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

The right to appeal

Last updated

1 July 2020

VicRoads

Drivers whose licences have been cancelled, suspended or varied by VicRoads can appeal the decision in the Magistrates’ Court (s 26(1) Road Safety Act), but the court’s decision is final (s 26(4)). Appeals to the Magistrates’ Court about VicRoads’ demerit points decisions are limited to matters about the miscalculation of points (s 46H).

Courts

Anyone disqualified from obtaining a licence or permit, or whose licence or permit is cancelled, suspended or varied by a Magistrates’ Court order, may appeal to the County Court against this decision (s 29(1) Road Safety Act). This appeal must be filed at the court within 28 days of the court order being made. A person is not allowed to drive in the period between filing an appeal and the appeal hearing, unless the court grants permission to do so (s 29(2) Road Safety Act). Drivers considering an appeal should bear in mind that a more severe penalty may be imposed by a County Court judge.

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