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What is immediate licence suspension?

Immediate suspension of a driver licence allows the police to give a notice to a driver which suspends their licence. The purpose of this is to get the driver off the road to protect the public until the matter can be heard in court. The notice can be issued when a driver is charged with some drink or drug driving offences.

If the driver of a commercial vehicle has been charged with an immediate licence suspension offence, VicRoads has the power to issue an immediate suspension notice.

Driver does not always need to have been charged

An immediate suspension notice can also be issued after analysis of their blood or breath and the driver is issued with a certificate indicating that the driver's concentration of alcohol in the blood or breath (BAC) is:

  • 0.10 BAC or more—if the driver is fully licensed
  • 0.07 BAC or more—if they are a learner or a probationer driver.

Or, if the person has been caught drink driving before, within the last 10 years.

In these circumstances, there is no need for the person to have been charged with any offence.

See Offences that allow immediate suspension.

Immediate suspension is not always immediate

A notice may be issued at any time after the person is charged up until that charge has been heard in court. The immediate suspension notice may be given to the driver at the same time that a summons to appear is served. This often happens after the driver has a blood analysis done, because the results of the analysis can take some time to get.

If the driver is not charged, police have 12 months to issue an immediate licence suspension after they have issued a driver with certificate of breath or blood analysis.

The suspension period starts immediately after the notice is given to the driver.

See ss. 85A, 85B—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 3(1)—defines a 'commercial vehicle' (tow truck or a commercial goods or passenger vehicle)
  • s. 55(4)—requires police to issue a breath analysis certificate
  • s. 57—evidentiary provisions blood tests
  • s. 57(5A)—how a certificate of blood analysis is to be served on the accused
  • s. 85—immediate suspension of licence
  • s. 85B—sets the 12 month time limit for issuing a notice of immediate suspension

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019 (Vic)

  • Part 2—Evidence relating to alcohol and drug offences
    • r. 9—notice of immediate suspension
    • r. 13—procedures for taking blood samples
    • r. 14—procedures after taking blood samples

See Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated