If you have been convicted of three (3) or more serious traffic offences in NSW within a five-year period, you are likely to be declared a “habitual traffic offender”.
This means that in addition to the disqualification period imposed by the court for your original offences, the Road and Maritime Service (RMS) will disqualify you from driving for an additional 5 years.
For instance, if you are convicted of mid-range PCA (drink driving) and you received a 1-year disqualification, that period would increase to 6 years in total if it is your third or more serious major traffic offence within 5 years.
When making the declaration against you, the Court has the discretion to reduce the additional disqualification period down to 2 years. However, if the Court thinks fit, it may order a longer period of disqualification (including for life).
What is considered a serious or “relevant” traffic offence?*
• PCA (drink driving) offences
• Driving while disqualified
• Driving while suspended
• Drive unlicensed (2nd offence)
• Drive recklessly or furiously
• Menacing driving
• Refuse/fail breath/blood/urine/oral test
• Alter a breath/blood/urine/oral test
• Drive more than 45 km over the speed limit
• Negligent driving causing injury
Setting aside a Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration
An application can be made to the Court to have the declaration quashed (set aside) or to have the additional disqualification period reduced to a period of not less than 2 years.
You must establish that the disqualification imposed by the declaration is a “disproportionate and unjust consequence” having regard to your driving history along with any other factors that might be considered relevant such as family or work factors.
This application can be heard on the day of your sentencing or anytime thereafter.
If you believe you may be facing a habitual traffic offender declaration and believe that being it may be too harsh, we recommend you talk to an experienced traffic lawyer such as us. We can present you appeal against a habitual traffic offender declaration on your behalf. For more information or a quote email us at mailto:email@example.com and we will contact you as soon as possible or phone us 1300 171 898 for a confidential discussion.
*This is a non-exhuastive list