Getting to work after a licence is disqualified: Work licences and special hardship orders
A real issue that you may have to face should your driver’s licence ever be disqualified, is not being able to get to and from work. In this case many people walk, carpool, or use public transport instead, but what can you do if none of those are viable options?
Failing to hold a licence for an extended period of time could significantly impact the running and profitability of your business. You may have to place full reliance on another staff or family member to ensure that you are able to meet your day to day work commitments.
If you have been convicted of drink driving or another similar offence, then you may be eligible to apply for a Work Licence.
This is a licence which, when granted by the court, allows you to drive to and from your work place in order to maintain your livelihood. The licence replaces standard a Queensland driver’s licence, and is likely to come with time and locality restrictions. If you are successful in obtaining a Work Licence, the suspension period is typically doubled. It is important to note that this application must be made at the time that you plead guilty to the relevant offence.
To be eligible to obtain Work Licence you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You must please guilty to the offence in question.
- You must hold a current Queensland open licence at the time of the offence and hold the same licence at the time of application. A provisional or learns licence is insufficient.
- You must not be driving for work purposes at the time of the offence, or already be under a Work Licence. This can even include driving to a work-related function.
- You must not have been convicted of a drink driving offence (or an offence of a similar nature), or a dangerous driving offence within the last five years.
- You must not have held a suspended or disqualified licence within the last five years.
- Your blood alcohol concentration must be within the low to medium range, which means it must be below 0.15.
In additional to proving your eligibility, you are then required to prove to the court that you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence, and that failure to hold the licence will cause significant financial hardship to yourself or your family.
You are also required to submit an affidavit essentially showing that you will lose your livlihood without your licence.
It is important to note that failing to provide a breathe specimen when operating a vehicle with automatically deem you to fall within the high range limit and prohibits you from applying for a Work Licence.
Special Hardship Orders
A Special Hardship Order is an order granted by the court which restricts how you can drive. This might mean that you have restrictions placed on the times of day/night that you are allowed to drive. Again, most people apply for these in order to get to and from work.
To be eligible for a Special Hardship Order you must:
- be losing your licence due to an accumulation of demerit points during a good behaviour period, or have been convicted of driving more than 40km per hour over the speed limit;
- have no suspensions, cancellations or disqualifications within the last 5 years;
- hold a current licence at the time of the offence; and
- must not have been convicted of a dangerous driving offence within the last 5 years.
You must then prove that you will suffer extreme financial or other unusual hardship as a result of failing to hold a licence. This application differs to a Work Licence in that you must make an application to the court within 21 days of the suspension being imposed. Again, an affidavit is required when making your application to show the hardship you will suffer
If you think that you may be unlikely to show that you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence, driver awareness courses are often a good idea to undertake to show the court that you understand the seriousness of holding a licence.
How we can help
At Streten Masons Lawyers we can assist in making the appropriate application for you to ensure that your business and work life are not significantly impacted.
One of our senior solicitors, Mr Michael Mason, has over 30 years’ experience in the field and specialises in the area of criminal law.
Please contact us if you are in a situation that may qualify you for a Work Licence of Special Hardship Order to arrange a consultation.