Can I be charged with Drink Driving on Private Property?

Queensland is very strict when it comes to drink driving offences, and the laws reflect this. It is important that drivers in Queensland are made aware of what is expected of them regarding the law. Drink driving offences can potentially result in:

  • Large fines
  • Losing your drivers licence
  • Possible termination of employment
  • Imprisonment

Drink Driving on Private Property

It is a common misconception that you cannot be charged with drink driving whilst on private property. The law states under section 80(2) of the Transport Operations (Road Use) Management Act that a police officer has the authority to require any person to participate in a breath-test if the officer believes that the person was driving on a road or elsewhere.

What is classed as driving ‘elsewhere’?

The term elsewhere is intentionally broad, that way police officers have the power to breath test you anywhere, even when you are driving in places that are not actually roads. It is also important to note that the legislation does not specifically mention public or private roads. This means that drink driving offences are not specifically restricted to public roads or places, it can include private places.

Thus, yes, you can be charged with drink driving on private property in Queensland.

The penalties that will apply in court are the same whether you were driving on a public road or on private property.  Those penalties include the mandatory disqualification of your licence.

If you have been charged as a mid-range or high range offence, you will also then be required to participate in the interlock ignition device program for a period of at least 12 months.

This post contains general advice only and is not intended as legal advice.