The whole idea of a ‘work license’ is a bit odd really. Your actions behind the wheel are bad enough to lose your license, but because the effects on you and your family of this consequence are also bad society throws you a life-line and lets you drive anyway!
Not that it’s that simple, or that easy to get one. Restricted licenses, which relate to drink driving, have a bunch of criteria and require you to prove with affidavit evidence that you will definitely lose your livelihood without the ability to drive. You only get one if you are in the low range of .05 to .15 and have kept your nose clean for five years prior.
Special hardship orders (SHO’s) can be obtained not only because of likely financial hardship, but also other types of hardships that can’t be got around any other way – carer’s for sick family members needing to be available for emergency assistance, parents of kids in remote areas needing to get them to school. Again no similar allowances can have been made in five years. An application is only available for loss of license due to a single high speed offence or loss of a two-point good behaviour license.
The orders made rarely, if ever, allow a blanket right to drive and often get into minute detail about when, where and why. Police, rightly, take a keen interest in supervising compliance and busting those who take advantage. But there will always be those who do.
Julian Porter is Principal Solicitor of Suncoast Community Legal Service.
This column contains legal information only. Legal advice should be sought in relation to individual circumstances.
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