How to Get your Licence Back After a Drink / Drug Driving Charge

If you have received an automatic cancellation or suspension, or a Court has imposed such an order on your licence, then there are often some steps to be taken before returning to Court after the cancellation period to have your licence reinstated. To ensure that you receive it back as soon as possible, you should start making preparations some months before the Court date.

Many people book conferences with criminal lawyers just to be given this advice, so here are the steps you should follow in writing for free:

1. Visit this the Online Driver’s Licence Eligibility Order Guide:

https://www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au/traffic-offences/drivers-licence-eligibility-order-guide

Continue through the guide answering the questions as they best apply to your circumstances. Once completed, the final page will set out exactly what you need to complete before the Court will reinstate your licence. Commonly these will include a combination of:

Completing a Driver Education Program

Participating in a Police Interview

Having an interlock device installed (after licence is reinstated)

2. There can be an extensive waiting list to book in for the Driver Education Programs, so leave yourself plenty of time and call 1800 888 236 to arrange your enrollment into a program. This said, for the reasons discussed below, it is useful if your certificate of completion from the program is dated within a month or so of your court hearing.

If you complete the Online Eligibility Order Guide above, and it indicates that you are not required to complete a Driver Education Program, we strongly recommend doing so regardless as Magistrates’ will often require a certificate of completion all the same. Ultimately it is up to their discretion.

3. Once you have your Driver Education Program arranged, go to your local Magistrates’ Court (nearest to where you live, not where your case was heard) approximately 6 weeks before the end of the cancellation period and advise the registrars that you wish to lodge an application for a Licence Eligibility Order. You will have to pay an application fee (approximately $100) and the registrars will provide you with a hearing date. Note that the hearing date can not be before the end of the cancellation period.

4. If it is a requirement for reinstatement, Victoria Police should receive notification from the Court upon your lodging of the application with the Court for a Licence Eligibility Order to arrange an interview with a Police member. If this has not occurred a fortnight before your hearing date, please call your nearest police station and explain that you have lodged your application and require an interview with a police member.

5. On the day of your Court hearing, please remember this following:

I.Be prepared to explain to the Magistrate the circumstances that led to you having an excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC), including:

i.What were you drinking, how much of it and why?

ii.Why did you then drive?

iii.What were your drinking habits back then?

iv.What are your drinking habits now and how have they changed for the better?

II.Be prepared to explain what lessons were taught at the Driver Education Program including:

i.The impact of alcohol on your body,

ii.How much is one standard drink,

iii.How to calculate the amount of time it takes for alcohol to safely leave your body,

iv.How long you will be required to have an interlock device installed in your car,

III.You are not at Court to defend your actions. You want your licence back. This means that you accept that what you did was very wrong, could have hurt or killed others or yourself. Do not try and justify or excuse your behavior.

IV.Take the matter seriously. Simply because you have completed the requirements such as the Education Program and Police interview, it does not automatically mean that a Magistrate is going to grant your application. Magistrates are rightfully quick to remind applicants that having a licence is a privilege, not a right.

V.Finally, it can be useful to bring a friend or relative with you who can talk about your drinking habits and how they have changed since the incident. The Magistrate may want to hear evidence from them to corroborate the information you have provided.

Most people successfully make applications for Licence Eligibility Orders without legal representation, however there are certainly some cases where persons benefit from being represented. If in doubt, give us a call to discuss your matter and whether you should be represented by a Melbourne criminal lawyer in Court.

Tom Isaacs

Tom Isaacs

Bachelor of Laws with Honours - LLB(Hons)

Tom has been part of the firm for the past 10 years, working initially as a law clerk and now as a fully qualified Solicitor. He completed his Bachelor of Laws with Honours at Deakin University, and undertook his legal training at the Leo Cussen Insititute where he was president of his class. Tom appears regularly at Magistrates' Courts, both metropolitan and in regional Victoria.