The Victorian State government has announced new laws targeting people who drive under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
Anyone caught driving with both alcohol and illegal drugs in their system will face loss of licence and court fines of up to $4550 under the new laws. Fines will be harsher for repeat offenders and will be based upon the severity of their prior offence. Their licence will also be cancelled for a minimum of two years.
Natalie Hutchins, Acting Minister for Roads and Road Safety, hopes the penalties will deter repeat offenders, “Anybody caught will be required to have a mandatory alcohol interlock device fitted to their car, and attend a driver education program.”
Ms Hutchins also said that drivers under the influence of drugs or alchol were 23 times more likely crash compared with sober drivers.
The government aims to make our roads safer by sending a “strong message about the dangers of combining alcohol with illicit drugs, and driving”.
The new laws will allow Victoria Police to impound the car of first time offenders whose blood alcohol concentration is 0.10 or higher, and repeat offenders may lose their car permanently.
Ten new roadside testing vehicles will also hit Victorian roads to allow for the crackdown.
The new penalties are set to come into practice in August. – Megan Simmonds
Top photo of Victorian Police car in Melbourne CBD taken by James Davis