In Queensland, driver licence disqualifications and suspensions are in place for a range of traffic offences and infringements. In certain cases, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence or a Special Hardship Order. These orders allow you to continue to drive for work and/or other limited purposes during the disqualification or suspension period.
You need to apply to the Court to be granted a restricted work licence or Special Hardship Order. If the Magistrate grants the application, they may impose conditions on your licence for the period of the order. Examples of licence conditions include the days and times you are allowed to drive, and whether or not you can carry passengers.
A work licence is not automatically granted simply because you need to drive for work. It is important that you obtain legal advice at an early stage to ensure that your rights are protected.
Julia Jasper and Rebecca Fogerty are highly experienced traffic lawyers and have appeared for clients throughout Queensland on work licence and special hardship order applications. At all times, we endeavour to achieve an outstanding outcome on your behalf at an affordable, fixed fee price.
We will meet with you and explain whether you eligible to apply for a work licence or special hardship order. We will advise you of steps you may take to improve your chances of being granted a work licence. We will draft all court documents and liaise with the prosecution and Queensland Transport to ensure that your matter is presented in the best possible way. We will then appear in Court to argue your case before the Magistrate.
Restricted Work Licence
If you are charged with a low or mid-range drink driving offence you may be eligible to apply for a Restricted Work Licence pursuant to section 87 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act. This allows you to drive for work purposes only.
You may also apply for a restricted work licence if you have been charged with driving with a relevant drug present or failing to provide a sample of breath at the roadside.
In order to apply for a restricted work licence, you must meet strict eligibility criteria. Among other things, you must:
- Plead guilty to the charge;
- Have held a current Queensland driver licence for the vehicle you were driving at the time of the offence;
- Have a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.15%;
- Have no previous driver licence disqualifications or suspensions in the last five years; and
- Not have been driving for work purposes at the time of the offence.
The application for a restricted work licence must be made to a Magistrate in the Magistrates Court. The Court will only grant you a work licence if, among other things:
- You need your licence in the course of your employment, including driving to and from work;
- You are a “fit and proper” person to hold a work licence having regard to your traffic history and the safety of the community; and
- The Court is satisfied that failure to grant the licence would cause you “severe financial hardship” by depriving you of the means of earning a living. This is generally interpreted to mean that you will lose your job if you are not able to continue driving for work purposes.