What Are Demerit Points?
Demerit Points are one of the tools used by the government to ensure road users obey the law.
When you get your drivers licence you start off with a clean slate and have no demerit points. If you are caught breaking one of the road rules you may attract some demerit points. Different offences carry different numbers of demerit points.
How Many Demerit Points Can I Get Before I Lose My Licence?
If a person incurs 12 or more demerit points within a period of 3 years that person is subject to disqualification.
The period of disqualification depends on the amount of points accumulated in that 3 year period:
- 3 months disqualification for not less than 12 but not more than 15;
- 4 months disqualification for not less than 16 but not more than 19;
- 5 months disqualification for 20 or more points.
If you incur 6 or more points within a 3 year period you will be notified of this by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. If you are unsure how many demerit points you have you can always contact the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and find out.
If you incur 12 or more points within a 3 year period a notice of disqualification will be sent to you detailing the date on which the disqualification commences.
When Do I Incur Demerit Points?
You do not incur the Demerit Points until you pay the expiation notice, or are convicted by a court of the offence.
The Demerit Points however operate from the date of the offence.
What Can I Do If I Am Going To Lose My licence?
You may have the right to make an election to discount the demerit points in order to retain your license. You have 21 days to notify the registrar of your election and you will then retain your license on the condition that you be of good behavior for a period of 12 months from the date of disqualification.
You should be aware however if you do make the election and incur 2 or more points within this period of 12 months you will be disqualified for a period that is twice the period that would have occurred had the election not been made.
There are restrictions on how many times you can make an election.
Can I Appeal My Loss Of Licence?
Yes. However, it is not a simple thing to do and will depend on the offence for which you are charged, whether you have paid your expiation notice or not and a number of other factors.
Generally speaking, when charged with an offence that incurs demerit points you can elect to be prosecuted. This means that the prosecution must prove that you committed the offence that you are charged with. It is only if you are convicted or plead guilty to the charge that you will incur the demerit points.
When that occurs you can make an application to the court to reduce the number of demerit points that you are going to incur so you can keep your licence. You will need to convince the Magistrate that there are good reasons to do this.
If you appeal against the conviction of an offence that resulted in demerit points that incurred a disqualification period, that disqualification will be postponed pending the outcome of the appeal.
Remember there may be something you can do to keep your licence so speak to one of our team before you do anything as we will be able to help.