Criminal Law FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Queensland's traffic and driving laws



    • Why is Clarity Law better priced than other law firms?

      It's very simple, we have tried to eliminate most costs that normal law firms have. We don't have fancy offices; we don't have reception staff all of this allows us to pass the savings on to you it also allows us the flexibility to travel to most courts in South East Queensland. Our prices are listed here.

    • My lawyer can do the criminal law matter in court, the price they have given is higher than yours, doesn't this mean I will get better service from them?

      No, we are confident we offer both the best price and service in Queensland. We are cheaper because we have structured our law firm to eliminate costs; these savings are passed on to you. Steven Brough the owner of Clarity Law is one of Queensland's best and most experienced traffic lawyers and we in the courts everyday helping people with traffic law matters.

    Our Process

    • Won't I need to meet with you before the court date?

      No, we can generally do everything over the phone or by email. We know exactly what the courts need to hear to get you the best result. By avoiding unnecessary appointments with your lawyer we can not only reduce the cost to you but save you the extra inconvenience of trips to see your lawyer. If for any reason we do need to meet before the court date we can arrange that at one of our 6 offices in South East Queensland.

    • I'm not sure whether I should use a lawyer or not

      Our initial analysis of your case is free and with no obligation so just contact us, we will get all your relevant documents from the police and let you know what we think the court will do, if you engage us great, if you choose not to engage us then at least you will have a better idea what will happen in court.
    • I have a traffic matter but I’m not sure if anyone can help?

      Just call or email us, we will let you know if there are any legal options.


    • Can't I just use my local solicitor for my traffic matter?

      Absolutely. There are many great lawyers but the question you need to ask is how much experience they have? We appear in court hundreds of times a year helping clients, some lawyers have little if any traffic law experience or their knowledge is out of date.

    • Where do I find the law relating to traffic law in Queensland?

      The majority of the rules concerning traffic offences can be found in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act and its associated legislation and regulations

    • I need help with an insurance company refusing to pay after an accident, is this something you can help with?

      No, we only undertake matters involving police charges and drivers licence matters.

    • Do you do legal aid matters?


    • Will the Magistrate see my driving history?

      Yes, the Magistrate will have a full copy of your Queensland Traffic History and in some cases other states.

    • Can’t I just use the duty lawyer?

      Duty Lawyers are instructed by Legal Aid not to assist people with traffic law matters such as drink or drug driving charges, unlicenced driving etc unless there is a risk of imprisonment. In most cases if you hope the duty lawyer will represent you for a traffic matter you will end up before the Magistrate by yourself.

    Courts We Attend

    • I'm in Gympie will it cost extra to hire you to represent me?

      No, Our prices are the same no matter what South East Queensland court you are in. For a list of courts we appear in click here.

    • Where can I find a list of Queensland Courthouses?

      A list of all courthouses and there contact details can be found here.

    Drink Driving

    • I could not complete the breath test because of a medical condition but I have still been charged by the police, do I have a defence?

      Possibly, if you can demonstrate to the court that the medical condition prevented you providing a specimen of breath.

    • Is there anything I can do to lower my BAC?

      Not really, 95% of alcohol is eliminated through metabolisation by the liver. In practice we have found that the lack of food is one of the main reasons people record a BAC reading higher than what they thought they would.

    • How many people are charged with Drink Driving in Queensland each year?

      Over 30,000

    • What is my alcohol limit?

      Licence class or age

      Legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC)

      Holder of a learner, P1/P2 provisional or probationary licence (regardless of age).

      (no alcohol limit)

      Holder of an open licence.
      (However, if you obtain your class RE motorcycle licence, you must ride with a zero BAC in your first year of riding, regardless of your age or the class of vehicle licence you hold).

      Below 0.05
      (general alcohol limit)

      Holder of a licence when driving, or in charge of, a truck (GVM over 4.5t), bus (built or fitted to carry more than 12 adults, including the driver), articulated motor vehicle, B-double, road train, vehicle carrying dangerous goods, taxi, limousine, tow truck, pilot vehicle, and public passenger vehicle or a vehicle while it is being used by a driver trainer to give driver training (or any driver supervising a learner driver).

      (no alcohol limit)

    • What are the potential penalties for a first offence of drink driving

      Over the "no alcohol limit"

      • Maximum fine $1,400 and/or 3 months' imprisonment; AND
      • Mandatory disqualification of 3 months with a maximum of 9 months

      Over "general alcohol limit" (.05% - .099%)

      • Maximum fine $1,400 and/or 3 months' imprisonment; AND
      • Mandatory disqualification of 1 month with maximum of 9 months

      Over “middle alcohol limit” (.1%-.149)

      • Maximum fine $1,400 and/or 3 months' imprisonment; AND
      • Mandatory disqualification of 3 months with maximum of 12 months

      Over "high limit" (over .15%)

      • Maximum fine $2,100 and/or 9 months' imprisonment; AND
      • Mandatory disqualification of 6 months with a maximum of an absolute  disqualification

    Drug Driving

    • What drugs do the police test for?

