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Drug and alcohol dependency assessment

Where a person has been disqualified for certain drink and drug driving offences, and they seek to re-apply for their licence at the conclusion of their disqualification period, they may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol dependency assessment prior to their licence being re-issued.

An applicant will be required to undergo an assessment where the offence for which they were disqualified for was:

  • a drink driving offence where a child aged under 16 years was present in the vehicle [see Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) ss 47(1a), 47B(1a), 47E(3a), and 47I(7); Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(1)(c)(i)]; OR
  • a prescribed drink driving offence (i.e. any offence other than a category one offence) and they have been convicted of at least one other prescribed drink driving offence, or have been convicted of or expiated at least two other drink driving offences within the preceding five years of the disqualifying offence [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(1)(c)(ii)]; OR
  • a drink driving offence and they have been convicted of, or expiated, at least two other drink driving offences within the preceding five years of the disqualifying offence [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(1)(c)(iii)].

In these instances, prior to issuing a licence the Registrar of Motor Vehicles must direct the applicant to submit to an alcohol dependency assessment to show they are not dependent on alcohol [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(1)]. The Registrar can issue the licence without requiring the applicant to submit to an assessment, if they are satisfied that the applicant has successfully completed an alcohol dependency treatment program not more than 60 days before applying for the licence [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(1)].

Similar provisions apply to certain drug driving offences. An applicant for a licence will be required to undergo a drug dependency assessment before being issued a licence, where the offence for which they were disqualified for was:

  • a drug driving offence where a child aged under 16 years was present in the vehicle [see Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) ss 47(1a), 47BA(1a), 47EAA(9a), and 47I(7); Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(2)(c)(i)]; OR
  • a drug driving offence and they have been convicted of, or expiated, at least one other drug driving offence within the preceding five years of the disqualifying offence [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(2)(c)(ii)].

For these offences, prior to issuing a licence the Registrar of Motor Vehicles must direct the applicant to submit to a drug dependency assessment to show they are not dependant on drugs [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(2)]. The Registrar may issue the licence without requiring the person to submit to an assessment, if they are satisfied that the applicant has successfully completed a drug dependency treatment program not more than 60 days before applying for the licence [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) s 79B(2)].

If a person undergoes a drug or alcohol dependency assessment, and on the basis of the report produced from that assessment they are deemed to be dependant on drugs or alcohol, the Registrar must refuse to issue them a licence until they are satisfied the person is no longer drug or alcohol dependant [see Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA) ss 79B(4) and 79B(5)]. The Registrar can consider reports from approved drug and alcohol assessment providers in determining whether to issue the licence to the applicant. The applicant is liable for the cost of the drug or alcohol dependency assessment and any participation in a treatment program.

Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs  :  Last Revised: Mon Feb 5th 2018
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