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Drink drivers should face court, not on-the-spot penalties, barristers say

Legal professionals are pushing against a proposal being considered by the NSW Government which could see low-range drink drivers see on-the-spot penalties rather than face court.

The proposal could see drink drivers with no previous convictions, or those who blow over 0.05 but under 0.1, dodging a magistrate.

The offenders would face fines or penalty notices instead, with the aim to declutter our courts.

But barristers are warning against the move, saying immediate penalties aren’t a strong enough deterrent.

“Since 1982, with the introduction of RBT, people have been going to court for these matters,” barrister Stephen Lawrence tells Chris Kenny.

“It’s a significant part of the deterrent in relation to drink driving, and any change I think is wrong-headed and really quite insane.”

He says a change to on-the-spot penalties would send the wrong message to the community.

Click PLAY below for the full interview

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