Anti-hoon laws were introduced in Victoria in July 2006 giving police the power to impound, immobilise or permanently confiscate vehicles driven by people in a dangerous manner.

Section 84C of the Road Safety Act 1986 (RSA) defines the offences relevant to the Part of the RSA that covers impoundment, immobilisation and forfeiture of motor vehicles.

Offences that may result in a vehicle being impounded for a single offence, are:

  • driving while disqualified, suspended or unlicensed.
  • drink-driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or more.
  • breaching an alcohol interlock licence condition.
  • speeding at 45 km or more above the speed limit.
  • driving at 145 km/hour or more in a 110 km/hour zone.
  • disobeying a police direction to stop or driving dangerously while being chased by the police.
  • deliberately driving across tracks when a train is coming.
  • deliberately causing the vehicle to skid, smoke or make excessive noise.
  • driving without having proper control of a vehicle.
  • having too many passengers than the seat belts in the vehicle.
  • participating in a speed race.
  • intentionally or recklessly exposing emergency workers to risk by driving or recklessly driving into and damaging an emergency services vehicle (such as a police car or ambulance).

The following offences will also be categorised as hoon offences if the vehicle has been involved in another hoon driving offence within the last six years.

  • drink driving with a BAC of less than 0.10 or drug driving.
  • drink driving on a zero BAC licence (such as P-platers or taxi drivers)
  • deliberately damaging an emergency services vehicle, such as a police vehicle or ambulance.

What can the police do?

Police may impound or immobilise your vehicle for up to 30 days if a vehicle has been involved in a hoon driving offence within 48 hours. If police have served a surrender notice on the registered owner, they can impound or immobilise a vehicle even after 48 hours.

Court orders and Penalties if you are found guilty

If you are found guilty or convicted of hoon driving, the Magistrate can make a Court order to

  •  impound or immobilise the vehicle for up to three months;
  • forfeit the vehicle.

The Magistrate can give you other penalties too depending on the offence. Other penalties include:

  • a fine
  • demerit points
  • having to do a safe driving program
  • disqualification from driving
  • licence suspension or cancellation

The Court can make an order against your vehicle even if someone else was hoon driving in it. In defence, you need to explain to the Court why immobilising, impounding or forfeiting the vehicle would cause exceptional hardship to you or a third party. This can be quite a hard test to meet.

The Court has to balance the safety of the public and the public interest against any extenuating circumstances you may have.