Drug Driving Offences

Not only does Queensland have a zero tolerance policy for drink driving, this also extends to drug driving.  It is an offence to drive with drugs in your system.  If you are convicted of driving with drugs in your saliva, or blood, your licence is required to be disqualified for a period of time.  At Coates Davey Solicitors we understand the impact that this will have on your livelihood, your family life and your social life and will work with you to ensure you get back on the road as soon as possible. 

There are two main offences relating to drug driving, which are:


  • Driving with a relevant drug present in your saliva; and
  • Driving under the influence of a drug.


Driving with a relevant drug present in your saliva generally arises following a random drug test.  You do not have to appear to be “under the influence” of the drug to be charged with this offence.  It is enough for the police to prove that the drug was in your saliva.  In Queensland, random drug tests typically pick up traces of the following drugs in your saliva:


  • Cannabis;
  • Methylamphetamine; or
  • Ecstasy. 


The mandatory minimum licence disqualification period for this charge is 1 month, however this can be higher, with the maximum penalty being a 9 month disqualification period.  The total disqualification will depend on the facts of the charge, the offender’s traffic history and their background circumstances.  If you have been charged with driving with a relevant drug present in your saliva, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence.


Driving under the influence of a drug is a more serious charge than driving with drugs present in your saliva.  You can be charged with this offence following police observation of your behaviour, mannerisms and whether they deem that you appear to be “under the influence” of a drug, or through a sample of your blood taken at a hospital.  It is important to note that you can be charged with this offence for not only illicit drugs, but for prescription drugs as well if you are showing signs of being adversely affected by them.  


It comes with a mandatory minimum licence disqualification of at least 6 months (although it can be much higher than this at the Magistrate’s discretion, as the maximum licence disqualification period for this offence is an absolute disqualification). There is no discretion to apply for a work licence if you have been charged with this offence.


Along with the disqualification period for drug driving offences, the court can impose penalties such as fines, community service, probation and even imprisonment.  Due to Queensland’s tough stance on drink driving and drug driving, it is important to contact an experienced traffic lawyer at an early stage.  Coates Davey Solicitors will work with you to understand the charge, the facts surrounding the charge, provide you with your options, discuss the likely penalty and work with you to achieve the best result in the circumstances. 

Coates Davey Solicitors offer competitive fixed fee amounts for most drug driving law representation, so you will have no surprise bills.  We regularly appear in most Magistrates courts throughout South East Queensland for drug driving matters, including:

  • Brisbane CBD and surrounds, 
  • Caboolture and Redcliffe;
  • Noosa, Maroochydore, Nambour and Caloundra;
  • Southport and Coolangatta; and
  • Ipswich, Toowoomba and Dalby.


Traffic and DUI Law Brisbane
Telephone us on 07 3180 0180 today for a complimentary consultation to discuss your case and your specific needs.

Our solicitors have extensive experience in appearing in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts.  For traffic matters, we service most Courts in South East Queensland.