On Monday 20 May 2019, new “zero tolerance” law reform relating to drink driving came into effect. These laws pose tougher penalties on low-range drink drivers.
The legal limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for fully licenced NSW drivers is 0.05. Low-range drink driving offences occur if a driver returns a reading above 0.05 and below 0.08.
Under the new penalty regime, low-range offenders will now face immediate three-month suspension of their licences, as well as a fine of $561.00. These penalties also apply to first-time drug driving offenders.
It is possible to appeal the suspension of licence by taking the matter to court, but offenders will initially lose their licence.
Andrew Constance, the Minister for Transport and Roads, said that prior to the new penalties, about 56% of low-range drink drivers escaped any punishment at all if they took the matter to court.
Constance also reported that 68 people died as a result of alcohol-related car crashes in 2018, accounting for almost 20% of total road deaths that year.
Preserving the safety of our roads and drivers is of paramount importance, and these laws seek to deter behaviour which may endanger lives.
If you need legal advice or representation, contact Greg Martin or Jacqueline Wainwright at our office to organise a consultation.