Hoon Offences & Impoundment in QLD

The Offence

Hoon offences & Impoundment in QLD are categorised into two types, or “tiers”, type 1 offences being more serious than type 2.

Type 1 hooning offences include:

  • evading police;
  • taking part in racing or speed trials;
  • wilfully starting a motor vehicle or driving in way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke;
  • dangerous driving;
  • driving without due care and attention;

Type 2 hooning offences include:

  • driving a vehicle that is uninsured and unregistered;
  • driving without a licence or when your licence has been suspended;
  • high range drink driving—with a blood alcohol level above 0.15%;
  • exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h;
  • driving a modified vehicle that does not comply with vehicle safety standards;
  • driving while under a 24 hour suspension order.

The Penalty

If you are convicted of a “hooning” offence, the relative penalty will apply for the particular offence that was committed (eg minimum 6-month disqualification for dangerous driving).

Impoundment, Immobilisation and Confiscation

In addition to these penalties, the particular offence will be subject to penalties under the “hoon” laws. As part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to crack down on illegal street racing and hooning, new powers to impound, immobilise and confiscate vehicles came into effect on 1 November 2013.

Depending on the type of hoon offence and how many previous similar offences you may have, your vehicle may be impounded and/or forfeited to be sold or destroyed.

For a first Type 1 hoon offence, you could have your vehicle impounded for up to 90 days, whilst the vehicle may be forfeited at the end of proceedings for a second offence.

For Type 2 offences, you will not typically have your vehicle impounded on a first instance, however a second may receive an impoundment of 7 days, a third 90 days and the fourth will see the vehicle impounded and likely forfeited for sale.

In summary, if within five (5) years you commit either:

  • two type 1 hooning offences; or
  • four type 2 hooning offences

then your vehicle will be forfeited to the state for sale or crushing unless you have applied for the early release of the vehicle. 

Can I Defend the Charge?

Whether you can defend the actual charge subject to the offence will depend on what type of offence you have been charged with – you may wish to see the relevant page on our website for more information.

Can I Get My Car Released or Not Forfeited?

There are limited grounds to apply for early release of the vehicle from impound. If you are not the owner, the true owner or usual driver of the vehicle can apply to the court for the vehicle to be released from impoundment. Those grounds include:

  • That you or your family would suffer severe financial hardship;
  • That you or a member of your family would suffer severe physical hardship;
  • That the owner of the vehicle did not give consent to the offence been committed;
  • That the grounds for the impoundment based on a type 2 vehicle related offence have been rectified (unlicensed or unregistered/uninsured only);
  • That there were no reasonable grounds to impound/immobilise the vehicle.

An application for release of a vehicle from impound must be made online in writing to the Commissioner of Police, through the Queensland Police early release of an impounded vehicle application form on their website.

Once the application is received then the police may;

  • grant the application with or without conditions; or
  • refuse to grant the application.

If the police refuse the application then you have 28 days from the date of the decision to appeal to a Magistrates court.