‘No ex­cuses’: drink-driv­ing laws boosted

In­stant li­cence loss for low-range cases

The Northern Star - - NEWS - CATHY ADAMS [email protected]­ern­star.com.au

TOUGH new drink-driv­ing laws mean peo­ple who com­mit a low-range drink-driv­ing of­fence will lose their li­cence im­me­di­ately and be hit with a hefty fine.

The NSW Govern­ment will in­tro­duce the new laws by mid 2019.

Un­der the new laws, any driver who com­mits a lowrange drink driv­ing of­fence will be fined $561 and lose their li­cence for three months.

Penal­ties for first-time drug pres­ence of­fences de­tected on the road­side via NSW’s mo­bile drug test­ing (MDT) pro­gram will in­clude a fine and three­month li­cence sus­pen­sion.

From this month, first-time mid-range of­fend­ers will need to have an al­co­hol in­ter­lock de­vice in­stalled to prove they can sep­a­rate their drink­ing from driv­ing. Re­peat of­fend­ers will face ve­hi­cle sanc­tions, in­clud­ing li­cence plate con­fis­ca­tion and ve­hi­cle im­pound­ment.

Min­is­ter for Roads, Mar­itime and Freight Melinda Pavey said last year 55 peo­ple lost their lives in al­co­hol-re­lated crashes and 81 peo­ple died in crashes in­volv­ing some­one with il­licit drugs in their sys­tem.

“The 0.05 limit has been in place in NSW for al­most 38 years. It is about driv­ing home to the com­mu­nity that there are no more ex­cuses,” Mrs Pavey said.

“The mes­sage to the com­mu­nity is pow­er­ful. Have a Plan B. Be­cause if you drinkdrive, you will be caught, and you will lose your li­cence.”

The tough new laws come as part of a the 2021 Road Safety Plan.

The govern­ment hopes by 2021 to have re­duced road fa­tal­i­ties by at least 30 per cent from 2008-2010 lev­els.

By 2026, the plan aims to set new road safety tar­gets ev­ery 10 years, and re­viewed ev­ery five years, to make sure drink and drug-re­lated fa­tal­i­ties and se­ri­ous in­juries on the state’s roads con­tinue to de­cline.

The ul­ti­mate goal of the plan is an as­pi­ra­tional tar­get of zero fa­tal­i­ties and se­ri­ous in­juries by 2056.

‘‘

IT IS ABOUT DRIV­ING HOME TO THE COM­MU­NITY THAT THERE ARE NO MORE EX­CUSES.

MIN­IS­TER FOR ROADS, MAR­ITIME AND FREIGHT MELINDA PAVEY

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