Under the Queensland Criminal Code, hooning are offences that involve speeding, street racing, careless driving, or playing excessively loud music in a car. The punishments for these offences include fines and/or prison time, as well as having the vehicle of the suspected offender impounded, immobilised, or confiscated.
What Exactly are Hooning Offences?
According to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, specifically in Section 69A, hooning offences are divided into two categories — Type 1 and Type 2 — based on the severity of the specific hooning offence. Particular statutes concerning the immobilisation and impoundment of vehicles apply, according to which category a hooning offence falls into and whether it’s the suspected offender’s subsequent or first conviction for the same hooning offence.
Charges of hooning under the Type 1 category include more severe offences. These include the following:
- Driving carelessly, recklessly, or dangerously
- Interfering with a vehicle
- Drag or street racing
- Deliberately driving in a manner that causes unnecessary smoke or noise
- Evading the police or not stopping after being asked to stop by the police
Hooning charges under the Type 2 category are generally considered less severe than those under the Type 1 category. These include:
- Driving a motor vehicle while under suspension or without a driver’s licence
- Driving an uninsured or unregistered motor vehicle
- Speeding 40kmph in excess of the imposed speed limit
- Failing or refusing to undergo a saliva or breath test
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Your Rights to Appeal
If you’ve been charged with hooning, legal professionals and other lawyers in Townsville noted that you might be able to appeal your vehicle’s immobilisation or impoundment depending on the specifics of your case. For instance, if the hooning offence happened without your knowledge and consent or if the penalty would cause you substantial financial hardship, you might apply for your vehicle’s release with the Commissioner of Police.
In the unfortunate event that the commissioner denied your application, you can exercise your rights in Magistrates Court and contest the decision. To make certain you’re aware of your legal rights, consult an experienced lawyer to help you understand the charges you’re facing and upholding your legal rights.