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When Is a Driver in WA Disqualified from Driving?

Serious traffic offences in WA carry an automatic period of disqualification from driving

As a penalty for committing traffic violations in Western Australia, driver licences can be disqualified or canceled. This article will explain how that can happen to you and what steps you may be able to take to prevent it.

Disqualification

A disqualification is a suspension of driving privileges that is imposed by a court as punishment for a driving offence. Other suspensions, not imposed by a court, occur automatically when drivers accumulate too many demerit points or fail to pay fines.

Unless the court cancels a licence, a disqualified driver is entitled to drive again after all disqualification periods end. The disqualification period for an offence is set by the court at the time of sentencing. A minimum period of disqualification is required for certain offences.

Minimum disqualification periods

Examples of minimum disqualification periods in WA include:

Driving with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.05 but less than 0.07

          First offence:                  no disqualification

          Second offence:              6 months

          Subsequent offence:       8 months

Driving with BAC of at least 0.07 but less than 0.08

          First offence:                  discretionary

          Second offence:              8 months

          Subsequent offence:       10 months

Driving with BAC of at least 0.08 but less than 0.11

          First offence:                  6 to 7 months

          Second offence:              8 to 10 months

          Subsequent offence:       10 to 13 months

Driving with BAC of at least 0.11 but less than 0.15

          First offence:                  8 to 9 months

          Second offence:              14 to 18 months

          Subsequent offence:       17 to 30 months

DUI or driving with BAC of 0.15 or higher

          First offence:                  10 months

          Second offence:              30 months

          Subsequent offence:       life

Driving with illicit drug in system

          First offence:                  discretionary

          Second offence:              6 months

          Subsequent offence:       6 months

Refusal of preliminary breath test

          First offence:                  3 months

          Second offence:              6 months

          Subsequent offence:       6 months

Refusal of confirming blood or breath test

          First offence:                  10 months

          Second offence:              30 months

          Subsequent offence:       life

Cancellation of licence

For most of the offences listed above, provisional drivers will face a cancellation of their licence. The cancellation remains in effect for the same amount of time that a full licence holder would be disqualified.

If a licence is cancelled, the driver must apply for and be issued a new licence before it is legal to drive again. The driver cannot apply for a new licence until the cancellation period ends.

Avoiding disqualification or cancellation

If disqualification is discretionary, an argument can be made to the magistrate that the disqualification should not be imposed. You should talk to a lawyer about making that argument on your behalf.

If disqualification or cancellation is mandatory, you can only avoid it by avoiding conviction. A lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a defence that might prevent a conviction. If you have no defence, a lawyer can help you persuade the court not to impose a longer disqualification that the minimum required by law.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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