This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

What is a subsequent offence?

The maximum penalties are higher for some offences listed under the Road Safety Act 1986 if the offence is a subsequent offence. However there is no general definition for a subsequent offence in the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).

There are several definitions that relate to different parts of the Act namely for drug and alcohol offences and speeding offences for heavy vehicles.

See ss. 48(2), 50AA—Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).

Need guilt or conviction for subsequent offence

Under common law, a second or subsequent offence has to be subsequent to a conviction or a finding of guilt for a first offence. If a defendant has two charges on foot, it might be best to try to have the matters consolidated.

Appeal pending

In the 1998 Supreme Court case of Perry v Van Maanan it was held that if an appeal was on foot for the first offence, a second offence could not be considered to be a subsequent offence.


More information


Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 48(2)—subsequent offences (under Part 5 Offences involving alcohol or other drugs)
  • s. 50AA—previous convictions
  • s. 291—relating to first offences and second/subsequent offences (under Part 13 heavy vehicle speed enforcement)

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).

Cases and commentary

Lexis Advance

See [5605.110] in Motor & traffic law—Victoria.

Cases for subsequent offences

Chief Commissioner of Police v Rigg [2004] VSC 448 (8 November 2004)

Held: A person needs to have been found guilty or convicted of an offence before a person can be subsequent offence

See Chief commissioner of Police v Rigg [2004] VSC 448 (8 November 2004).

Perry, Michael Wykenham v Van Maanen, Jacob Bernard [1998] VicSc 308 (17 June 1998)

Held: No subsequent offence if the first offence is awaiting an appeal.

See Perry, Michael Wykenham v Van Maanen, Jacob Bernard [1998] VicSC 308 (17 June 1998).