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Traffic Lawyers in Perth WA

Traffic law may seem simple at first look, but is often tricky. Careful review of your charge and the applicable legislation is required to ensure that you are fully advised of the consequences of a conviction.

Chambers Legal can assist you with all driving matters, including:

  • Drink Driving;
  • Drug Driving;
  • Refusing breath test;
  • Careless Driving;
  • Dangerous Driving;
  • Reckless Driving;
  • Careless/Dangerous/Reckless driving causing Death/Grievous Bodily Harm/Bodily Harm;
  • Failing to stop when called upon by police to do so (police pursuit); and
  • No Authority to Drive.

Drink driving offences and DUI

If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol limit above the legal limit, you will get charged with an offence that will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Depending on the blood alcohol limit, you may receive a mandatory licence disqualification and penalty that can range from a fine to imprisonment. First time offences are likely to attract fines but if you have a number of drink driving offences, the court may imprison you.

If you are stopped by police and asked to undergo a breath test, it is important to remember when your last drink was. This is because blood alcohol readings can be calculated back depending on the time of your last drink.

It is an offence to refuse to undergo a breath test if you are asked by police. Refusing to provide a sample of breath can result in a significant fine and a further licence disqualification.

Roadside disqualification notices (of 2 months) will be issued for charges of Excess 0.08, DUI and failing to comply with a breath test.

In some circumstances, you will be required to participate in the Alcohol Interlock Scheme before being able to drive again, which will require you to install a device in your vehicle to monitor your breath for alcohol.

Careless driving

Careless driving means driving without due care and attention. This offence attracts a fine.

You can also be charged with careless driving causing death, grievous bodily harm or bodily harm, if another person was injured or killed as a result of your driving, in which case the maximum penalty can be a fine of $36,000, imprisonment of 3 years and a licence disqualification of at least 3 months.

Dangerous driving

Dangerous driving is defined as driving in a manner (which includes speed) that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or to any person.

The penalties for dangerous driving include fines, imprisonment and mandatory licence disqualifications depending on whether it is your first or subsequent offence.

Where the dangerous driving results in grievous bodily harm or the death of another person, the penalties can be extremely serious and are likely to be imprisonment.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving means driving in a manner (including speed) that is inherently dangerous or that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or to any person.

The penalties for reckless driving include fines, imprisonment and mandatory licence disqualifications depending on whether it is your first offence.

Circumstances of aggravation can also apply to charges of reckless driving when:

  1. the person was unlawfully driving the vehicle without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the vehicle; or
  2. the person was driving at 45 km/h or more above the speed limit; or
  3. the person was driving the vehicle to escape pursuit by a police officer.

Reckless driving in circumstances of aggravation, namely to escape police pursuit, carries a mandatory sentence of 6 months immediate imprisonment. This type of offense is quite serious so it's important to retain the services of a specialist traffic or criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

No authority to drive

You may be disqualified or suspended from driving for a variety of reasons including:

  1. loss of demerit points;
  2. expired licence;
  3. licence disqualification imposed by a court;
  4. licence suspension due to non-payment of fines.

It is an offence to drive when you do not have a licence for any of the above reasons. Driving without a licence can carry penalties such as fines, imprisonment, and mandatory licence disqualifications. Repeat offending will likely result in a term of imprisonment.

Vehicle Impoundment or Confiscation

In some cases, your vehicle may be impounded for 28 days or 3 months, and after the required waiting period, you will be able to retrieve your vehicle after payment of the impoundment fee.

Vehicles will be impounded if you are charged with no authority to drive or reckless driving.

Court proceedings may be initiated for vehicle confiscation for repeated offending.  

Extraordinary licence applications

We can also advise and represent you in Extraordinary Drivers Licence Applications and Hearings.  You can apply for an Extraordinary Drivers Licence when you have been disqualified from driving by the court. You will be unable to apply if serving a demerit point suspension, roadside disqualification or fines suspension.

To apply, you must be able to prove that without a licence:

  1. You will be unable to access urgent medical treatment;
  2. You will be deprived of your principal means of obtaining income (financial difficulty); or
  3. You will be deprived of the only practical means of travelling to and from a place of employment.

A strong application is required to afford you the best chances of obtaining an Extraordinary Licence. If you are unsuccessful in your application, you will have to serve a 6 month waiting period before being able to reapply. For some people, 6 months may be the entire length or the majority of their disqualification and may result in termination of their employment. Therefore, it is important that you have legal advice as to your prospects, and ways to strengthen your application.

There are waiting periods involved which can vary, depending on the type of offence and number of previous convictions incurred. The minimum waiting period to make an application is 21 days, plus a minimum of 14 days for the court to list a hearing.

Lifetime driving disqualification

In certain cases, the court can disqualify you from driving for life.

If you have received a lifetime disqualification, you may be able to apply to remove this after a certain waiting period has passed. The waiting period is generally 10 years.

An application to remove a lifetime disqualification is made in the District Court and must be accompanied by an affidavit and evidence to support your application.

In addition, you may require an Extraordinary Driver’s Licence if there is still time to serve on a previous disqualification.

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