11 September 2019

New drink driving penalties in force this long weekend

| Ian Campbell
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Photo: Traffic and Highway Patrol Command - NSW Police Force Facebook.

Photo: Traffic and Highway Patrol Command – NSW Police Force Facebook.

This Queens Birthday Long Weekend is the first holiday period where the state’s tough new drink driving laws have been in place.

All drink driving offenders will now immediately lose their licence under new penalties which came into play last month.

Under the new law, even first-time, lower range offenders will receive an immediate three-month licence suspension, as well as a $561 fine.

NSW Roads Minister and Member for Bega, Andrew Constance says, “This means anyone caught drink‐driving in NSW, including low-range from 0.05- 0.079, will now lose their licence immediately.”

Penalities aside, Mr Constance says the consequences of reckless behavior on our roads can be deadly.

“Speeding, drink and drug driving and fatigue remain the biggest killers on our roads. We need everyone to think about their actions every time they get behind the wheel and the impact those actions may have on others,” he says.

So far this year, 165 people have lost their lives on NSW roads, a sobering statistic as the workday winds down towards the long weekend.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy says the majority of those who’ve lost their lives on NSW roads so far this year are men.

“Speeding or drink driving doesn’t make you more of a man – nor does risking the life of your mates or those you love,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy says.

“I am renewing our appeal to passengers, regardless of where you are sitting in the vehicle, to call the driver out on their behaviour. “

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott says police are not interested in excuses when it came to ensuring the safety of everyone on the road.

“Drivers need to be vigilant, tragedy can strike anywhere, at any time,” Mr Elliott says.

“Don’t become insulated in your own invincibility, be alert and remain mindful of drivers around you – drive to survive.

“Many people are expected to head south for the start of the snow season. People are reminded not to try and do too much in a short time frame, placing themselves and their loved ones at risk of being killed or injured in a crash.”

Operation Stay Alert, the June long-weekend road safety operation by NSW Police, is underway now and runs until 11.59 am on Monday, June 10. Police across NSW will be targeting all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle/helmet offences, which will attract double demerit points.

During Operation Stay Alert 2018, three people lost their lives in separate crashes on NSW roads.

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