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      Hoon & Burnout Laws NSW

      Posted By , on August 14, 2023

      There is a stringent system of hoon driving and burnout laws in New South Wales. If you’re a car enthusiast you should know that doing burnouts is one of the fastest ways to lose your licence and lose your car. But do you know what the police need to prove for you to be convicted of these offences? And do you know what the actual penalties are?

      What is a burnout?

      A burnout is the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary and spinning its wheels to cause the tires to heat up and smoke.

      Section 116(1) of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) makes it a criminal offence to conduct a burnout and defines it as operating a motor vehicle in a manner that causes ‘sustained loss of traction by one or more of the driving wheels’.

      What is the penalty for doing a burnout?

      The punishment for doing a burnout is a fine of $659 and 3 demerit points. A court can impose fines of up to $1100.

      Aggravated burnouts

      An aggravated burnout is:

      • Repeatedly doing burnouts
      • Doing burnouts in an area that is likely to disturb the amenity or peacefulness of the local area or make it unsafe
      • Knowing that oil or fuel has been poured on the road

      An aggravated burnout is also known as a ‘sanctionable offence’ under section 238 of the Road Transport Act 2013. This means police can seize your number plates or order you to surrender them for 3 months. The police can also suspend your licence immediately and this suspension remains in place until your matter is determined by a court. If this happens you can appeal to get your licence back.

      Aggravated burnout NSW punishment

      The penalty for an aggravated burnout offence is a fine of up to $3,300 for your first offence. If it is your second offence, this increases to $3,300 and/or 9 months imprisonment.

      There is also an automatic 1-year disqualification for any aggravated offence.

      Defences to doing a burnout

      It is a defence to a burnout offence if you can prove to the court on the balance of probabilities that the vehicle was not driven that way deliberately.

      The practical problem with this is that drivers often think they’ll avoid the fine by saying something like, “I can’t help it – the wheels spin every time I take off” or blaming the way in which the car is tuned. The unfortunate outcome of statements like this is that the police may believe you and then slap a red label defect on the car meaning it needs to be towed and can’t be driven until its cleared by an authorised mechanic.

      Police must also prove that you were the actual driver at the time of the offence. These days burnouts are often brought to the attention of police through members of the public uploading YouTube videos, dash cam footage, and even footage from home CCTV systems. Once the police have the registration number of the vehicle they will normally speak to the registered owner of the car and place what is called a ‘form of demand’ on them. That means they can legally force the registered owner to nominate who was driving at the time of the alleged offence.

      Failing to nominate the driver can result in the registered owner being fined up to $842 (although there are no demerit points) or being charged and facing a fine of up to $2,200 in court.

      Burnouts of private property

      Burnouts on private property, such as your driveway, are a criminal offence in NSW.

      What if I’ve received a fine for a burnout?

      If you believe that someone has reported you for doing a burnout or uploaded footage of your vehicle doing a burnout you can call us on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at At Astor Legal our Sydney traffic lawyers we know the steps that the police will take to investigate the matter and we know exactly what they need to do to successfully prosecute the matter. That means if there are any shortfalls in the prosecution case we will be able to identify them and ensure that you get the best outcome for your case.

      One response to “Hoon & Burnout Laws NSW”

      1. ryan says:

        I have a really important question, I am not a wealthy person, I barely get by paying rent on my wage, the police have fined me for operating a vehicle in unnecessary way, e.g. doing burn out, but they have no proof or witness or footage, yet they accused me of it because of a cloud of smoke covering 2 streets that’s I drove through casually.
        will this hold up in court? I am from queensland.

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