LOW-RANGE drink driving offences will attract a $561 fine and an on-the-spot three-month licence suspension under tough new laws passed through State Parliament on Thursday.
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the penalties would also apply to first-time drug presence offences detected by the state’s mobile drug testing (MDT) program.
“We needed a stronger deterrent. 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,” Mrs Pavey said.
First-time mid-range offenders will need to have an alcohol interlock device installed to prove they can separate their drinking from driving.
“The 0.05 limit has been in place in NSW for almost 38 years. Today is about driving home to the community that there are no more excuses,” Ms Pavey said.
“The message to the community is powerful. Have a Plan B. Because if you drink drive, you will be caught, and you will lose your licence.”
The sweeping reforms will commence from the end of 2018 and are a key priority of the NSW Government’s Road Safety Plan 2021.
Low-range drink driving offences apply to a blood alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.079.
- On-the-spot $561 penalty, plus a 3 month licence suspension for low range drink driving and drug driving first offences.
- Expansion of the alcohol interlock program to mid-range drink drivers.
- Vehicle sanctions for high risk, repeat offenders – in addition to other penalties - including licence plate confiscation and vehicle impoundment.