare nowadays.


What is the limit for drug driving?

There is no defined limit for drug driving.  If any level of the three drugs the police test for are found then a person will be charged with driving with a relevant drug in their system.

If a person is arrested for driving under the influence then the police might seek a blood test.  That blood test would be sent for analysis to the forensic medical officer to analyse whether a person’s driving would have bene impaired with the drugs that were in the system.


How long do you lose your license for drug driving in Queensland?

Well thought out submissions and arguments before a magistrate can in our experience significantly reduce the length of your disqualification.   For first time offenders with no other charges before the court the court will look to fines and disqualifications as a penalty.  For repeat offenders the court will be looking at a number of penalties from probation to prison.  No matter the penalty it will always include a disqualification of your drivers licence.


The table below sets out the disqualification ranges and maximum fine the court can impose for a first offence on an open licence.


Disqualification period

Maximum fine

Driving with a relevant drug present

1 – 9 months


Driving under the Influence (drug)

Minimum 6 months


 P-Platers have a minimum of 3 months disqualification for driving with a relevant drug in the system.


What can I do to reduce my penalty and disqualification period?

The best thing is obviously to engage an experienced traffic lawyer to act for you.  A lawyer knows what the court needs to hear to get the lowest penalty possible.

Other things you can look to do is obtaining character references, where appropriate medical reports and completing the QTOP course.




What factors will the court take into account?

As the peak traffic law experts in Queensland, we know exactly what the Court wants to hear. The Court will take into account, among other things:

  • The type of drug you tested positive for
  • Whether you have prior drug driving offences
  • The extent of your traffic and criminal history
  • Your age
  • Your current work arrangements
  • Your family situation
  • How the disqualification will affect your work and family commitments
  • How early you pleaded guilty
  • Your participation in any courses (such as the Queensland Traffic Offenders Program)
  • How cooperative you were with police
  • Your financial circumstances
  • How the recording of a conviction might impact your future


When does the disqualification begin?

The disqualification starts immediately.  You would not be able to drive once you leave the Beenleigh court.  If you are granted a work licence you can only drive in accordance with the court order.


Will I get a criminal record for drug driving?

No, all traffic convictions are just that, traffic convictions, they are not considered to be criminal charges.  The courts are unlikely not to record a conviction unless specific evidence is placed before it that a traffic conviction will harm you in some way.  It should be noted however that overseas travel may be more difficult or impossible if a conviction for a driving under the influence of a drug is recorded, especially to Islamic countries or the United States or Canada.


What happens after my disqualification period?

After the period of disqualification has ended you will need to attend Queensland Transport and reapply for your licence.  You cannot simply start driving after your disqualification period has ended.  

After you have been disqualified for a drug driving offence you will be on a probationary licence for one year, this means that;

  1. You have only 4 demerit points available

You do not have to re-sit any tests to get your licence back if you were licenced at the time of the offence.

During your disqualification you cannot drive any motor vehicle for any reason.  If you do drive then you can be charged with disqualified driving which is a very serious charge.


How can I get more information about drug driving?

We have a dedicated drug driving page with lots more information.  You can access that page by clicking here.


Where is Beenleigh Court?

Beenleigh Courthouse

Corner Kent and James Streets

Beenleigh Qld 4207

Business hours

8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday and Wednesday to Friday

8.30am to 4.00pm, Tuesday

Phone                   (07) 3081 2100

Email                     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






The current list of Magistrates at Beenleigh are;

Magistrate Clare Kelly

Magistrate Terry Duroux

Magistrate Tracy Mossop

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll

Magistrate Cameron McKenzie

Magistrate Louise Shephard



Our Beenleigh Office

Level 2

3972 Pacific Highway


Phone: 0736680683

Please always phone ahead to book an appointment, due to COVID we can’t accept walk in clients at the current time.



What suburbs does Beenleigh court cover?

  • Bethania
  • Browns Plains
  • Carbrook
  • Cornubia
  • Crestmead
  • Daisy Hill
  • Eagleby
  • Hillcrest
  • Loganholme
  • Marsden
  • Meadowbrook
  • Mount Warren Park
  • Ormeau
  • Shalier Park
  • Slacks Creek
  • Springwood
  • Stapylton
  • Underwood
  • Waterford
  • Woodridge
  • Yatala




Can I change the court?

The court might agree to transfer the charge to another court if you are pleading guilty and you have a connection to the new court.  For example if you lived 3 hours away from Beenleigh court it might be possible to transfer it to the court closer to where you live.


I live in another state what can I do about appearing in Beenleigh court?

In some circumstances the court might agree for you to not have to appear or to appear by phone in the Beenleigh court if you have engaged a lawyer to act for you.


Will I go to jail for drug driving?

For the first few drug driving charges it is very unlikely the court would be considering a prison sentence as long as your drug driving charge wasn’t accompanied by more serious charges.


This is my first drug driving charge, what could my penalty be?

If you are an open licence holder the minimum disqualification period is 1 month.  If you are a P-plater then the minimum is 3 months.



Should I get a drug driving lawyer to represent me?

In a word, yes this is not an offence where you should simply turn up to the Magistrates Court without a lawyer.  The consequences and penalties the Court may impose are too serious not to seek to minimise the penalty by having a drug driving lawyer with you.  If you are seeking a work licence then you should always engage a lawyer.

If you have a bad traffic history, have previously been convicted of drink or drug driving or are charged with a DUI a Lawyer is critical.  We get 3-4 calls a week from people who represented themselves in court and received extremely harsh penalties and need to try and appeal the result.  In most cases an appeal is not possible or if it is will cost a huge amount for the legal fees.  It is better to have a lawyer from the start to minimise the drug driving penalty.

