Re­peat driver of­fences on the rise

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Tim Edmunds

More Al­bany drivers are be­ing taken off the road for re­peated traf­fic of­fences and then blow­ing a sec­ond chance to stay be­hind the wheel, ac­cord­ing to Department of Trans­port fig­ures.

Sta­tis­tics re­leased by the DoT showed a 48 per cent in­crease in Al­bany drivers who were given an­other op­por­tu­nity to stay on the road through WA’s Dou­ble or Noth­ing law last fi­nan­cial year.

Drivers who elect to take the Dou­ble or Noth­ing op­tion can drive for the next 12 months as long as they do not com­mit an offence that ac­crues more than one de­merit point.

If they of­fend again in the year­long good-be­hav­iour pe­riod, they are sus­pended for dou­ble the orig­i­nal penalty.

In the last fi­nan­cial year, 85 Al­bany drivers elected to take the Dou­ble or Noth­ing op­tion, up from 56 drivers in the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

How­ever, al­most a third of the drivers have re-of­fended and had their orig­i­nal penalty dou­bled as a re­sult in the last two years.

Statewide fig­ures re­leased in Fe­bru­ary showed 6812 drivers chose the Dou­ble or Noth­ing op­tion last year but 1839 of them re­of­fended within a year.

Un­der the Dou­ble or Noth­ing law, drivers who lose their li­cence through a de­merit point dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion can­not ap­ply for an ex­tra­or­di­nary li­cence.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for ex­tra­or­di­nary li­cences in Al­bany also in­creased in the last year, with 57 drivers ap­ply­ing to have their li­cence rein- stated with con­di­tions, up from 44 in 2016-17.

The con­di­tions usu­ally al­low driv­ing for work or med­i­cal rea­sons but not all ap­pli­ca­tions are suc­cess­ful as they are judged on a case-by-case ba­sis by a mag­is­trate.

The Al­co­hol In­ter­lock Scheme, also de­signed to give re­peat and se­ri­ous drink-drivers an­other chance on the roads, has seen six Al­bany drivers have the breatht­est ma­chines fit­ted to their cars in the last year.

The new laws force the driver to blow a blood al­co­hol level un­der 0.02 per cent for the car to start.

The scheme ap­plies to first-time drink-drivers caught with a blood al­co­hol con­tent of 0.15 or above and re­peat drink-drivers con­victed of two or more drink-driv­ing of­fences within five years.

The scheme ap­plies to first-time drink-drivers with a blood al­co­hol con­tent of 0.15 or above.

It will also ap­ply to re­peat of­fend­ers con­victed of two or more drink-driv­ing of­fences within five years.

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