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Canberra Today 2°/6° | Monday, May 20, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Harsher penalties for drink and drug driving

Police will be given the power to impose immediate licence suspensions immediately on drivers who choose to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol under the Road Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, which has passed the Assembly.

Also first-time, low-range drink drivers will receive an immediate $800 fine and six-month loss of licence under the new infringement scheme.

The government says this means that for low-range drink drivers who accept responsibility, the police will not be required to attend a court hearing.

Court-ordered penalties have also increased significantly, up to $12,000, and an 18-month licence suspension, for high-range, level 4 drink driving for a first-time offender.

The legislation also creates a new combined drink and drug driving offence for which penalties will be significantly higher than for separate drink and drug driving offences.

The new laws will also expand roadside testing to include the ability for police to test for cocaine.

Provisions relating to drink and driving offences will commence in the coming days, once notified on the ACT Legislation Register.

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Ian Meikle, editor

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