Going for a drive this long weekend? You better be on your best behaviour! Because some states in Australia have harsh double demerit point penalties in force for the duration of the long weekend.
We’ll run through the states (and territories) with and the states (and territories) without double demerit points, along with some of the fines you can cop in the process if you’re stung on a double demerit weekend – there’s a whopping 14 point penalty available for one state.
|State (or territory)||Double demerit points?|
|New South Wales||YES|
|Queensland||YES and NO (explained below)|
|Australian Capital Territory||YES|
How double demerit points work in Australia:
Victoria: There are no double demerit points in Victoria this long weekend.
New South Wales: New South Wales has double demerit points that apply this long weekend. They go into force at 12AM on the first day of the public holiday long weekend and finish at midnight on the last day of the public holiday weekend.
Double demerit points in New South Wales apply for speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt and riding without a motorbike helmet.
Use a mobile phone illegally while driving during double demerits in New South Wales will attract five demerit points as an example.
Western Australia: Western Australia has double demerit points that apply this long weekend. They go into force at 12AM on the first day of the public holiday long weekend and finish at midnight on the last day of the public holiday weekend.
Double demerit points in Western Australia apply for speeding, drink or drug driving, failing to wear a seatbelt or child restraint, illegal use of a mobile phone while driving, driving a vehicle with a radar detector and driving in a manner to avoid detection by a speed camera.
As an example, if you decide to use a radar detector or laser jammer during a double demerit period in Western Australia, you’ll cop 14 points in one hit!
Queensland: Queensland doesn’t have a double demerit point policy during long weekends…it actually enforces double demerit points for certain offences ALL year round. The offence groups are speeding at more than 20km/h over the speed limit, mobile phone offences, driver seatbelt offences and motorcycle helmet offences.
They work a little differently to other states, though. In Queensland a driver can get a penalty during a long weekend (or any time during the year) and only pay the regular fine and attract the regular demerit points.
But, if the driver commits the same type of offence within a 12 month period of the first, their second offence will attract double the demerit points.
As an example, if you commit a mobile phone offence you will receive four demerit points for the first offence. Commit the same type of offence within a 12 month period and the second offence will attract eight demerit points meaning you will have accrued 12 demerit points in total within a 12 month period.
Tasmania: Tasmania has no double demerit points during holiday periods or at any point during the year.
Australian Capital Territory: The Australian Capital Territory has the same double demerit point offence rules as New South Wales for the duration of the long weekend.
Northern Territory: Northern Territory has no double demerit points during holiday periods or at any point during the year.
South Australia: South Australia has no double demerit points during holiday periods or at any point during the year.
What happens if you travel interstate:
Now, one thing you need to keep in mind is that if you travel interstate, the fine amount and demerit point amount from your home state applies interstate. So, for example, if you’re travelling from New South Wales into Victoria during a double demerit point period and you receive a speeding fine in Victoria, you will cop double demerit points.
Conversely, if you travel from Victoria into New South Wales during a double demerit period, you will receive a fine without double demerit points, because your home state doesn’t have a double demerit point rule.