A large part of the work of a traffic lawyer relates to making work licence applications for our clients. In fact, we find that almost all of our enquiries regarding drink drive matters include an enquiry about a work licence application. The official term for work licence application is a restricted licence. We have never lost a work licence application.

A work licence allows a person to drive for the purposes of earning their living. In order to make the work licence application, it is necessary that the applicant proves to the court through sworn evidence that they will:

  1. Lose their job or means of earning a living as a result of not being able to drive and
  2. Suffer serious financial hardship as a result and
  3. Are a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence.

All three of these elements must be satisfied as matter of strict law.

There are a number of further conditions and disqualifying factors that must be met in order to make a work licence application. The first, and most important, is that the person who is making the work licence must have held a valid Queensland drivers licence at the time of the commission of the offence. Therefore a work licence application cannot be made for an offence involving either unlicenced driving or disqualified driving.

There are other offences for which an application for a work licence cannot be made. One of these is driving under the influence of liquor or drugs. This occurs in a few situations, such as:

  1. When a person has a reading of alcohol in their breath of more than 0.150
  2. Where a person is shown to be under the influence of alcohol when driving, even though there is no reading of alcohol available. In these cases the court relies on evidence, often from police, that the person is under the influence of alcohol …”unsteady on the feet, slurred breath, can’t walk straight” .. that type of thing.
  3. Where a person is under the influence of drugs. This does not mean that they are bit high, it means more than that usually.

A person cannot make a work licence application if they have previously been disqualified from driving for any reason in the previous 5 years.

In the next blog we shall provide more information about how we make a successful work licence application.

To be continued….