Strict conditions apply to probationary licences. Infringement notices involve no court hearing. Drink-drive offences include drinking alcohol while driving and can lead to loss of licence. Drug-driving and excessive speed can also lead to loss of licence. Detection device or speed camera offences involve a fine and possible demerit points. Demerit points can be lost for various offences. The sheriff may suspend licence and car registration for non-payment of fines. Speeding at more than 25km/h over the speed limit incurs a minimum six month loss of licence. Penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are heavier than for driving with excessive blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing breath or blood tests can lead to two-year licence disqualification. Licence restoration after a drink driving offence will entail tests, courses, reports and a court appearance. Alcohol interlock devices are now more widely used. Drug driving convictions involve fines and disqualification. Heavy fines and possibly imprisonment can follow driving while disqualified. Dangerous driving incurs automatic licence disqualification. Police and courts can order the impoundment or immobilisation of motor vehicles for a variety of offences, apart from hoon driving. Repeat offenders may forfeit vehicles.

Contributors

Peter Lynch

Lawyer

Madeleine Lynch

Lawyer, Fitzroy Legal Service

Legislation related to driving offences

Last updated

1 July 2020

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

The law relating to driving offences in Victoria is complex and subject to constant change. The Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) (‘Road Safety Act’), the major piece of legislation governing road law in Victoria, is constantly being reviewed. Amendments to the Road Safety Act tend to introduce tougher conditions and penalties for drivers. For example, under the Road Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (Vic) (‘2020 Act’), drivers can now have their driver licence immediately suspended if they are caught speeding excessively (for more information, see ‘Immediate licence suspension for speeding’, below).

Road Safety Act

In this chapter, the references to legislation are to the Road Safety Act, unless otherwise stated.

Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009 (Vic)

On 29 October 2019, the Victorian Government replaced the Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009 (Vic) with the Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic) (‘Drivers Regulations’). The major change is that now, drivers with an international or interstate driver licence who drive on Victorian roads must convert their driver licence to a Victorian driver licence within six months of living in Victoria – if they meet the residency requirements. If they fail to do so, they risk being charged with unlicensed driving  (regs 12, 13 Drivers Regulations).

Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)

Provisions relating to driving offences are also in the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) (‘CP Act’).

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