Drink & Drug Driving Lawyer Maroochydore

Drink driving lawyer and drug driving lawyer based in Maroochydore

Thank you for visiting of website we hope you we can give you the most comprehensive information about drug driving or drink driving charges in the Maroochydore Court.  We know this is a very difficult and stressful time and you need to be sure any drink driving lawyer or drug driving lawyer you hire is both experienced with Drug or Drink Driving charges in Maroochydore and just as importantly one you trust.

We do understand if you have a drug or drink driving charge in Maroochydore Court whether it is high range or mid or low range 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. 

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.


Engaging a lawyer in Maroochydore for a drink driving or 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 Maroochydore Court and knows what each Magistrate wants.  At Clarity Law we have appeared in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court many hundreds of times representing clients charged with drink driving or a drug. 

Our main office has been based at Maroochydore for 12 years and our firms founder Steven Brough has lived at Maroochydore for over 23 years.

We also have fixed prices so you can be sure of your legal costs.


Levels of Drink Driving

In Queensland there are 4 levels of drink driving

BAC levels


What are the drink driving limits?

BAC Limits


I cannot understand how I was over the limit

Our clients can often be really confused how they can be over the limit.  This is especially true for first time drink drivers.  In our experience this is generally down to

  • Stress levels
  • Lack of Food
  • Drinking stronger non pre-mixed drinks
  • Losing track of the amount of drinks consumed
  • Miss-calculating the time it takes for the alcohol level to come down after stopping
  • Type of build/amount of body fat
  • Drinking quickly

We have had clients who followed the old guidelines of 2 standard drinks in the first hour and one every hour after that and were still over the limit.

What is Drug driving?

it's important to understand the two types of drug driving charges in Queensland.

The first is driving with a relevant Drug present, which refers to having one of three specific Drugs in your system: methylamphetamine (also known as speed or ice), MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy), or THC (the active ingredient in cannabis).

The second charge is driving under the influence of drug, which can include any drugs (legal, illegal, prescribed or not) that police believe have negatively affected your ability to drive.


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 or indicia of being affected by that Drug.


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 Drug driving even on legally prescribed 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.


I am charged with drink or drug driving but need to drive during any disqualification

It may be possible for you to apply for a work licence if you held an open licence at the time of the offence, are charged with low or mid-range drink driving or driving with a relevant Drug in your system and had no suspensions of your licence in the last 5 years but this must be done at the time you appear Maroochydore to plead guilty, it cannot be done afterwards.  You cannot apply for a work licence if you are charged with high range drink driving  or driving under the influence of a Drug. Please see our section on work licences for further information or check out the most comprehensive guide to apply for a work licence on the internet.

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 Maroochydore Magistrate to impose the lowest penalty possible, we know them all.


Can I Get a Work Licence or Special Hardship Order for Driving Under the Influence?

Unfortunately, section 87(5)(da) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 excludes someone convicted of driving under the influence from being eligible for a work licence.

A special hardship order is only applicable to someone whose licence is suspended (or is going to be suspended) by Transport and Main Roads due to the breach of a good behaviour driving period.





I wasn’t driving the vehicle but I was arrested for being in charge of a motor vehicle

You can be charged with drink or drug driving being in charge of a vehicle if you had control of the motor vehicle for example if you were in the driver’s seat and had the keys near you even if you were not driving or had no intention of driving.  Often this occurs when people are in the car waiting to be picked up, in the car wanting to find something or just sleeping.

It does not matter that the car was not on a road, you can be charged.


Will I get a criminal record?

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 Drug driving charge is recorded, especially to Islamic countries or the United States or Canada


What period of disqualification of my driver licence will I get in Maroochydore Court?

First time convictions usually carry a fine and disqualification. The length of disqualification and amount of the fine depends largely on the blood alcohol limit. If there are previous convictions the fine and disqualification time will increase.   According to the legislation if there are 3 convictions in 5 years with BAC readings above 0.15% jail time will be a compulsory part of the punishment.

Below is a table showing a table of minimum and maximum licence disqualifications that apply.

A very general rough guide to penalties for a first time offender in Maroochydore Magistrates Court with no previous offences is listed below; please note this is not legal advice as to your potential penalty it is merely a general guide. Employing a lawyer will almost always reduce your disqualification period.



What will happen in Court?

In general terms, drink and drug driving matters are dealt with “summarily”, which means that they are dealt with in a Magistrates Court.  The Maroochydore Magistrates Court uses one courtroom (generally on a Monday) that deals with traffic matters like drink driving, drug driving, disqualified driving etc . When you are charged, the police will give you a notice to appear in court or give you bail to appear in court on a specific date. 

In addition to the date, you will also be advised of what time you must be at court. Generally, you will be told to be at court at 8.30am or 9.00am. While you must be at court at this time, your matter will not be heard immediately. Instead, the court and the police prosecutor work together to decide the order in which matters will be heard that day.  As a rule, anyone who has legal representation will be heard first, followed by everyone who is representing themselves.

If you plead guilty, the 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. 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.



inside courtroom


What Factors will the Court take into Account?

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

  • Your BAC.
  • Whether you have prior drink 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.
  • Any character references you provide
  • 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 Court.  If your licence was immediately suspended because you were a mid or high range drink driver then the court will take into account the time you have been suspended but the disqualification period the court sets starts from the court date.


