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Driving laws, offences, fines and penalties

If you breach the road rules or your licence conditions, you could incur demerits, have to pay a fine or face more serious consequences like losing your licence.

Demerit points

Drivers incur demerit points for certain traffic offences. An offence that attracts demerit points remains on your licence record for three years from the date of the offence. If you accumulate more than a set number of demerit points during a three year period you could lose your licence.

Demerit points has more information.
Checking your demerits and driving history

Fines and expiations

If you commit a traffic offence, you may be issued with an expiation notice and have to pay a fine. Expiations can be issued for a variety of reasons. Drivers are most likely to be issued one for a breach of traffic laws - eg a speeding offence.

Summary of common offences and fines – mylicence website

Overdue fines

If you have an overdue fine your driver's licence may be suspended or you may be refused vehicle registration.

Fines enforcement restrictions has more information.

If you have any concerns about paying a fine on time contact the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit on 1800 659 538 as soon as possible. They can help you with any questions you have about fines.

Serious drink-driving offences

Immediate loss of licence applies for certain drink-driving and excessive speeding offences.

A serious drink-driving offence is defined as:

  • a second or subsequent offence, within a period of five years, of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08
  • driving with a BAC at or above 0.15
  • driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquor
  • refusing to provide a sample of breath or blood for the purpose of alcohol testing.

Losing your licence - disqualification

You could be disqualified from driving if you:

  • accumulate 12 or more demerit points on a full licence
  • accumulate four or more demerit points when you are on a learner's permit or provisional licence
  • exceed any speed limit by 10 km/h or more if you are on a learner's permit or provisional licence
  • breach your licence conditions
  • drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Conditions on regaining a licence

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

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 disqualification.


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Page last updated: 12 April 2016