Hopefully, the above has shown it is important to come to court prepared. It is a bad idea to turn up to court and “wing it”. While the minimum disqualification is 1 month for a first time offender on an open licence, the maximum is much higher, and if you go to court prepared with an experienced lawyer (and we do specialise in this area), you can be confident of getting an outcome much better than what you would get merely going by yourself and hoping for the best. We find, at times, there is a strange casualness people take to drug driving offences, but being without a licence can have catastrophic consequences, particularly in more regional areas or for people who work in industries which require an ability to drive.


Engaging a lawyer in Beenleigh for a drug driving charge

Engaging a traffic lawyer is a difficult decision, you need to be sure the traffic law firm you engage is both reputable, experienced and that you have certainty of your legal costs and the traffic lawyer they assign to your case is knowledgeable in the Beenleigh Court and knows what each Magistrate wants.  At Clarity Law we have appeared in the Queensland Court thousands of times representing clients charged with drug driving.  We also have fixed prices so you can be sure of your legal costs.


Our Team

Every one of our lawyers is extremely experienced appearing in the Courts every week representing people charged with drug driving.


Steven Brough


Russell Tannock


Lucy Ferguson


Jacob Purden


Belinda Smyth – Client Services Manager

Between our lawyers we have appeared in court thousands of times representing clients with drug driving charges throughout Beenleigh.


Our experience

Since 2010 we have been representing people throughout the Beenleigh and Logan region who have been charged with traffic offences such as drug driving and need a good drug driving lawyer to represent them.  We aren’t a firm that does traffic law as just one area of law, we do traffic law exclusively. 

Our client’s often come to us nervous, worried and needing answers.  This is not a time for uncertainty over your future nor the costs you will pay.  The stress that a drug driving charge causes to people can be overwhelming, having a experienced drug driving law firm to help will give you a lot of relief.

We strive to give you immediate comprehensive advice and a fixed fee so you can be sure of your legal costs and whether you qualify for a work licence.  While we will never be the cheapest we do offer the best value in our humble opinion.


Why should I choose you and not just represent myself?

We understand that many people do just represent themselves in court for a drug driving charge.  Unfortunately some believe the duty lawyer will assist them which they will not for a drug driving charge unless you are facing a prison sentence.

We get calls all the time from people who have represented themselves in Beenleigh court and had a terrible outcome and are now desperate to try and do something to overturn the decision.  Just some of the reasons to engage a traffic lawyer includes;

  1. We have appeared in Beenleigh hundreds of times this means we know what the magistrates want to hear to minimise the disqualification period
  2. We can advise you if you qualify for a work licence
  3. We are there to look after your interests, neither the magistrate nor the police prosecutor is going to do that, you need someone on your side
  4. We can take you through the whole process so you are not worried what will occur in court as we would have explained everything to you and will be with you at court to assist you. This will dramatically reduce your stress levels
  5. Engaging us shows the court you are taking your charges seriously


Links that may be of assistance

Client Testimonials

Link to our Blog


List of Queensland Courts and their contact details

Daily list of Matters in Beenleigh Courts

List of Court Calendars for Queensland Courts


What do you charge for a drug driving charge?

We charge a flat upfront fee for our services, that means no hidden charges or unexpected bills. 

We are also upfront with our fees, if you look at other law firms few, if any, clearly list how much they are going to charge you.  Clarity Law on the other hand are happy to list our prices its important to be upfront with clients.  Our prices include;

  • full preparation for court and devising strategy to minimise penalty
  • Contacting the police prosecution unit including obtaining traffic history and charge documents
  • preparing for what we will tell the magistrate
  • advising you on how to obtain character references
  • all telephone calls and emails
  • detailed information to you on the likely disqualification period and fine and information on what will happen at court and afterwards
  • appearing in the court with you to conduct you’re a guilty plea

To see what we will charge for a guilty plea click here

Also in most circumstances you won’t need to physically meet with us until the court date, we can do everything by phone, zoom and email and have done so successfully for thousands of clients.

low res group


If I contacted you what would occur?

If you contact Clarity Law then Steven Brough the firm’s founder or our client services manager Belinda Smyth will take the call or receive the email. They have over 40 years legal experience between them, we can provide immediate legal assistance and answer any questions you have. We will discuss your case, provide guidance and send a quote by email with additional relevant information about your drug driving charge, all at no cost and no obligation.

If you want to engage us then it’s easy, there is a form you can complete and email back or complete online. If you don’t want to engage us or want to engage another firm that’s fine, you won’t be hassled and at worst you will just have more information about your charge. Once engaged one of our lawyers will go through your matter and contact you to discuss what the best way forward is to achieve the best results. Every one of our lawyers are very experienced with thousands of courts appearances between them and they know the Beenleigh court and the magistrates and prosecutors.


How to get in contact with us if you need a lawyer?

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


  • Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you



  • Click here to select a time for us to call you back


  • Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


More drug driving information

We have a range of articles on drug driving on our blog.  Some of the most recent have included:

Our main Drug Driving page


The Essential Guide to Obtaining a Work Licence


What happens after your drivers licence is disqualified?


Special Hardship Orders v Work Licences


Drug Driving Charges Skyrocket


The Different Types of Drug Driving


Negotiating with a Prosecutor in Queensland


What is a QP9 and why is it important to your charge?


Drug Driving on Synthetic Drugs


Essential Guide to Drug Driving