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Drink drivers are done

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

Inspector Yvette Smith, along with other police officers, will be enforcing strong new penalties to help stop drink driving on NSW roads. PICTURE: Myles Burt Inspector Yvette Smith, along with other police officers, will be enforcing strong new penalties to help stop drink driving on NSW roads. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

Low range drink drivers will now have their licences suspended immediately.

As of yesterday, Transport for NSW and NSW Police will implement new road penalties such as a three-month immediate licence suspension for low-range drink drivers coupled with a $561 fine.

Starting in December, mid-range drink drivers will have to install interlock devices. 

Previously, only mid to high-range drink drivers had their licences suspended, however, drivers that reach a breath test reading of 0.05 will now suffer the same penalty, according to Barrier Police Inspector Yvette Smith.

“Normally you would still retain your licence and then it would be up to the magistrate when you went to court whether you kept your licence,” Insp Smith said. “Now they all get immediate suspension.”

Locals who decide to monitor their alcohol responsibly before driving can still be at risk, said Insp Smith, as a large variety of factors can affect one’s alcohol level.

“If you’ve got an 18-year-old who’s never drunk before and you’ve got a 50-year-old bloke who’s been drinking 20 beers a night for the last 40 years, their bodies absorb it differently,” she said.

“One might absorb it quicker than the other because they’re not used to drinking yet.

“It depends on them and how much they’ve eaten, water they’ve drunk during the day - even the temperature can have some sort of effect on people’s bodies.

“There are a lot of different things that can influence the way it reacts to people so you can’t say it’s the same for everybody.”

Insp Smith said drink driving penalties had been strengthened due to drink driving offences continuing to be a major issue on NSW roads. The death toll is now 152 compared to 138 this time last year.

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