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On-the-spot loss of licence under tough new penalties

Article image for On-the-spot loss of licence under tough new penalties

Anyone caught drink driving will lose their license immediately under a tough new penalty regime.

From May 20 all drink driving offenders will immediately lose their licence and face hefty fines.

“There’ll be some who’ll be saying this is too hard,” says Ben Fordham.

Drink drivers who are first-time, low range offenders will receive an immediate on-the-spot three-month licence suspension and a fine of $561.

“Rather than the offenders go to court and police fill out mountains of paperwork… you will now have your license suspended on roadside immediately,” Roads Minister Andrew Constance tells Ben Fordham.

Mr Constance says the hard cold reality is “one in five road fatalities are alcohol-related” and last year we saw 68 deaths, 55 of them in country NSW.

“It’s not only about the road deaths… it’s other road users who are doing the right thing, who are completely and utterly innocent, who all too often are taken out by people affected by drugs or alcohol.

“We need to have a cultural change.”

Offenders will still be able to challenge the suspension in court but will not be able to drive once they’re charged with the immediate offence.

“Basically you’ll be arrested and you’ll have to make arrangements with someone to either come and pick you up or opt for Plan-B and get onto public transport,” says Mr Constance.

Click PLAY below to hear Ben’s full interview with Andrew Constance

The new rules are welcomed by the police, with Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Corboy telling Chris Smith “we need to send a really strong message”.

“There’s been 137 people killed on roads so far this year, which is 10 more than last year… we really need to cut that complacency out.”

Drug drivers are also being targetted with offenders caught driving with the presence of illicit drugs for the first time also being slapped with a $561 fine and a three month licence suspension.

Click PLAY below to hear Chris’s full interview with Michale Corboy