Victoria will have the strongest penalties for drink and drug driving in Australia as part of sweeping changes to improve road safety and stamp out dangerous driver behaviour.
From Monday, first-time drink drivers who record a blood alcohol reading between .05 and .069 will lose their licences for a minimum of three months.
All drink drivers will now face mandatory alcohol interlocks fitted to their vehicles for a minimum of six months.
Up to 3,000 full licence holders are caught drink-driving between 0.05 and 0.069 BAC each year.
Licence suspensions for drivers detected with illicit substances in their system will increase from three to six months and from six to 12 months for repeat offenders.
All drink and drug drivers will be required to complete a mandatory behaviour change program to address the underlying causes of their dangerous behaviour and may receive referral for professional support and assistance.
From 30 April, the following changes will come into place:
- All drink drivers (including first time offenders) recording a BAC of 0.05 and over will lose their licences for a minimum of three months.
- All drink drivers will face mandatory interlock conditions for a minimum of six months.
- All drink and drug drivers will be required to participate in a behaviour change program.
- Victorian drivers convicted of drink or drug driving interstate will be subject to Victorian drink-driving penalties.
These changes are part of the Government’s $1.1 billion ‘Towards Zero’ strategy, a joint plan by the TAC and VicRoads to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads to 200 or fewer and serious injuries by 15 per cent by 2020.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“We make no apologies for stamping out this dangerous behaviour – and these new changes will get dangerous drink and drug drivers off our roads.”
“These laws send a strong message that there’s no excuse for drink or drug driving, which puts the safety of the other drivers and the wider community at risk.”
Quote attributable to VicRoads Acting Deputy CEO, Robyn Seymour
“Research has shown licence bans reduce repeat drink driving offences by 70 per cent while fitting an alcohol interlock device cuts repeat offences by 63 per cent – that is a major benefit for road safety.”
Quote attributable to Transport Accident Commission Manager Road Safety, Samantha Cockfield
“The best approach is to completely separate drinking from driving, and for people who struggle to do this, interlock devices provide a safe means of returning to the road.”