Learner drivers are required to have zero BAC. For learner drivers who violate this law it may mean a delay in their application for a provisional license aside from the penalties that may be imposed.
The penalties are disqualification from driving for 3 to 9 months and a maximum fine between $1,540 and $6,600 or imprisonment for a period of between 3 to 18 months. Usually, first-time convictions are penalised with disqualification and fines. The license or permit of the offender will be automatically suspended for 24 hours. Afterwards, it is then the court that will impose the duration of the license disqualification. Contesting the BAC reading is difficult but there are other defences that the accused can raise.
A person will be charged with and found guilty of a novice drink driving offence in Queensland if he is found to have a blood alcohol concentration that is higher than the prescribed blood alcohol limit of 0.0% but lower than 0.02%. Only those whose driver’s licenses have been newly issued for the first time, such as a learner or those who have been driving as a learner for a year and hold a provisional license, can be charged with and convicted of a novice drink driving offence.
Those holding a probationary license because they were convicted of a drink driving charge while holding a learner’s license or provisional license can also be convicted of novice drink driving offence.
Those who have been convicted of a drink driving charge but need to drive in order to work and have been issued a restricted license can also be convicted of this offence. Lastly, holders of motorcycle driver’s licenses who must adhere to a 0.0% BAC for their first year of motorcycle driving can be convicted of this offence.
The penalty is disqualification from driving for a period of three to nine months, paying a fine between $1,540 and $6,600, or imprisonment from between three to eighteen months.
A defence could be that there is no intention to drive the vehicle or that the offender does not exercise control over the vehicle.