Licence & Speeding Appeals
A Victoria driver licence can be suspended for many reasons. Some offences, such as speeding in excess of 25 km/h or certain drink driving offences, require a suspension upon conviction of the offence. Other suspensions are imposed because a driver accumulated too many demerit points.
Occasionally, the Road Corporation (VicRoads) will suspend a driver licence after determining that the driver cannot drive safely due to illness or infirmity.
It is usually possible, but not always wise, to appeal a driver licence suspension. This article will tell you how those appeals proceed in Victoria.
Demerit point suspensions
Most driver licence suspensions in Victoria occur because a driver accumulated too many demerit points. A suspension occurs when a full licence holder receives 12 or more demerit points in any three year period.
An appeal from a demerit point suspension can be taken to the Magistrate’s Court but the grounds for appeal are limited. Pursuant to section 26AA of the Road Safety Act, an appeal can only be based on the ground that:
- VicRoads recorded demerit points incorrectly (for instance, by assessing too many points for an offence); or
- The demerit points were added incorrectly or the three year time period was incorrectly computed.
Even if a driver is unlikely to prevail, taking an appeal delays the suspension (or requires that it be lifted if it has already started) until the appeal is decided. That might benefit some drivers, although a driver who loses an appeal may be required to pay court costs. The Notice of Appeal must be filed within 28 days after receipt of the Notice of Suspension.
If your licence was suspended by a Magistrate’s Court as part of the penalty for a traffic violation, you can appeal the suspension to the county court. Unlike appeals from demerit point suspensions imposed by VicRoads, an appeal of a Magistrate’s Court suspension will not automatically delay the start of the suspension.
You must appeal a Magistrate’s Court suspension within 28 days of its imposition. Since the county court might impose a longer suspension when it determine.
Suspension of license of a dangerous driver
VicRoads has discretion to suspend a driver licence on the ground that it would be dangerous for the licence holder to drive because of illness, bodily infirmity, physical disability, or mental incapacity, or because of the effects of medical treatment for those conditions. The suspension can be imposed without a hearing or investigation, provided VicRoads relies upon a medical report that it regards as justifying the suspension.
The licence holder is entitled to appeal the suspension to the Magistrate’s Court. That appeal must be filed within 28 days after receiving the suspension notice. The Magistrate’s Court is entitled to hear any relevant evidence the licence holder wishes to present. For instance, the licence holder might introduce competing medical evidence, might testify regarding his or her ability to drive safely, or might present the testimony of friends and relatives who can attest to the driver’s ability to cope with the disability or condition that provoked the suspension. If the court disagrees with the Vic Roads’ conclusion, it can order the suspension lifted.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.
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