      Cannabis, speed, ice and ecstasy. In certain circumstances blood tests may be taken for other drugs. 

    • I’ve been booked for drug driving, can I apply for a work licence?

      Possibly, depending on the actual offence you are charged with it may be possible to apply for a work licence, you will still have to meet all the eligibility criteria and convince the court that you are a fit and proper person and losing your licence will deprive you of your means of earning an income.

    • Can I be charged with driving on prescription medication?

      Yes, if the police alleged your driving was so impaired that you posed a danger then you can be charged with driving under the influence of a drug even if the drug was legally prescribed.


    • I have a work vehicle and my own private car, can I share the interlock between the cars?

      No, each car you drive must have its own interlock.

    • A mate blew into my interlock, he had alcohol on his breath and the car refused to start, will this prevent me from gaining my licence back?

      Possibly, the interlock must not have recorded any failed attempts to start in the 6 months before the end of the interlock period. You may need to demonstrate to Queensland Transport that it was not you who blew into the interlock.

    Dangerous Driving

    • I’ve been charged with dangerous driving, I’ve been told I could go to jail for this offence, is this true?

      Yes, dangerous driving along with disqualified driving is the most likely traffic offence that can lead to jail. Depending on the circumstances the court may not jail you or order an immediate suspension of your jail term, everything depends on the facts of the case and your traffic history and of course the submissions made by your lawyer.

    • Can I apply for work licence?


    Vehicle Forfeiture

    • If my car is impounded who pays the costs of storage?

      The owner of the vehicle.

    • I lent my car to a friend who has been booked for hooning and now the police want to impound the vehicle, is there anything I can do?

      Yes, if you had no knowledge of the hooning activities you may be able to apply to the court to prevent the impoundment or forfeiture.

    Special Hardship Licence

    • Queensland Transport have written to me stating my licence is going to be suspended for 6 months because I incurred an offence while on a good driving behaviour period, is there anything I can do?

      Yes, you may be eligible to apply for a special hardship licence. We have a comprehensive guide to applying for a special hardship licence.

    • I want to apply for a special hardship licence but don’t need it to work can I get it for other reasons?

      Possibly, unlike a work licence a special hardship licence does not have to be only for work purposes, if you can demonstrate a special hardship that would occur if you did not have a licence then you may be able to apply for a licence.

    • Where can I find the legislation that applies to special hardship licences?

      The legislation is the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010.

    Work Licenses

    • My BAC was .18 can I get a work licence?

      No, to be eligible to apply for a work licence your BAC must be below .15

    • Can I apply for a work licence with a drug driving charge?

      If your charge is driving with a relevant drug in the system rather than driving under the influence of a drug then you might be able to apply for a work licence. We have the must comprehensive guide to work licences in Queensland that you can read by clicking here.

    • I work odd hours can I still get a work licence?

      Possibly, if you are eligible to apply for a work licence you can ask the magistrate to vary the hours that you can drive for work purposes.

    • I qualify for a work licence but I’m self-employed, will this prevent me from getting a licence?

      Not if you need a licence to earn your income

    Unlicensed Driving

    • Will I lose my licence for driving unlicensed?

      It depends on why you were unlicensed. Some unlicensed driving charge carry no disqualification, others it can be up to 6 months. Read our essential guide to unlicensed driving to work out what disqualification period might apply to your charge

    Disqualified Driving

    • Can I get a work licence or special hardship licence if I am charged with disqualified driving?


    • How long will I lose my driver’s licence for?

      The minimum disqualification period is 2 years

    Careless Driving

    • Will I lose any demerit points if I plead guilty to careless driving?

      Yes, currently you will incur 2 demerit points. For a full list of offences and their associated demerit points click here

    • Will I lose my licence if I plead guilty to a careless driving charge?

      That will be up to the Magistrate, for a normal careless driving charge there is no mandatory licence disqualification. The Magistrate will look at the circumstances of what occurred, your traffic history and if anyone was hurt or if any property was damaged and decide if they will impose a disqualification period. For a charge of careless driving causing death or grievous bodily harm the minimum disqualification is 6 months

    Removal of Disqualification

    • My licence was disqualified for 3 years, when is the earliest I can apply to get my licence back?

      You can apply to the court to get your licence back after 2 years

    Evading Police

    • How long will I lose my licence for?

      The minimum disqualification period is 2 years

    • Can I get a work licence?


    • I’m told you can go to prison for 50 days for evading police is this correct?

      The Magistrate has the power to impose a very high fine or 50 days in prison

    Speeding Tickets

    • Do you handle fighting speeding or other tickets in court?