Driving while suspended can lead to severe consequences.
If a person’s licence has been suspended or has been disqualified from driving, they are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle. The offence is taken very seriously.
The vehicle may be impounded or immobilised.
Under the Hoon driving laws, a vehicle may be immobilised or impounded if a driver is caught driving while their license is suspended, but there is no mandatory jail time.
The penalty for driving while disqualified or while licence is suspended is:
- for a first offence, 30 penalty units or four months in jail
- for a subsequent offence, a maximum of 240 penalty units or a maximum of 2 years in prison.
See s. 30—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)
Driving while suspended for nonpayment of fines is an exception
The maximum penalty under the Infringements Act 2006 for driving while suspended is ten penalty units if the driver has been suspended for nonpayment of fines.
See s. 30AA—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)
If a person was not aware of licence suspension
Consequently, the court may suspend a driver’s licence if they were unaware that their licence had been cancelled or suspended. The suspension can last for any period equal to or less than the period between:
- Suspended driving privileges and their duration
- The driver discovers that their license has been suspended (or when the suspension period has ended).
The court could suspend a driver’s license for two months if the driver did not discover they had been suspended from driving until two months after the licence suspension began and was pulled over and charged with the offence