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Queensland police have destroyed a hoon car on the steps of the state’s Parliament House in a supposed warning message to motorists.

The car was confiscated by police from a 29-year-old hoon who was filmed doing a burnout on the street, in the suburb of Logan.

The stunt was a part of a gender reveal celebration, with the vehicle expelling a cloud of blue smoke.

The driver of the car had put blue-coloured tyres on the vehicle to reveal the gender of a baby.

Police reported that the burnout was so significant that the road couldn’t be seen in either direction for around 100 metres.

The man was sentenced to a term of imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for four years after pleading guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle.

“Not only was this man sentenced to prison and disqualified from driving for four years, for committing a life endangering offence with his car, he has now had his car destroyed and turned into a training opportunity for firefighters.” stated Queensland’s Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan.

The red Holden Commodore VP was destroyed by firefighters, who smashed the glass windows before dismantling the frame.

Tough laws in Queensland mean that any motorist who is found guilty of hooning-related offences could have their car destroyed.

The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) empowers Queensland police to impound, immobilise and confiscate vehicles involved in hooning offences.

Cars destroyed or confiscated by the state are utilised to train firefighters, and sometimes sold for scrap metal.

This is due to how cars are often “a desirable car if you are in the hooning community but it is a type of car that if we were to simply sell it to recover the towing fees, [it] would simply be bought by another person to be used for hooning activities” as described by Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner, Ben Marcus.

Can NSW Police Impound or Confiscate My Car?

The following is a brief summary of the law on police impounding or confiscating your car in NSW.

In New South Wales, there are two main types of vehicle sanctions, namely number plate confiscation or vehicle impounding.

Such sanctions are generally imposed for 3 months; however, this may be extended to a period of 6 months if a driver was disqualified from driving at the time of a relevant offence.

However, where a person repeatedly commits serious driving offences, they also risk forfeiting ownership of their vehicle.

Part 7.6 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) outlines circumstances in which police officers may impose certain sanctions concerning vehicles.

A police officer may impose a vehicle sanction if they reasonably believe that the car was used for a ‘sanctionable offence’ which includes:

  • Street racing,
  • Engaging in a police pursuit,
  • Drag racing or burnouts,
  • Speeding by more than 45km/h,
  • Repeat unauthorised driving
  • Repeat high-risk drink driving.

The vehicle may be confiscated on the spot, or an order may be made for an offender to bring it to a certain place at a specified time and date.

Number plates may also be removed or confiscated, or a notice may be issued requiring an offender to remove them from the car.

Where a person fails to provide their vehicle, or remove their number plates, in accordance with an outlined order or notice, they face a maximum fine of $3,300.

You may apply to the Local Court for the early release of your motor vehicle or number-plates, as outlined in section 249.

The court will have regard to:

  • the safety of the public and whether it is reasonably likely that the vehicle could be used for further sanctionable offences, and
  • any alleged extreme hardship to a person, other than the registered operator, arising from the impoundment of the vehicle or confiscation of the number-plates.

However, even where the Local Court orders that the vehicle or number plates be returned, the vehicle’s owner must pay for any applicable movement, towing and storage fees prior to receipt.

If the vehicle is utilised to commit another sanctionable offence within five years, a forfeiture order may be imposed which means that it can be seized and sold or destroyed, as per section 245.

The vehicle may be sold at a public auction or used for crash testing and driving education programs.

Where it is deemed that forfeiture of the vehicle will cause extreme hardship to its operator or any other person, it may be impounded or its number plates confiscated for a period of time, instead.

The Act outlines that financial loss, or difficulty in attending employment, or travelling to any place for the purposes of education, training or study does not constitute extreme hardship.

Image credit: Gennaro Leonardi Photos

Published on 06/01/2023

AUTHOR Poppy Morandin

Poppy Morandin is the managing law clerk and an integral part of the team of criminal lawyers at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia . She's also a part of CDLA's content article production team. Poppy is passionate about law reform and criminal justice.

View all posts by Poppy Morandin