Stark warn­ing to driv­ers

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

DRIV­ERS who flout drink and drug driv­ing laws are on no­tice fol­low­ing last week’s in­tro­duc­tion of tough new penal­ties.

Blow­ing a blood alcohol read­ing of .05 or higher will now re­sult in an au­to­matic loss of li­cence, whether it is a first of­fence or not.

Of­fend­ers will also need to com­plete a com­pul­sory drinkdriver be­hav­iour change pro­gram to re­gain their li­cence and pay for the in­stal­la­tion of an alcohol in­ter­lock de­vice on any ve­hi­cle they plan to drive.

Use of the de­vice is com­pul­sory for at least six months.

Those who take drugs and drive have also been tar­geted.

The pres­ence of any il­licit drugs in a driver’s sys­tem will see the au­to­matic can­cel­la­tion of their li­cence for six months and re­quire the com­ple­tion of a drug-driver be­hav­iour pro­gram to re­gain it.

Vic­to­rian Roads and Road Safety Min­is­ter Luke Don­nel­lan said the new regime was nec­es­sary to curb the state’s road toll.

‘‘We make no apolo­gies for stamp­ing out this dan­ger­ous be­hav­iour and th­ese new changes will get dan­ger­ous drink and drug driv­ers off our roads,’’ Mr Don­nel­lan said.

‘‘Th­ese laws send a strong mes­sage that there’s no ex­cuse for drink or drug driv­ing, which puts the safety of the other driv­ers and the wider com­mu­nity at risk.’’

The new penal­ties were proven to work VicRoads’ acting deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Robyn Sey­mour said.

‘‘Re­search has shown li­cence bans re­duce re­peat drink­ing driv­ing of­fences by 70 per cent, while fit­ting an alcohol in­ter­lock de­vice cuts re­peat of­fences by 63 per cent.

‘‘That’s a ma­jor ben­e­fit for road safety.’’

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