High range drink driving is one of the most serious drink driving offence in Queensland. If you do get caught driving with a high range blood alcohol level it’s going to come with significant potential penalties, serious fines and licence disqualification.

Below we explain how high range drink driving is treated in Qld, what alcohol range it is going to apply to and the process for high range drink driving if you’re charged.

What Is High Range Drink Driving in Queensland?

Our other articles on low-range and mid-range drink driving set out the lower two bands of drink driving charges in Queensland.

High range drink driving will be applied if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.15%.

Let’s use the BAC calculator to explain what that looks like in real terms.  You might be inside the high-range drink driving range if you:

  • are an 80kg male who has consumed 8 standard drinks in 2 hours
  • are a 60kg female who has consumed 8 standard drinks inside 3 hours
  • are a 100kg male who has consumed 14 standard drinks in 5 hours
  • are an 80kg female who has consumed 11 standard drinks in 5 hours

Realistically, this might mean you drank a bottle of wine over lunch or dinner, or a significant amount of alcohol over the course of an afternoon or evening.

Practically speaking you might feel sleepy, could have trouble walking without help, and for some people you might experience memory loss or lose consciousness.

Depending on the specifics it could take around 11 or more hours for your BAC to get back to zero after you stop drinking at this level, so take that into account if you’re driving later or the next day.

Will you Lose your Licence with a High Range Drink Driving Offence?

If you are caught driving in the high-range alcohol level then your licence is going to be immediately suspended. It will stay suspended until the charge is withdrawn or your matter is dealt with by the Court.

If this is a first offence for high range drink driving, then this attracts a minimum mandatory licence disqualification period of 6 months.

The Court can, however, impose much higher disqualification periods and, in some cases, can disqualify you permanently from holding a licence.

After you do get your licence back you will be required to have an alcohol ignition interlock, which prevents you from driving your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Fines and Imprisonment for High Range Drink Driving Qld?

A first offence of high range drink driving can also result in a fine of up to $3,736 and 9 months imprisonment, as you can see in the table below:

High Range Drink Driving Penalties

High Range Drink Driving Penalties

What if This Isn’t your First High Range Drink Driving Charge?

If you have been charged with drink driving previously, then a high range drink driving charge carries a much greater risk of severe penalties.

A second offence within 5 years, for example, has over double the potential fine, and a maximum imprisonment term of 18 months (up from 9 months in the above table).

A third offence within 5 years means the Court is more likely to deliver a sentence that “includes imprisonment”. That may or may not necessarily mean full time jail, but in reality that is sometimes what happens for a third offence.

Is There a Court Hearing for High Range Drink Driving?

Yes.

You will have to go to Court for a high range drink driving charge.

As we discuss above, with high range drink driving there is also a chance that the Court might impose prison time. This is more likely for repeat offences.

High range drink driving comes with serious potential consequences for you and your licence, and so we do recommend that you get a lawyer to represent you.

Your traffic lawyer can give you more specific advice on your circumstances, the likely possible penalties, and arguments to mitigate your disqualification period or fine amount. They are also more comfortable with the Court setting and process so can set you at ease along the way, speak on your behalf, and give you a reasonable idea of how things are going to go.

Will a Conviction Be Recorded for High Range Drink Driving?

Yes, high range drink driving will result in a conviction being recorded.

Need a High Range Drink Driving Lawyer?

With the potential for jail time, licence disqualification and significant fines, you should definitely get a lawyer if you have been charged with high range drink driving.

Get in touch with us early so we can help you through the process. Certainly do not give the police a statement without first speaking to us.