Dear Lifehacker, I recently copped a 30-day driving suspension for a DUI in Queensland while on a road trip to Western Australia where I’m staying for work. Does my suspension also apply here in WA or can I still drive? My other question is when my suspension is over. Can I just start driving again, or do I need to pay for another licence? (The one I have expires in 2017.) Thanks, Justin
DUI picture from Shutterstock
We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve answered a variation of this question. The short answer is: you’re boned. A licence suspension applies in all states and territories. Furthermore, you won’t be able to apply for an interstate licence until your current suspension is lifted.
Australia’s road and traffic authorities are independently run by each state and territory. However, the systems are all interconnected via the Australian Road Rules agreement and the Demerit Points Scheme. The latter is a national program that allocates penalty points (demerits) for a range of driving offences, including DUIs. This means that your suspension will be instantly flagged while driving interstate if a cop happens to pull you over.
If you drive a motor vehicle while your licence is suspended, you will be charged with unlicensed driving. This may result in your licence being disqualified for a maximum of five years. In some circumstances, you could also face fines and even jail time.
As to your second question, you should be able to resume driving on your current licence once the suspension period has ended. A suspension is different to a disqualification, which does require the motorist to apply for a probationary licence.
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