Driver Licence disqualification reforms

By Harry Lollback – Solicitor, Criminal Law 

7 February 2018

The New South Wales Department of Justice brought into effect adjustments to penalties for driver licence disqualification on 28 October 2017.  These changes are designed to better protect community safety by reducing unauthorised driving and repeat offending.

Summary:

1.Police now have greater powers to impose on-the-spot vehicle sanctions to keep repeat offenders and dangerous driver off our roads.

2.Disqualified drivers that fall into certain categories can apply to the Local Court to have their disqualification lifted early.

If you are a repeat offender then watch out!

Police now have stronger powers to deliver swift action to drivers who repeatedly do the wrong thing.  They have been empowered to confiscate registration plates or vehicles "on-the-spot" for those who continue to drive while unlicensed or disqualified.  This is designed to protect community safety by keeping dangerous drivers off our roads.

Police can also impose longer "on-the-spot" vehicle sanctions for repeat offenders who have two or more prior convictions for certain driving offences within the past five year period.  These offences include driving while unlicensed or disqualified and applying for a licence without mentioning their disqualification, or where a disqualified driver is caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/hour.

Lifting lengthy disqualification periods

It has been demonstrated that lengthy disqualification periods do not deter unauthorised driving and that the new reforms will reduce re-offending by providing new ways for people to be re-issued with their licence.  Support needs to be given to re-offenders to help them return to lawful and regulated driving and community safety will be at the forefront of any decision by a Local Court to re-issue a licence early.  Drivers who have had their disqualification lifted will still need to apply to Road and Maritime Services and complete standard road safety and knowledge tests to get their licence back.

If you have been disqualified and have been no further offences registered against you for 2-4 years (depending on your initial disqualification period), you may be eligible.

It should also be noted that any driver disqualified from driving as a result of death or grievous bodily harm will not be eligible to have their disqualification period reduced.

Commins Hendriks is here to help.  If you have been convicted of any driving offence, seek our professional advice straight away and we will fully inform you of your options and if necessary be an advocate for you in court.

If you have any questions, please contact us to book an appointment on 1800 643 779.