It is a well-known fact that drink driving is a serious offence. In addition, it is an offence to refuse to take a breath test. The associated penalties for such offences include loss of licence, fines, prison terms and a requirement to install an alcohol interlock device. New pieces of legislature have been introduced and one of these new pieces of legislation will come into effect on May 20, 2019 with regards to low range drink driving offences in NSW.
In 2018 alone about 68 people died in alcohol-related crashes on NSW roads. The new legislation introduced in NSW is an initiative for a future without road trauma. This is set out in the Road Safety Plan 2021; “the priority….. [is] to address recent increases and the road toll and to move us towards achieving the NSW government’s stage priority targets to reduce fatalities by 30% by 2021.” The aspiration of the plan is for zero trauma on the NSW road network. The plan is designed to deliver six priority areas that is:
- Saving lives on country roads
- Liveable and safe urban communities
- Using the road safely
- Building a safer community culture
- New and proven vehicle technology
- Building a safe future
As part of the Road Safety Plan 2021 penalties have been strengthened in order to deter drink-driving and in order to reduce alcohol-related trauma on NSW roads. As a result changes have been made with regards to:
- The swift and certain loss of licence for lower-range offenders
- New alcohol interlock laws for mid-range offenders
- Vehicle sanctions for high-risk drivers
A series of articles will discuss the impact and requirements of these three changes that have been made with regards to drink driving laws.
Swift and certain loss off-licence for lower range offences
As of 20 May 2019 an active process focused on swift and certain penalty will come into application to drivers who commit a first-time, low-range drink-driving offence. Such offences will include low, special and novice range drink-driving offences. The application of this new law is that drivers who commit a lower range drink driving offence for the first time will have their licence suspended immediately. Such a suspension will remain in effect for 3 months. In addition, to the licence suspension the driver will be fined a significant amount, which is currently at $561.
A news.com.au article recorded the NSW Roads Minister as stating that “this reform makes it clear if you break the law, you will pay the price. We are taking a zero tolerance approach to drink and drug driving.” Additionally it was noted that the reform was designed to protect road users by ensuring swift and certain penalties. Despite the system of the 0.05% blood alcohol limit it was mentioned that there would be no more excuses for intoxicated drivers as the limit had been an effect for almost 38 years.
With the introduction of the strict new drink driving laws in NSW, it is necessary to enlist the services of Sydney drink driving lawyers to represent you interests. Contact a drink-driving law firm for legal advice and representation today.