On past occasions, I have been asked by clients who are charged with traffic offences about double demerit points and whether they will be applied to them. Often these clients will ask whether double demerits points will be imposed for an offence because it was committed during a holiday period for example over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The law in Queensland is that double demerit points only apply to certain repeated speeding offences (21 km/h or greater over the speed limit), seatbelt offences and mobile phone offences which have occurred within a 12 month period from the initial offence. It does not matter whether the offence occurred during a holiday period or not.
For example if you commit 2 speeding offences of driving 21 km/hr over the speed limit in a 12 month period, you will be allocated 4 demerit points for the first offence and 4 demerit points for the second offence plus an additional 4 demerit points. This means that you will have accumulated 12 demerit points within a 12 month period and you risk having your licence suspended.
Although Queensland does not impose double demerit points during holiday periods, other States including New South Wales do. New South Wales licence holders who commit traffic offences during holidays periods including Christmas and New Year are liable to double the demerit points imposed for similar offences which are committed during non-holiday periods.
If you have committed a traffic offence recently and you subsequently receive a Notice from Queensland Transport advising you that you have accumulated your allowed number of demerit points, you will be given the choice between agreeing to be subject to a good driving behaviour period and having your licence suspended for a period of time.
When considering whether to agree to a good behaviour driving behaviour period and a licence suspension, it is important that a licence holder understands that accepting a suspension of their licence may preclude them from making an Application for a Special Hardship Order or an Application for a Restricted (Work) Licence for the next 5 years.
If you are unsure about how many demerit points you have, you can search your record online at Queensland Transport’s website. Alternatively you can contact your local Queensland Transport Customer Service Centre and request a copy of your Traffic History.