Certain traffic offences carry demerit points such as disobeying traffic signs or other road rules, or driving a defective vehicle. Double demerits will apply to any speeding, seat belt, helmet or mobile phone offence if you are caught during a double demerit period.
Your licence will be suspended if you exceed the number of demerit points allowed for your licence within a 3 year period. The demerit point limits are:
- Unrestricted licence – 13 points
- Professional driver – 14 points
- Provisional P2 licence – 7 points
- Provisional P1 licence – 4 points
- Learner licence – 4 points
If a learner, P1 or P2 licence holder exceeds their number of points, the suspension period is 3 months.
For unrestricted licence holders, the period of suspension depends on the number of points you lose:
- 13 -15 points = 3 month suspension
- 16 – 19 points = 4 month suspension
- 20 or more points = 5 month suspension
If an unrestricted licence holder receives two demerit point suspensions within a 5 year period, they must pass the Driver Knowledge Test and complete a driver education course at the licence holders own cost.
If a P2 licence holder receives a demerit point suspension, they must stay on their P2 licence for an extra 6 months. Each separate suspension adds an additional 6 months.
If learner and provisional drivers receive a suspension, they may consider appealing the decision in the Local Court. This appeal must be lodged within 28 days from the RMS Notice of Suspension.
If an unrestricted licence holder receives a demerit point suspension, they may consider electing for a 12 month good behaviour period. This option must be taken up before the suspension period begins. Although this allows the driver to retain their licence, it is important to understand that if the driver receives 2 or more demerit points while serving the good behaviour period, the licence will be suspended for double the original suspension period.
If you find yourself facing a demerit point licence suspension, the team at Duffy Elliott Lawyers would be happy to discuss your licence options moving forward.