Work Licences – drug driving offence
I'm going to court for a 'drug driving offence' and I'm pleading guilty. I'm the only driver in the family and I need my licence for work. Can I get a work licence?
It depends. There are different types of 'drug driving offences'. You may be charged with driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or you may be charged with driving or being in charge of a vehicle with cannabis, ecstasy or ICE in your saliva or blood (but not under the influence).
If the charge is driving or being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, you cannot get a work licence or any sort of order which lets you drive. You will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for a period. During this period and afterwards until you get a licence, if you drive you are breaking the law.
If you are charged with driving or being in charge of a vehicle with cannabis, ecstasy or ICE in your saliva or blood (but not with driving or being in charge or a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, which is a more serious charge), then you may be able to get a work licence.
As with drink driving, you must be able to say "yes" to all of the things below:
- the charge is the less serious charge of driving with a drug in your saliva or blood, not driving (or being in charge of a vehicle) under the influence of drugs
- at the time you were caught for driving with a drug in your saliva or blood you:
- held a current Queensland open driver's licence for the vehicle you were driving
- weren't driving for your job or already under a work licence
- at the time you apply for the work licence you hold a current Queensland provisional or open driver's licence
- in the last five years you have not:
- been convicted before of this or a similar offence (eg drink driving)
- been convicted in Queensland of dangerous driving
- had a licence suspended or cancelled (except in some circumstances).
Even if you can say "yes" that all of these things apply to you, to get a work licence:
you must apply to the court at the time you are convicted and before the court orders that you are disqualified from driving
you must show the court that –
- you are a 'fit and proper person' and
- that if you don't get one this will cause you or your family extreme hardship by depriving you of your means of earning a living.
If you are able to satisfy each of these requirements, it will be necessary to complete an Application and prepare an Affidavit by you and your employer explaining that you will lose your job if you have no licence.
The court may want you or both you and your boss to give evidence as well as reading your affidavit/s.
If the court gives you an order for a work licence, read the conditions very carefully. Driving outside the conditions of your work licence is breaking the law and your work licence will be cancelled.
The court order is not a licence, it is an order saying you can have one, so do not drive until you have been to Queensland Transport with the court order and Queensland Transport has noted your licence.
If after a court makes an order for a work licence and your job circumstances change, you can make an application to the court to change things. It is a similar process to the application for the work licence.
Remember, if you do get a work licence and you drive or attempt to drive with a work licence with any drugs in your system you are breaking the law.
If you wish to make an Application for a work licence, or have any questions and would like to speak with one of our solicitors, please contact us.