The times and the laws are changing…
As of 20 May 2019, if you are caught drink driving in New South Wales, you will immediately lose your licence. Whether you are low range or a first-time offender, it no longer matters.
Prior to 20 May 2019, the police were only required to issue a Court attendance notice to a person they suspected of committing drink or drug driving, and a Local Court Magistrate would determine the guilt or innocence, and in the case of a guilty plea or finding of guilt, decide the appropriate penalty.
On 25 September 2018, the NSW Parliament passed the Roads Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bills which came into effect across the state on Monday, 20 May 2019.
This reform as part of the Road Safety Plan 2021, is an attempt to establish that if you break the law, you will pay the price and that there is a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug 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’
Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.
Now, the new penalties that have been introduced include, that any driver will automatically receive a $561 fine and immediate roadside three (3) month licence suspension. This law also applies for people who are caught drug-driving.
Further mid-range offences (0.08-.0149 BAC) will be forced to fit an alcohol interlock device in their cars.
High-risk, repeat offenders will face vehicle impoundment or licence plate confiscation.
An interlock is an electronic breath testing device connected to the ignition of a vehicle. It prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected. It additionally includes a camera and takes a photograph of the person providing the breath sample as to reduce the risk of driver’s tricking the program.
Last year alcohol-related crashes claimed the lives of at least 68 people in NSW, which accounts for nearly 1 in 5 road deaths.
Drink driving is amongst one of the most common criminal offences in NSW and a criminal offence which has and continues to cause significant dangers to the community.
For passenger vehicles, such as your standard car, buses and taxis, the limit is 0.02. Learner and p-plate drivers must have a BAC of zero.
If you drink drive, you will lose your licence.
It is time to make sure that you have a plan B, C and D in place!