Queensland legislation categorises drink driving and drug driving offences in to a number of different ranges.
The categories for drink driving offences include:
- Driving whilst over the no alcohol limit but under the general alcohol limit (0.01-0.049);
- Driving whilst over the general alcohol limit but under the middle alcohol limit (0.050-0.099);
- Driving whilst over the middle alcohol limit but under the high alcohol limit (0.10-0.149); and
- Driving whilst under the influence of liquor (for readings greater than 0.150).
The categories for drug driving offences are:
- Driving with relevant drug present in breath or saliva; and
- Driving whilst under the influence of drugs.
Unlike drink driving offences, where a person’s blood alcohol concentration level can be easily measured on a device, the law in relation to drug driving offences is different. The Queensland Police Service has technology that allows them to determine whether or not a person caught driving a vehicle has an illicit drug in their system, however, the level of charge preferred against somebody cannot be accurately measured. Instead, the Queensland Police Service, in determining the appropriate level of drug driving offence, will look at a person’s indicia to determine the appropriate level of charge. Such indicia includes, but is not limited to, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and stumbling. In circumstances where indicia is not present, the Queensland Police Service should prefer the lesser charge of driving with relevant drug present in breath or saliva against an individual.
Unless an individual is eligible for a restricted license (see under the cover of work license applications), the Court must disqualify an individual from holding or obtaining a drivers license for a period of time. The length of disqualification period differs depending on the individual’s license type, whether they have previous convictions, and the level of charge preferred against them. In addition to mandatory license disqualifications, periods of imprisonment can be imposed on individuals convicted of these types of offences.