When police allege you have committed a serious traffic offence, they have the power to suspend your driver’s licence immediately after you have been pulled over or within 48 hours afterwards.
Driving licence suspension notices take effect from the day you receive the notice in the mail, or, if suspended on the spot, from that moment. Under the Road Transport Act 2013, police have the power to suspend your licence immediately in situations where:
1. A serious offence causing death or grievous bodily harm has occurred;
2. You were high range speeding;
3. You were intoxicated whilst driving;
4. You were street racing;
5. You were partaking in aggravated burnouts; or
6. You are a learner licence holder driving without supervision.
If you are caught doing 45km or more over the limit, you can be suspended immediately for a period of six (6) months. For provisional licence holders, if you are doing more than 30km, you may also be immediately suspended.
In terms of alcohol related offences, you cannot get your licence suspended for a low range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (blood alcohol concentration from 0.05 to 0.079). However, it may be suspended for having a mid range PCA (blood alcohol concentration from 0.08 to 0.149) or high range PCA (over 0.150).
Anytime a suspension is immediately issued, you will be charged and will be provided with a court attendance notice. You may be able to challenge the suspension in court, however you must abide by the suspension until your hearing date.
If the court finds you guilty, they may take into account the time you have already been off the road and your period of disqualification may be shortened accordingly. The penalties may include a criminal conviction, a fine, or even jail time depending on the severity of the offence.