Cumulative disqualifications came into effect in Queensland for offences committed on or after 18 May 2008.
It means that if you are convicted of certain traffic offences any disqualification periods are served one after the other. The law was brought in to improve road safety and provide an extra deterrent against committing dangerous traffic offences.
Because of cumulative disqualifications it is very important that you do not drive if your licence has been suspended or disqualified. It has become common for people to end up with very lengthy disqualification periods.
You might think it is hard to not be able to drive for a few months, think how hard it would be to not be able to drive for a few years!
What offences does it apply to?
Cumulative disqualifications apply to the following driving offences
-Supervising a learner driver while your blood alcohol level is over 0.05
-Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by alcohol or drugs
-Driving while immediately suspended (following a mid or high range drink driving charge)
-Driving while disqualified by a court order
-Driving outside the conditions of a work licence
Any disqualification periods will be cumulative if you are charged with two or more of the above offences.They will also apply if you are convicted of any of the above offences while your licence is already disqualified or suspended.
How does a cumulative disqualification work?
Cumulative disqualifications are automatic. The Magistrate does not have to order that the disqualification periods imposed are cumulative.
If you are charged with 2 or more of the above offences at the same time separate disqualification periods will be ordered for each offence. The disqualification periods will be cumulative, that is they will run one after the other.
If you are charged with one of the above offences while your licence is already suspended or disqualified, the new disqualification period ordered by the court will not start until after the end of your current disqualification period.
John was disqualified on 1 February 2014 for 6 months because he drove while his licence was suspended due to demerit points. On 1 March 2014 he was caught driving home from the pub by police and was charged with disqualified driving and drink driving with a reading of 0.07.
He goes to court on 1 April 2014 and pleads guilty. The court orders he be disqualified for 2 years for disqualified driving and 4 months for drink driving. John will not be able to get his licence back until 1 December 2016. John’s total disqualification period will be 34 months (6 months + 24 months + 4 months).
Harry lost his licence for 2 years on 1 December 2012. On 1 February 2013 he is charged with disqualified driving. He will not be able to get his licence back until 1 December 2016 and his total disqualification period will be 48 months (24 months + 24 months)
For more information, see Queensland Transport’s Cumulative Disqualification Fact Sheet http://www.support.transport.qld.gov.au/qt/formsdat.nsf/forms/S4855/$file/S4855_ES.pdf