New laws (The Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2018) now allow Police to issue an on the spot Licence suspension for up to three (3) months.
The Police has discretion as to whether or not they will issue a Suspension Notice and as to how long the suspension will be (i.e. Up to a maximum of three (3) months). However, it is thought that in most cases the Police will issue a Suspension Notice and it will be for three (3) months.
The Police also have the power to delay the commencement date for the licence suspension. The Police can serve the Suspension Notice up to 48 hours after you have been charged or given a Penalty Notice.
You can appeal to the Local Court against any such suspension of your licence however the appeal must be lodged within 28 days after you have been issued with a Suspension Notice.
Any appeal must convince the Court that there are “exception circumstances”. In previous cases the phrase “exception circumstances” has been interpreted by the Courts to mean something more than possible loss of employment, or inconvenience or lack of public transport.
It is important that you obtain expert legal advice in regard to an appeal you are contemplating.
If you are going to Appeal it is important that you do so as quickly as possible so that if your appeal is successful you will have served as little time as possible without a licence.
On appeal the Court can either:
- Uphold your Appeal fully – in which case you can resume driving immediately; or
- Reduce the length of the Suspension period; or
- Dismiss your appeal.
There are also other charges made by these new laws. If your licence is suspended by the Police, the RMS can issue the driver with a Notice requiring him/her to attend an alcohol or other drug rehabilitation program. If the driver does not attend the nominated program the period of the licence suspension is extended until the driver has completed the program.