Many Western Australian driving offences are not court matters. Lesser violations receive consequences of fines or demerits. However, some offences are so significant the authorities cannot dismiss them with light consequences. This is where losing the ability to drive for the rest of your life legally comes into the situation.
What is a Life Disqualification?
This is a penalty given to drivers which takes away their legal right to have a driver’s licence and operate a motor vehicle. Drivers receive this consequence when their actions behind the wheel are so reckless that the court is required to give a life disqualification.
What Actions Lead to Lifetime Disqualifications?
The Western Australia Courts must impose a lifetime driver’s licence disqualification for the following actions:
- According to Section 63 of the Road Traffic Act, the offender has three or more counts of driving under the influence of alcohol (a reading of an excess of 0.15g of alcohol per 100ml blood)
- Under Section 64AB of the Road Traffic Act, the offender has three or more counts of driving whilst impaired by the influence of illicit drugs
- According to Sections 60 or 60A of the Road Traffic Act, the offender has three or more counts of reckless driving or driving at a reckless speed. This is defined as driving more than 45km/h over the limit or at speeds over 155km/h
*Please Note* If you refuse to conform to a police officer’s direction to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine, it is assumed that you have committed an offence. It counts as a prior offence for life disqualification.
How Can WN Legal Help Remove My Life Disqualification?
The professionals at WN Legal have experience with removing licence life disqualifications. We will walk you through the process and put our expertise to work on your behalf.
What Must I Do to Remove the Life Disqualification?
According to the Road Traffic Act Section 24 Authorisation to Drive, you can apply for removal to the court that imposed the life disqualification. Generally, this will be either the District Court of Western Australia or the Supreme Court of Western Australia, depending on which court handed down the disqualification. However, you must wait ten years after receiving the life disqualification before making an application to the court.
When I Apply for a Life Disqualification Removal, Can I Drive Immediately?
No, lodging your application is the first step on the road to driving again. The Judge presiding over your case has sole discretion in determining lifting your life disqualification.
What Will Convince the Judge to Rule in My Favour?
While there is no fool-proof way to convince the court to remove your life disqualification, the following factors are taken into consideration by the court:
- Whether there is a need for a driver’s license
- Whether further offences were committed since the life disqualification
- The circumstances of the offence that led to the life disqualification
- Whether you have taken steps to rehabilitate since the disqualification
- Whether you are a person of good character
- Whether the public would be endangered if your disqualification was removed
You will need to file a sworn statement discussing each of these points. You should be aware that it is a criminal offence to affirm something in a sworn statement or affidavit that you know is not valid.
How Do I Apply to Remove a Life Disqualification?
The appropriate court must receive the following documentation:
- Complete the application for removal of licence disqualification (one original and two copies)
- Compile your affidavit, including attached letters, reports, or references (one original and two copies)
The court will want:
- A copy of your Criminal History and
- Record of Traffic Infringement Notices
- Letters, references, or reports in support of your application
Character references may assist your case. The most helpful references are those that:
- Come from someone who knows you in professional or academic capacity References from your former boss or high school Latin teacher will sway the court more than one from your grandmother
- Explain how long they have known you and the circumstances surrounding your acquaintanceship
- Express an understanding of why you have a life disqualification; otherwise, the court will wonder if the reference would still stand up for you if they were aware of the circumstances
- Tell about your positive traits with examples. (Saying you are a good person has less meaning than saying you volunteer at an afterschool program for underprivileged children)
- Share information regarding the steps you have taken to improve your life and become a better person since your disqualification
Additionally, character references must:
- Be typed or neatly handwritten
- Include an acknowledgement that the writer has prepared the document in support of your application to have your driver’s licence disqualification removed
- Be signed
- Be dated
- Be addressed to the District Court of Western Australia or the Supreme Court of Western Australia
- A letter should be 1 or 1½ A4 pages
- A report can be a longer document
You will pay the filing fee and, in some cases, the legal costs of the solicitors for the Director-General of the Department of Transport.
Your legal representative from WN Legal will be by your side and offer direction as you go through the process. If your attempt to remove a life disqualification is not successful, you must wait 12 months before reapplying.
If you are struggling with a lifetime driving disqualification and want to remove it, we may be able to assist you. Contact WN Legal for help with your case. Our team of experienced legal professionals will meet with you and go over the details of your case to see if removing the penalty is possible. You must know fees apply for this service, as our no-fee initial consultation is tailored to criminal and restraining order proceedings.