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Drink and drug driving reforms

Publish Date 17/05/2019

In 2018, at least 68 people lost their lives in alcohol related crashes on NSW roads, with research showing the presence of illegal drugs in around the same number of fatal crashes.

The NSW Government is introducing a range of reforms to strengthen drink and drug driving penalties from Monday 20 May 2019. The reform will see a $561 fine and 3 months loss of licence for low range drink driving offences or driving with the presence of an illicit drug offences.

Lower-range offenders:

From 20 May 2019, a streamlined process that delivers swift and certain penalties will apply to drivers who commit a first-time, lower-range drink-driving offence (which can include low, special and novice range drink-driving offences). Drivers who commit a lower-range drink-driving offence for the first time will have their licence suspended immediately, effective for three months. This will be coupled with a significant fine (currently $561).

Mid-high range offenders:

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. The interlock also includes a camera and takes a photograph of the person provide the breath sample to reduce the risk of a driver circumventing the program.

All drivers convicted of high-range, repeat and other serious drink-driving offences in NSW committed on or after 1 February 2015 are required to have an interlock system installed.

Vehicle sanctions, such as impounding a driver’s vehicle, are designed to improve road safety by removing high-risk drivers from the roads immediately to prevent re-offending.

For further information, visit the Centre for Road Safety