As of Monday, May 20 new laws will see the immediate loss of license for any NSW driver who is caught drink driving.
This means drivers will have to wait to sober up before reaching for the car keys, regardless of whether they’ve only had one alcoholic beverage or a few more.
The zero-tolerance approach to drink driving was introduced earlier this month when Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance announced the new reform.
Mr Constance said anyone caught drink driving in NSW, at any level, including low-range, can now lose their licence instantly and will receive animmediate three month licence suspension along with a $561 fine.
Anyone choosing to fight the low-range charge in court risks facing a maximum penalty of $2200 – double the current maximum penalty a magistrate can impose.
The proposed laws would also mean a driver caught mid-range drink driving would have an interlock breath-testing device fitted to their car for two years. The breath-testing gadget is linked to the ignition system of a vehicle and only permits it to start if the driver passes a breath test.
Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Corboy said Alcohol is one of the major factors in crashes that kill or injure people on NSW roads.
Last year, around 68 people lost their lives on NSW roads due to alcohol related crashes, accounting for nearly one in five road deaths.
Drivers who are found with drugs in their system will also lose their licence and be slapped with the same penalties, so long as lab analysis confirms the results.
Mr Constance said this reform makes it clear if you break the law, you will pay the price.