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How long does the suspension last?

This page explains length of time that a driver will be prohibited from driving after their licence has been immediately suspended.

The length of time that a driver will be suspended from driving depends on :

  • the particular offence that has given rise to the immediate suspension
  • whether the driver has been charged for the offence or has been issued with an infringement notice, and
  • when the court hears the matter.

If the driver has been charged with a drink or drug driving offence

If the driver has been charged with a drink or drug driving offence and their licence has been suspended, then the suspension remains in force until until the charge is determined or withdrawn or the suspension notice is cancelled on appeal.

See sections 85, 85A and 85C(1)—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If driver has been issued an infringement notice for drink or drug driving

The immediate suspension remains in force until whichever of the following occurs first :.

  • 12 months after the notice of suspension is given; or
  • the period, after the notice is given, specified in the Act that corresponds to the breath or blood alcohol concentration stated in the certificate.

See s. 85B and 85C(2)—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the driver is given an immediate suspension notice and then they get an infringement notice less than 28 days before the suspension period is due to expire, the immediate suspension period is extended until the end of the 28 day period where the driver could object to the fine and elect to have the matter dealt with in court.

See s. 85D—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the driver has been charged with certain speeding offences

If a person is charged with speeding at 45 km/h or more over the applicable speed limit or, if the applicable speed limit was 110 km/h, at a speed of 145 km/h or more then the suspension remains in force until:

  • the charge is determined; or
  • the charge is withdrawn; or
  • the suspension is cancelled on appeal.

This rule also applies to speeding in a heavy vehicle at 35 km/h or more over the speed limit.

See s. 85F, and 85H Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the driver has been issued an infringement notice for certain speeding offences

If a person is issued with an infringement notice for speeding at 45 km/h or more over the applicable speed limit or, if the applicable speed limit was 110 km/h, at a speed of 145 km/h or more then the suspension remains in force until whichever of the following occurs first :

  • a period of 12 months expires after the notice of suspension is issued;
  • the licence or permit is suspended under section 89D.

See s. 85G, and 85H Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the driver has been charged with an offence resulting in serious injury or death

If a person is charged with any of the following offences and their licence has been suspended then the suspension remains in force until until the charge is determined or withdrawn or the suspension notice is cancelled on appeal:

  • murder or attempted murder;
  • manslaughter;
  • intentionally causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence
  • recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence
  • intentionally causing serious injury
  • recklessly causing serious injury
  • intentionally or recklessly causing injury
  • negligently causing serious injury
  • culpable driving causing death
  • dangerous driving causing death or serious injury

See s. 85I and 85J Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the driver has been charged with other offences

If a person has been charged with any of the following offences and their licence has been suspended then the suspension remains in force until until the charge is determined or withdrawn or the suspension notice is cancelled on appeal:

  • Intentionally exposing an emergency worker, a custodial officer or a youth justice custodial worker to risk by driving
  • Intentionally exposing an emergency worker, a custodial officer or a youth justice custodial worker to risk by driving while:
    • the vehicle is stolen
    • committing a serious indictable offence
    • damaging an emergency services vehicle
  • Recklessly exposing an emergency worker, a custodial officer or a youth justice custodial worker to risk by driving
  • Recklessly exposing an emergency worker, a custodial officer or a youth justice custodial worker to risk by driving while:
    • the vehicle is stolen
    • committing a serious indictable offence
    • damaging an emergency services vehicle
  • Dangerous or negligent driving while pursued by police.

See s. 85IA and 85J Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the driver licence is cancelled

The immediate suspension will end if the driver licence is cancelled for the offence. The period of time that the driver licence was suspended under the immediate suspension law will be deducted from the period of licence cancellation.

See s. 85P—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Licence returned if driver found not guilty

Where licence suspension results from service of an immediate suspension notice, licence will be returned if driver is found not guilty of the offence.

Surrender driver licence

A person who has their licence suspended must surrender their licence to VicRoads. It is an offence for a driver whose licence has been suspended to apply for another licence.

The maximum penalty for trying to get another licence is 5 penalty units.

See s. 85N—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 50(2)—any period of immediate suspension imposed must be deducted from the period of disqualification imposed on the driver
  • s. 85A—Immediate licence or permit suspension for charges for other drug or alcohol related offences
  • s. 85C—Period of suspension
  • s. 85D—Effect of issue of traffic infringement notice
  • s. 85F—Immediate licence or permit suspension for certain speeding offences
  • s. 85G—Immediate licence or permit suspension where certain traffic infringement notices issued
  • s. 85H—Period of suspension
  • s. 85I—Immediate licence or permit suspension for certain offences resulting in injury or death
  • s. 85IA—Immediate licence or permit suspension for certain other offences
  • s. 85J—Period of suspension
  • Schedule 1—Minimum disqualification periods
  • Schedule 1AB—minimum disqualification periods for combination drink and drive offences

Updated