Dangerous Driving in QLD

The Offence

Dangerous driving in Qld or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is one of the most serious traffic offences in Queensland. Under s328A of the Criminal Code (Qld), dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is a criminal offence and as a result a person convicted of this offence in Queensland will have it appear on their criminal record.

For the offence to be proved, the prosecution must establish:-

  1. that you operated, or in any way interfered with the operation of, a motor vehicle;
  2. In a place, (for example a highway);
  3. and that you did so dangerously.

Factors that will be considered in determining whether the offence is aggravated include any of the following:

  • the number of persons, vehicles or other objects that are, or might reasonably be expected to be, in the place;
  • at the time the person was adversely affected by alcohol or drugs; or
  • at the time the person was excessively speeding or taking part in an unlawful race; or
  • the person has previously been convicted for dangerous driving

The offence will be further aggravated if the driving results in serious injury or death.

The Penalty

The penalty for dangerous driving can range from a fine of up to $4,000.00 and 3 years imprisonment, to a maximum of 14 years imprisonment if any of the aggravating circumstances exist and/or the offence resulted in serious injury or death.

There will also be a lengthy licence disqualification with a mandatory minimum period of 6-months, and you cannot obtain a work licence when charged with this kind of offence.

Further, this area of law attracts mandatory sentencing practices. Section 328A stipulates that if you are convicted of this offence and have previous drink driving convictions on your traffic record, the court must impose a sentence of imprisonment.

Can I Defend the Charge?

The possible defences available to dangerous driving are highly specific to the circumstances of each case, due to the number of factors to be taken into account.

There could be mechanical explanations for the alleged driving behaviour, or it may have been an “extraordinary emergency” or an “unwilled act”, being an act or omission that occurs independently of the exercise of free will. This sort of explanation could apply where a person may have lost control of the vehicle due to a medical condition or suddenly falling asleep without warning.

Due to the technicality of the defences available and the seriousness of the offence, you should speak to an expert driving defence lawyer for accurate advice and representation.