Driving offences and penalties

Disqualification from driving

You could be disqualified from driving if you:

  • accumulate 12 or more demerit points within a three year period
  • accumulate 4 or more demerit points on your learner's permit or provisional licence
  • exceed any speed limit by 10 km/h or more on your learner's permit or provisional licence
  • breach a good behaviour condition on your licence
  • breach a condition of your provisional licence, probationary licence or learner's permit
  • incur two or more drug driving offences within a five year period
  • don't pay outstanding fines
  • are convicted in court of a graffiti related offence
  • drink drive - exceed blood alcohol concentration.

Drivers who commit a serious drink driving offence must have an alcohol interlock, breath-testing device fitted to their vehicle for a period of time at the end of their licence disqualifications.

When returning from disqualification you may have probationary conditions added to your licence.

What happens if you are disqualified from driving

You will receive a notice of disqualification in the mail, except for immediate loss of licence for drink driving or speeding excessively. The disqualification notice will advise you of the type and period of disqualification.

You must acknowledge receipt of the notice in person and pay a fee, if you don't, this will result in the notice being served on you personally and a higher fee is payable.

Where you cannot be served a notice of disqualification personally, you will be prohibited from transacting any business under the Motor Vehicles Act, such as renewing your vehicle registration.

If you are disqualified from driving, your licence will be suspended and in some cases cancelled. If your licence is cancelled you will not receive a refund of the period remaining on the licence.

A licence may also be suspended as a result of non-payment of outstanding fines.

Where the disqualification is due to the accumulation of 12 or more demerit points you may be provided with the option of either being disqualified for the period stated in the notice or electing to be of 'good behaviour' for 12 months.

If the disqualification is due to accumulating 4 or more demerit points, or breaching a condition on your provisional licence you may be given the option of entering a Safer Driving Agreement for the duration of your provisional licence.

Where the disqualification is due to a graffiti related offence, you may be disqualified from driving for one to six months. Your vehicle registration may also be suspended and your vehicle impounded.

Good behaviour option

If you agree to the 'good behaviour' option you must notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles within 21 days of the date of issue on the notice of disqualification at a post office, or within 28 days at a Service SA customer service centre.

Failure to apply within this time frame will result in the disqualification taking effect.

Once the good behaviour condition is accepted you will be able to continue driving but, if you incur two or more demerit points during the 12 month good behaviour period you will be disqualified for twice the original disqualification period with no right of appeal or further good behaviour option.

Demerit points associated with an existing demerit disqualification or good behaviour option are not counted towards a future disqualification.

Safer Driver Agreement

If you are eligible and you agree to the Safer Driver Agreement you must notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles within 21 days of the date of issue on the notice of disqualification at a post office, or within 28 days at a Service SA customer service centre.

Failure to apply within this time frame will result in the disqualification taking effect.

Once the Safer Driver Agreement is accepted you will be able to continue driving but, if you incur four or more demerit points during the duration of your provisional licence you will be disqualified for twelve months with no right of appeal; and you will not be eligible to apply for another safer driver agreement for 5 years.

Immediate loss of licence

If you are caught drink driving or speeding excessively, you will lose your driver's licence on the spot.

Penalties for excessive drink driving

  • Immediate loss of licence for six months if you are detected driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.08 and 0.149
  • Immediate loss of licence for 12 months if you are detected driving with a BAC of 0.15 or more
  • Demerit points and fines also apply to drink driving offences and the Court may also impose greater periods of disqualification.

Loss of licence for second and subsequent offences of between 0.05 and 0.079 also applies.

Penalties for excessive speeding

If you are caught travelling at 45 km/h or more above the speed limit, you will incur the following penalties:

  • automatic loss of licence for six months
  • nine demerit points
  • expiation fee.

For more information, telephone 13 10 84 or go to a Service SA customer service centre.


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Page last updated 31 July 2017

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
URL:
http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/driving-and-transport/driving-offences-and-penalties/disqualification
Last Updated:
31/07/17
Printed on:
25/09/17
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016