What is a special category driver?


A special category driver is someone who:

  • Holds a learner licence (“L plater”)
  • Holds a provision licence (“P plater”)
  • Has an interlock driver licence
  • Has had an application for a driving licence refused
  • Has ceased to hold a driving licence because it was cancelled or suspended, or they were disqualified
  • Has previously held a licence, but that licence has been expired for a period of more than six months
  • Has never held or obtained a driving licence


A person is also a special category driver if they are:

  • driving a vehicle for hire or reward, in the course of trade or business, or as a public passenger vehicle
  • driving a coach
  • driving a motor vehicle that exceeds 13.9 tonnes, or a motor vehicle and trailer that exceeds 13.9 tonnes
  • driving a motor vehicle required to carry signs regarding dangerous goods
  • driving a motor vehicle carrying any radio active substance

What is the offence?

If you are a novice driver and you have a blood alcohol level of 0.00 or more it is illegal to:

  • Drive a motor vehicle; or
  • Occupy the driving seat of a motor vehicle and attempt to put the motor vehicle in motion; or
  • Occupy the passenger seat of a motor vehicle as the supervisor of a learner driver who is driving the vehicle

If you are a novice driver and you have a blood alcohol level of more than 0.02 but less than 0.05 you are guilty of an offence.

If you have a blood alcohol level of more than 0.05 then you are guilty of a different offence (not novice range) and should see our other pages about drink driving.


What is a special range blood alcohol level?

A special range blood alcohol level for this offence is a concentration of more than 0.02 grams, but less than 0.05 grams, of alcohol in 210 litres of breath or 100 millilitres of blood.


What is the potential penalty?

The maximum financial penalty for a first offence is $1,100, and for a second or subsequent offence it is $2,200.


You do not lose any demerit points for drink driving offences.  There is no possible jail sentence for this offence.


The automatic licence disqualification period for a first offence is 6 months, with a minimum disqualification period of 3 months.  For a subsequent offence within 5 years the automatic disqualification period is 12 months.


You will suffer a licence suspension unless the court exercises it’s discretion pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes Act to not enter a conviction. We can discuss whether or not you are likely to be dealt with under section 10 during our free, no obligation first interview.