A driver with no committed offences starts on a zero balance. Certain driving offences carry demerit points. If you accumulated a certain number of demerit points in a three-year period, your licence will automatically be suspended.
Your allocated demerit point threshold will depend on your type of licence.
Checking your demerit point balance is not difficult, but understanding the information might be more difficult.
To check your balance you have 3 options:
If you exceed your allocated points within three years, your licence will be suspended.
How long will your licence be suspended for?
The Roads and Maritime Service determines the period of suspension.
Provisional licences will generally be suspended for three months.
You can appeal this suspension in the Local Court.
For Unrestricted licence drivers, it will depend on the number of demerit points that you have incurred during the three-year period.
13-15 points – three months
16-19 points – four months
20 or more points – five months
You cannot appeal this suspension in the Local Court, however, unrestricted licence holders have the option of serving the suspension period, or you can apply to be on “good behaviour”. By choosing the latter option, a further one point will be allocated to your record for the next twelve months.
Take note: You can only have the “good behaviour” option once in twelve months. If you incur another demerit point in the twelve months, your original suspension will be imposed and the period of the original suspension will be doubled.
Each infringement has a running three-year time attached to it. So after three years, the demerit points attached to that infringement stop counting towards your demerit total. It will not be deleted, but it will stop counting towards suspension. Your licence will be suspended if you cross your demerit point threshold within a three-year period.
It won’t help you to pay a fine for a next offence only after the three- year period for an earlier offence has lapsed. If the offence occurred within the three-year period, it will still count against you.
Seek legal advice
If you are concerned that you may be crossing your demerit point threshold, or that you might be breaching your good behaviour licence, seek legal advice immediately. You might decide to argue the matter of your latest infringement in court. Get a lawyer to assist you. If you can convince the Magistrate to hand down a sec 10 non-conviction, the demerit points will not be allocated to your licence.
A specialist traffic lawyer will give you the best advice on your prospects in court, or advise you on the options available to you.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.