Traffic Law


Traffic Lawyers

We have extensive experience in this heavily regulated and sometimes complex area of law.

We regularly advise and represent clients:

  • Issued with an Immediate Loss of Licence;
  • At risk of accumulating 12 or more demerit points;
  • In breach of a Good Behaviour Option or Safer Driver Agreement;
  • Charged with offences including exceed speed, drink driving,
    drug driving, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, drive disqualified, dangerous driving, cause death by dangerous driving, escape police pursuit and more.

We routinely prevent our clients from losing their licences by way of:

  • Demerit Point Reduction Applications; and
  • Licence Hardship Appeals

Demerit Point Reduction Applications

Section 98B(4) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 permits a court to reduce the demerit points incurred by an offence, if satisfied by evidence given on oath by the defendant that the offending was trifling or that “other proper cause” exists.

Trifling means that in the circumstances of the offending, the offending was a minor or trivial example of the relevant offence. A finding of other proper cause is similarly confined to the circumstances of the offending, that is, any hardship caused to the defendant by way of the demerit points will not constitute proper cause.

The defendant must plead guilty to the charge before a demerit point reduction application may be made. Accordingly, if your application is not successful, you will be liable to incur the applicable demerit points.

We have extensive experience in making these applications. Ensure that you are fully informed. Contact Barbaro Thilthorpe Lawyers to obtain advice as to the merit of a demerit point reduction application in your case.


Licence Hardship Appeals

Section 81BB of the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 allows a driver facing licence disqualification to appeal the disqualification to the Magistrates Court on the basis of hardship. To be eligible to bring such an application, the offences giving rise to the disqualification must have been committed while the driver held a provisional or probationary licence.

To be successful, the appellant must demonstrate that the disqualification will result in severe and unusual hardship for the appellant or any dependent. Mere inconvenience will not be sufficient.

The Crown may provide evidence of the appellant’s previous offences. In this event, the appellant must also establish that the evidence does not indicate that the appellant is a substantial risk to the public or themselves.

It is important to engage an experienced traffic lawyer to act on your behalf in a licence appeal. Barbaro Thilthorpe Lawyers will assist you to gather evidence to satisfy the court of the severe and unusual hardship in your case.


Criminal Charges

It is important that you engage an expert criminal and traffic lawyer if you are charged with a driving offence. The penalties can be very severe and clients are often surprised to learn the seriousness of some driving offences, which can attract imprisonment.


Driving with a Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol

The penalties for driving with a prescribed concentration of alcohol depends on the concentration of alcohol detected:

Category 1: Less than 0.08 grams of alcohol/100ml of blood;

Category 2: More than 0.08 but less than 0.15 grams of alcohol/100ml of blood;

Category 3: 0.15 grams or more of alcohol/100 ml of blood.

The applicable fine is prescribed by section 47B of the Road Traffic Act 1961 and will depend on which category you are charged with and whether it is your first, second or a subsequent drink driving offence.

Section 47B also prescribes the licence disqualification periods that a court must impose. The disqualification periods again vary depending on the category of your blood alcohol concentration and whether it is your first, second or a subsequent drink driving offence.

For a first offence, the disqualification periods are as follows:

Category 1: Not less than 3 months;
Category 2: Not less than 6 months;
Category 3: Not less than 12 months.

Schedule 4 of the Motor Vehicles Regulations 2010 prescribes the applicable demerit points:

Category 1: 4 demerit points;
Category 2: 5 demerit points;
Category 3: 6 demerit points.

If you are alleged to have committed a category 1 offence and it is your first offence, you will be issued an expiation notice and have the opportunity to expiate the offence. In all other instances, you will be charged on Information and prosecuted in court.

It is essential to engage an expert traffic lawyer to assess the evidence for any defence or otherwise make guilty plea submissions to optimise your prospects of receiving the minimum by way of fine and disqualification period.


Drive Disqualified

If you are caught driving while your licence or learner’s permit is suspended or disqualified in South Australia or another state, you may be charged with the offence of drive disqualified.

The maximum penalty for drive disqualified is:

For a first offence: 6 months imprisonment;
For a subsequent offence: 2 years imprisonment.

The severe penalties for drive disqualified and the seemingly minor seriousness of the offence is an excellent example of why it is important to consult an expert traffic lawyer whenever you are charged with a driving offence.

We are experts in this area of law and will obtain the most favourable outcome available on your case, whether you wish to resolve your matter by way of guilty plea or assess the evidence for a defence with a view to contesting the charges.

To discuss your traffic law issue, call Barbaro Thilthorpe Lawyers on (08) 8227 0577.


Areas of Practise

Loss of Licence

The disqualification and loss of licence due to either a driving offence or a breach of can be appealed to the Magistrates Court on the basis of hardship.

Demerit Points

A driver of convicted traffic charges, which attracts demerit points, may appeal to reduce the number of demerit points incurred by the offence.

Drink Driving

A drink driving, or DUI offence can incur multiple penalties, from a minimum fine of $1100 to a minimum license disqualification of 12 months for a first offence.

General Traffic Offences

General traffic offences, which result in the loss of demerit points, can include speeding, proceeding through a red traffic light, failing to give way and drink driving.

Good Behaviour Option

For someone found guilty of a traffic law violation, the option to appeal for a ‘Good Behaviour Bond’ can be an important sentencing option.

Meet Our Team

Experienced Lawyers

Ben Thilthrope
Co-founding Partner
Frank Barbaro
Co-founding Partner
Get in touch

To discuss your Traffic Law matter