Drug Driving

drug driving laws | DUI | DWI Driving Under the Influence of a Drug | Driving with A Relevant Drug Present


Offences For Drug Driving

Drug Driving Charges

In Queensland, there are two offences for "Drug Driving". These are driving with a relevant drug present in your system and driving under the influence of a drug.

Penalty For Drug Driving Will My Licence Be Disqualified?


The Court must disqualify your licence as part of the sentence for these offences. This means you may not hold, obtain or apply for a QLD driver licence during the relevant period. Queensland has legislated this, so it is not at the Court’s discretion not to disqualify your licence as part of the sentence.

The minimum period will depend of the offence you are facing and will be either 1 or 6 months for a first offence.

The Court does, however, have discretion to:

  • increase the period of licence disqualification; and
  • impose additional penalties.

An additional penalty may include:

  • a fine; or
  • even imprisonment where you have previous offences on your driving history.

How Do Police Know If There Is a Relevant Drug in My System?

Police monitor drug driving by undertaking roadside drug tests. These are usually done with an oral saliva test. If you cannot provide a saliva sample, for example after an accident, a drug test may include a blood or urine test.

Is It Only Illegal to Drive After Taking Illegal Drugs?

It is important to know that “Drug Driving” does not only mean driving with illegal drugs in your system. It can also include prescription drugs, or even over the counter drugs from a chemist.

Drug Driving Call Us To Speak To A Drug Driving Lawyer

Drugs Detected What Drugs Do Roadside Tests Pick Up?


Roadside drug tests test saliva for the presence of one of three drugs. These are:

  1. Methylamphetamine, which is generally referred to as speed or ice;
  2. THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis or marijuana; and
  3. MDMA, which is the active ingredient in ecstasy.

How Recently Do I Need to Have Taken a Drug to Be Charged with Drug Driving?

Different drugs can stay in your system for different periods of time. For example, marijuana can stay in your system for up to 40 days. A roadside drug test can come back positive even if you are not affected by drugs at the time. For example, you can have THC in your system from having consumed marijuana 2 weeks before a drug test.

Queensland has a zero-tolerance policy for Drug Driving. This means it is still an offence to have drugs in your system even if they are not affecting you at the time of driving.

I Will Lose My Job Without My Licence. Do I Have Any Options?

The loss of your licence can impact on your well-being, your future, and your family’s interests.

For a charge of driving with a relevant drug present in your system, you may be able to apply for a Work Licence.

Work Licences

Restricted Work Licences

A restricted work licence can allow you to continue to drive for work and earn a livelihood. We have extensive experience and success applying for work licences in Courts across SEQ. We will tell you whether you are eligible based on a review of your charge and your driving history and what steps you need to take for your application to be successful.

We Appear in All South East Queensland Courts Appearing In Court


We have significant expertise appearing in Court for Drug Driving. This extends to advocating for our clients charged with:

  • driving with a relevant drug in their system;
  • driving under the influence a drug; and
  • refusing to provide a specimen of saliva for a roadside drug test.

Call us to talk to a lawyer.

Our Aim Is to Minimise Your Disqualification

Thorough preparation is essential to keep your disqualification to the minimum under legislation.

In Court, a prosecutor will read the “facts of the charge“, being their version of what occurred. Without competent representation, the Court may then not hear more information about you. It is important to give the Court a wider picture beyond the offending to show:

  • how a licence disqualification will impact you and the people around you; and
  • provide an explanation for what occurred.

We have over 25 years’ experience appearing before the Courts. This experience means we know what the Court is looking for and what to submit on your behalf. We understand the potential consequences of a lengthy disqualification. These are too serious to risk appearing without a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer.

Our Fees

We want to make it easy to obtain quality legal advice and representation.

Therefore, we charge a fixed fee to appear with you at sentence for a drug driving offence.

This includes all our preparation and discussions with you before your Court date.

If there are any items that will incur an additional fee, we will disclose those and the cost at the outset. We can often also offer you an alternative so that you can save those costs.

We also understand that a driving charge can happen unexpectedly. We are flexible with payment plans and can begin preparing your matter for a deposit. We will work with your time frames to allow you the time you need to have a lawyer by your side at sentence.

Give us a call to ask about our affordable pricing.

Contact Us

Call us on to speak with a highly skilled and passionate lawyer. We are happy to answer any of your questions. Our lawyers are here if you would like:

  • to know more about the Court process or about Drug Driving offences;
  • to find out whether you are eligible to apply for a restricted Work Licence; or
  • to engage legal representation or obtain legal advice.

Other DUI Offences & Licence Applications We Assist With

Office Locations & Contact Details

Call us to speak with a highly skilled and passionate lawyer. We are happy to answer any of your questions.

Contact us


202/303 Adelaide Street

Brisbane QLD 4000
P: 07 3229 4495
F: 07 3211 9311
Email Us

Sunshine Coast

8 Pikki St
Maroochydore QLD 4558
P: 07 5408 0655
F: 07 3211 9311
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Gold Coast

Level 6, 9 Lawson Street
Southport QLD 4215
P: 07 5596 9099
F: 07 3211 9311
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