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New laws for drink driving and drug driving

From 20 May 2019, tougher penalties apply for drink driving in NSW, including immediate licence suspension for any drink driving offence.

 

On-the-spot fines may also be issued for first time offenders. Tougher penalties, including consistent fines coupled with automatic licence suspension, will be an option for first time offenders who drive with the presence of an illicit drug in their system.

What has changed?

NSW Police white van

From 20 May 2019, if a driver commits a low range drink driving offence, NSW Police can immediately suspend the driver’s licence. In the case of a first time offence, the driver’s licence can be suspended for 3 months and an on-the-spot fine also issued.

Prior to the reforms, all drivers charged with drink driving on NSW roads were required to attend court to have their penalty determined. Drivers who were charged with a low range offence did not lose their licence immediately, and were able to continue to drive until their court date.

From 20 May 2019, drivers who have a positive roadside drug test confirmed by a laboratory can be fined (issued a penalty notice) for driving with the presence of an illicit drug in their system. Offenders will subsequently have their licence automatically suspended for three months. This is only an option if it is a first offence.

Prior to 20 May 2019, all drivers who had their roadside drug test confirmed as positive by the laboratory were charged with a drug presence offence and required to attend court to have their penalty determined.

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