Traffic offenders in New South Wales (NSW) should be aware of the law surrounding Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations.

A court in NSW can declare a person a Habitual Traffic Offender if the person has been convicted in NSW of a ‘relevant offence’ and, in the preceding 5 years, has also been convicted of at least 2 other relevant offences committed on separate occasions.

A ‘relevant offence’ is defined in section 216 of the Road Transport Act (2013) and includes, among other offences, the following:

  • Novice range drink driving
  • Special range drink driving
  • Low range drink driving (except the accompanying learner driver offence)
  • Middle range drink driving (except the accompanying learner driver offence)
  • High range drink driving (except the accompanying learner driver offence)
  • D.U.I. (except the accompanying learner driver offence)
  • ‘Drug driving’
  • Driving in a manner furiously, recklessly or in a manner dangerous to the public
  • Menacing driving
  • Failing to stop and assist after impact causing injury
  • Negligent driving causing occasioning death or grievous bodily harm
  • Driving while unlicensed
  • Driving while disqualified
  • Driving while licence suspended (other than for non-payment of fine)
  • Driving while licence cancelled (other than for non-payment of fine)

If a person is declared a Habitual Traffic Offender, then they face additional and significant licence disqualification periods, including disqualification for life.

A court may quash the declaration if it considers that the disqualification imposed by the declaration is a disproportionate and unjust consequence having regard to the total driving record of the person and the special circumstances of the case.

An application for the declaration to be quashed can be made at the time of the declaration or in the future, provided the disqualification period in connection with the declaration is still running.

For advice and representation in relation to Habitual Traffic Offender declarations, or traffic matters generally, contact the experienced lawyers at Burt & Hanke Legal in Albury.

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