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Habitual Offender Declarations & Lifting Lengthy Disqualification Periods

Habitual Offender Declarations

In a situation where an individual is found guilty of three or more major driving offences (such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a licence) within a five-year period, prior to 28 October 2017, the Roads and Maritimes Service had the power to declare that individual as a habitual offender. This essentially meant that the individual would receive a further five-year disqualification period in addition to any other disqualification period imposed by the Court, for the third major driving offence and any major driving offence occurred thereafter within that five-year period.

People that were subjected to the habitual offender declarations could apply to the Local Court pursuant to Section 220 of the Roads Transport Act 2013 (NSW) (‘the Act’) seeking an order that the declaration be quashed. However, the habitual offender scheme was abolished on 28 October 2017. Declaration made prior to this date remain valid.

For those that are declared as habitual offender or that are subjected to a lengthy disqualification period, an application can be made pursuant to Section 221B of the Act seeking an order that the remaining disqualification period be lifted. To be eligible, the disqualified person must have complied with the disqualification period for at least four years (if imposed for major driving offence/s) or at least two years (if related to a habitual offender declaration or in any other case). However, a disqualified driver is not eligible if the disqualification period relates to a serious driving offence (i.e. driving causing death or grievous bodily harm, predatory driving, police pursuit, intentional menacing driving).

In deciding the application, the Court is required to consider certain factors including public safety, whether the disqualified driver had re-offended during the disqualification period, the conduct of the disqualified driver, the nature of the offence that lead to the disqualification period being initially imposed and any other relevant considerations.

Our team can assist you by providing expert advice and legal support regarding your options. Contact us today on (02) 4929 3995 or info@catherinehenrylawyers.com.au or visit www.catherinehenrylawyers.com.au

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