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Extraordinary Driver Licence (EDL)

May 2013

What is an EDL?

An EDL is a temporary driver’s licence that allows a person, who is disqualified from driving by the Court, the authority to drive for certain purposes.

An EDL isn’t a free pass – and there will be significant restrictions on the person with the EDL.

Some of them are:

  • 0% Blood Alcohol Concentration;
  • Only allowed to drive on certain days & times;
  • The Person has to maintain a log-book of the places & times they have been; and
  • Display “E-Plates” on any vehicle they drive.

Who can apply for an EDL?

A person who has been disqualified from driving for ‘drink-drinking’ offences can usually apply to the Court for an EDL. There is a waiting period after you have been convicted for the offence that must been served before you can make your application.

The Waiting period is 21 days, except for the following offences (as at 1 March 2013):

(nb. You can’t apply for an EDL if you have been disqualified for accumulating excess demerit points (12) or if you are have been disqualified for not paying fines or arranging to pay those fines with Fines Enforcement Registry.)

Waiting Period Relevant Offence   Section Number (Road Traffic Act 1974 (WA))
2 Months Excess 0.08% BAC, Second offence   64(2)
  Excess 0.08% BAC, with a previous charge of failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force.   64(2), with previous 67A charge
  Failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force, second offence.   67A(3)(b)
       
3 Months Failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force, third offence.   67A(3)(b)
  Excess 0.08% BAC, Third offence.   64(2)(b)
  Driving under the influence of alcohol, with a previous Excess 0.08% offence, or previous charge of failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force..   63(2)(a), with a previous 64(2) or 67A(3)(b) charge.
  Driving while impaired by drugs, with a previous Excess 0.08% offence, or previous charge of failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force..   64AB(2)(a), with a previous 64(2) or 67A(3)(b) charge.
  Failure to provide a breath, blood or urine sample for analysis, with a previous Excess 0.08% offence, or previous charge of failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force.   67(3)(a), with a previous 64(2) or 67A(3)(b) charge
  Failure to comply with requirement as to drive assessment or provision of blood or urine sample for analysis, with a previous Excess 0.08% offence, or previous charge of failing to comply with directions of a member of the police force.   67AA(3)(a), with a previous 64(2) or 67A(3)(b) charge.
       
4 Months Driving under the influence of alcohol; second, third or subsequent offence.   63(2)(b) or (c)
  Driving while impaired by drugs; second, third or subsequent offence.   64AB(2)(b) or (c)
  Failure to comply with requirements as to provision of breath, blood or urine sample for analysis; second, third or subsequent offence.   67(3)(b) or (c)
  Failure to comply with requirements as to provision of breath, blood or urine sample for analysis; second, third or subsequent offence.;   67(3)(b) or (c)
  Failure to comply with requirement as to drive assessment or provision of blood or urine sample for analysis; second, third or subsequent offence.   67AA(3)(b) or (c)

What if I have been served with a Roadside Disqualification?

New Laws in Western Australia have brought in the increased use of ‘road-side’ disqualifications of people who have been charged with a ‘drink-driving’ or related offence.You can’t apply for an EDL whilst this suspension is in force, except if you are convicted by the Court during the disqualification period.

The time you have been disqualified for before conviction by the Court reduces the waiting period for any of the above offences.

What is the criteria the Court has to be satisfied of before a person is granted an EDL?

Broadly speaking, the purpose of the disqualification is to create a punitive effect of a person for the offence they committed.

An EDL isn’t a free-pass, and the Court has to be satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, they should grant an EDL taking into account:

  • the safety of the public generally; and
  • if you are person of good character; and
  • the circumstances of the case; and
  • the nature of the offence or offences that you were disqualified for; and
  • your conduct after to the disqualification.

Also, you have to satisfy the Court of one of the three scenarios:

  • deprive you of the means of obtaining urgent medical treatment for an illness, disease or disability known to be suffered by the you or a close family member; or
  • place an undue financial burden on the you or your family, by depriving you the only means to obtain an income; or
  • deprive you or a member of your family of the only practicable means of travelling to and from work.

Things to Consider:

  • Was this your first, second (or subsequent) ‘drink-driving’ offence?
  • Have you made an EDL application and been refused in the previous 6 months? If so, you are not able to commence another application until the expiry of that time.
  • What is your previous driving history and traffic record? This is relevant to the consideration of the court as to the ‘safety of the public generally’.
  • What are the circumstances that require you to have an EDL? The court must be satisfied on one of the following grounds in order to grant it:
    • You cannot do your job without a licence.
    • You will lose your job if not granted an EDL.
    • A licence is required for medical purposes.
  • What are the circumstances of the offence which caused your loss of licence?
  • What has your conduct been like since the offence? This is in regard to employment, alcohol or drug counselling, drinking habits, and further convictions.

Further Information:

Contact one of our Criminal/Traffic Lawyers for further information or if you wish to make an Application for an Extraordinary Drivers Licence (EDL).

Please Note: The information contained in this article is general in nature and cannot be regarded as anything more than general comment. Readers of this article should not act on the basis of this comment without consulting one of iLaw’s legal practitioners who will consider their particular circumstances