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When Is a Driver in SA Disqualified From Driving?

Some licence disqualifications take effect automatically, but you have options if that happens to you  A driver licence disqualification in South Australia is the loss of driving privileges. This article will help you understand how that could happen to you and what you can do to avoid being disqualified.

Disqualification based on demerit points

Demerit points are assessed for most traffic violations, such as speeding or failing to stop at a red light. If you have a full driver licence, your licence will be disqualified if you accumulate 12 or more demerit points within a 3 year period. Provisional licence holders are disqualified after receiving 4 demerit points.

The length of the disqualification ranges from 3 to 5 months, depending on how many points you accumulate. When the disqualification ends, you can drive again.

Disqualification for excessive speeding

Your SA driver licence will be automatically disqualified for 6 months if you are ticketed for exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more. If you have a provisional licence, a disqualification occurs if you exceed the speed limit by 10 km/h or more. The disqualification is imposed “on the spot” by the officer who caught you speeding.

Disqualification for drink or drug driving

If a chemical test result shows that you were driving in SA with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, you will receive an “on the spot” disqualification for 6 months. If your test result was 0.15 or higher, the disqualification is for 12 months. A 12-month disqualification is also imposed if the officer decides you were driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.

If you refuse a chemical test for a drink or drug driving, you will receive an automatic 6 or 12-month disqualification, depending on the test that you refused.

The “on the spot” disqualification is the minimum authorized for the offence. If you are convicted in court, the magistrate cancels your licence and impose a longer disqualification.

Licence cancellation

If you must go to court for a serious traffic offence, the court can cancel your licence. If that happens, you cannot drive until you apply for and receive restoration of your licence. You are not eligible for restoration until any disqualification imposed by the court has ended.

Your options

If you receive an “on the spot” disqualification, you are entitled to challenge it in court. You should talk to a lawyer about grounds you might have for challenging a disqualification. A lawyer can also tell you whether you have grounds for avoiding a conviction that might result in a court-imposed disqualification.

If you are disqualified for demerit points, you may be eligible for a “good behaviour” option. If you select that option, your disqualification will not take effect. If you go one year without incurring more than one new demerit point, you will never need to serve the disqualification. If you receive two or more new demerit points, however, the length of your disqualification will double.

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