What Is High-Range Drink Driving and Its Penalties

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Our client Michael had been out celebrating his birthday with his friends at a local pub. Throughout the night, he consumed several alcoholic beverages, underestimating their effect on his ability to drive safely. As Michael went to go home. Michael caught the attention of the police. They pulled him over and suspected he might be driving under alcohol.

A breathalyzer test confirmed their suspicions, revealing that Michael had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.18, well above the legal limit. Michael turned to Walker Pender Group, and we provided expert support throughout his legal process. With their expertise and diligent efforts, they achieved a favourable outcome for Michael, mitigating the potential penalties he faced.

In this article, we will delve into the various implications of a What Is High Range Drink Driving QLD? and the potential effects of having a criminal conviction recorded.


High-range drink driving in Queensland is defined as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or exceeding 0.15. You will be charged with high-range drink driving if your BAC is at or above this level. It’s important to note that this is a substantial amount of alcohol in your system and significantly exceeds the legal limit.

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The penalties for high-range drink driving in Queensland can be severe. You may face substantial fines, a lengthy license suspension period, and even imprisonment if convicted of this offence. The same penalties will depend on various factors, including your BAC level, any prior drink driving offences, and whether any accidents or injuries occurred due to your actions. But here’s an explanation for each.

  • License Suspension: If you are caught driving under high-range drink driving in Queensland, your license will be immediately suspended until your court hearing, which can take several months. It’s important to note that driving during this immediate suspension period is an offence and can result in a maximum penalty of 12 months’ imprisonment and 40 penalty units.

    However, applying for permission to drive during the immediate suspension period is possible if you meet the eligibility criteria and submit the correct application to the court. It’s crucial to seek legal advice and guidance to understand the requirements and process for obtaining this permission.
  • Imprisonment: In more severe cases of high-range drink driving, where aggravating factors are present, detention can be imposed as a penalty. The length of imprisonment will depend on the specifics of the case, such as your BAC level, any prior offences, and whether your actions caused any accidents or injuries. The legislation determines the maximum term of imprisonment for high-range drink driving and can range from 9 months to a whole year.
  • Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program: In certain circumstances, especially for repeat offenders or cases involving extremely high BAC levels, the court may require you to participate in the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program. This program consists in installing a device in your vehicle that measures your breath alcohol concentration before allowing the engine to start. The program aims to prevent individuals from driving under the influence and may be imposed as an additional penalty or a condition for restoring your driver’s license.
  • Criminal Record: A conviction for high-range drink driving will result in a criminal record. This record will be permanent and can have long-term consequences. It may impact various aspects of your life, including employment opportunities, professional licenses, travel, and personal reputation. Having a criminal record can limit your options and present challenges in the future.

    It’s important to note that the specific penalties imposed for high-range drink driving can vary depending on each case’s circumstances and the judge’s discretion. Seeking legal advice from a qualified professional is crucial to understand the potential penalties you may face and to navigate the legal process effectively.

Should I hire a lawyer for my high-range drink driving case?

It is highly recommended to hire a lawyer if you are facing a high-range drink driving charge. A lawyer specializing in drink driving cases can provide expert guidance, explain your legal rights, and advocate. They will help you understand the legal proceedings, gather evidence, and develop a strong defense strategy. A lawyer’s expertise and representation can significantly impact the outcome of your case and work towards minimizing the potential penalties you may face.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Walker Pender Group today to set up an appointment. We recommend knowing your rights and options before making legal decisions with drunk driving charges.

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