Will I need to fit an Interlock to my car?

You will be required to have an interlock device fitted to your vehicle for the period of one year once you are eligible to obtain your driver’s licence back if you are charged with mid range drink driving or high range drink driving or this is your second drink driving charge within 5 years.  The Court has no discretion to exempt you from an interlock if this applies to you as it is a Queensland Transport licencing requirement.  This is an area that is subject to constant change, for more information visit their website.


interlock reduced size


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 you will be on a probationary licence for one year, this means that;

  1. You have only 4 demerit points available
  2. You have a zero alcohol limit for 1 year

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.


Where is the Court?

Maroochydore Magistrates Court

Cornmeal Parade

Maroochydore Qld 4558


Business hours

8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday


Phone: (07) 5376 5100

Fax:        (07) 5376 5124

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




The current list of Magistrates at Maroochydore are;

Magistrate Rodney Madsen

Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin

Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist


australian courtroom reduced size


Suburbs covered by Maroochydore Magistrates Court

Alexandra Headland      

Belli Park

Bli Bli





Coes Creek



Coolum Beach

Cotton Tree




Eerwah Vale[a]




Forest Glen





Image Flat



Kidaman Creek

Kiels Mountain



Kunda Park


Landers Shoot



Maroochy River





Mount Coolum

Mountain Creek




North Arm

Obi Obi

Pacific Paradise



Peregian Beach

Peregian Springs


Point Arkwright


Sippy Downs


Towen Mountain

Twin Waters



West Woombye

Weyba Downs


Yandina Creek





Maroochydore court


Our Local Office

Suite 4

66 Duporth Avenue

Maroochydore QLD 4558

Phone: 1300 952 255


Please always phone ahead to book an appointment.


Our Lawyers

Every one of our lawyers is extremely experienced appearing in the Maroochydore Courts every week representing people on a huge range of traffic, drug and drink driving charges.

steven brough criminal solicitor

Steven Brough – Founder and Traffic Lawyer


russell tannock criminal lawyer

Russell Tannock –Traffic Lawyer


lucy ferguson criminal solicitor

Lucy Ferguson –Traffic Lawyer


jacob pruden criminal lawyer

Jacob Purden –Traffic Lawyer


belinda smyth criminal lawyer

Belinda Smyth – Client Services Manager

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


I will just use the duty lawyer at court, that’s free

Unless you are facing the chance of imprisonment which is not likely for drink driving then the duty lawyer cannot act for you at court.  This means you will be facing the court and the prosecutor on your own.


A lawyer is not going to make any real difference

We have done 1000’s of drink and drug driving charge through Queensland.  Having a lawyer always makes a difference.  It doesn’t have to be us but always have a lawyer handle your matter in court.  Even a month or two less disqualification is worth the price let alone the reduction in stress you will have with a lawyer by your side handling everything.  Just the cost of ubers and taxis to get around for the few extra months a lawyer can save makes it worth it, let alone the saving in stress and worry.

Remember in court only a lawyer is on your side, the magistrate and the police prosecutor are not.




I’m really embarrassed at what has occurred

That’s understandable most of our clients haven’t intentionally driven whilst over the limit.  We have no judgement, good people make mistakes and we are here to try and get the best outcome for the client so they can go on with their lives.


Our Experience

Since 2010 we have been representing people throughout the Sunshine Coast region who have been charged with a drug or drink driving charge and need a good traffic 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 drink driving charge causes to people can be overwhelming, having a lawyer 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.

Our Founder Steven Brough is one of the most respected and experienced traffic lawyers in Queensland and has been based in Maroochydore for 20 years.



low res group


Why should I choose you and not just represent myself?

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

We get calls every week from people who have represented themselves 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 Maroochydore hundreds of times this means we know what the Magistrates want to hear to minimise the disqualification period
  1. we can advise you if you qualify for a work licence
  1. we are there to look after your interests, neither the Magistrates nor the Police Prosecutor is going to do that, you need someone on your side
  1. we can take you through the whole process so you are not worried what will occur in Maroochydore 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
  1. engaging us shows the court you are taking your charges seriously

We built this firm on the basis we would offer understanding, compassion and real expertise in traffic law at a fair but not cheap price.   To learn more about the story of our founder Steven Brough and how he came to start the firm please click here.


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 Maroochydore Courts

Court Calendar for Maroochydore Courts


 contact us reduced size


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;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm
  3. Click here to select a time for us to call you back for short free conference
  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 no matter the reading will have an impact on you, your family and your employment or business.  


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 45 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 drink 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 Maroochydore court and the Magistrates and Prosecutors.


What do you 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 as we are sure no other South East Queensland law firm can match our prices and experience. Our prices include;

  • full preparation for court including checking for defences and devising strategy to minimise penalty
  • contacting the prosecution unit to obtain your traffic history, charge documents and a copy of the prosecutor court brief (QP9) so we know what the prosecutor will tell the court occurred
  • drafting submissions for the court
  • arranging for you to attend a driving course (if appropriate)
  • all telephone calls, faxes emails and meetings with you
  • detailed information to you on the likely penalty and information on what will happen at court and afterwards
  • appearing in the court with you for your guilty plea to the drink or drug driving charge


If you aren’t a first time drink or drug driver we are happy to provide a fixed price quote.


More Drink Driving Information


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