NSW Driving Laws Update 2019
Driving laws have been updated in the last year (2019), as part of the NSW roads Road Safety Plan 2021. This most specifically targets drink driving offences, which can be incredibly serious.
It’s also important to know that it is an offence if you refuse to take a test. There are a number of penalties depending on the range offence, which can include loss of licence, spot fines, a requirement to install an alcohol interlock device, and even prison terms.
If you’re caught drink driving or drug driving, there will be swift and certain penalties that you will have to deal with. As of 20 May 2019, if you are caught drink driving over the legal limit with a high alcohol concentration in your blood – even if it’s your first time – you may lose your licence. The idea is that drink driving doesn’t have a place on New South Wales roads – or anywhere. For this reason, there is a very serious no tolerance policy that is going to be adhered to from here on out.
There is a streamlined process for this drivers who commit first time lower range drink offences, which can include low, special, and novice offences and may even end up in an individual having to lose their license.
A driver caught committing these offences for the first time will end up getting their licence suspended for three months, along with a fine of $572.
Mid-range offenders will have to deal with interlock devices. These devices are electronic breath testing devices that are connected to your vehicle, and will prevent the starting of the car if any alcohol is detected.
Offences that end up needing a mandatory interlock also end up including a period of participation in the interlock program, of which the minimum is 12 months, as well as a licence disqualification period. The length of this disqualification period depends on the type of offence, with longer periods applying for more serious offences.
High risk drivers will have more vehicle sanctions, including the impounding of a driver’s vehicle. This is designed to improve the safety of NSW roads by removing high-risk drivers so that they aren’t able to commit any other similar offences.
Of course, drink and drug driving aren’t the only offences that are being treated more harshly with the new 2019 laws. Driver distraction is another incredibly important offence that officers are cracking down on. This involves distraction from radio or other audio devices, as well as phones and mobile technology. Texting or calling while driving is being cracked down on more, and the penalties and fines for driving while distracted have greatly increased in severity over the last year. Fines for driver distraction can be higher in certain zones, such as school zones or strike zones, as have been frequently popping up due to climate strike road closures.
As noted, these tougher penalties are part of the Road Safety Plan 2021 to get drink drivers, drug drivers, and distracted drivers off the road. The goal of the plan is to help encourage more safe driving and discourage those offences that can cause issues with or a loss of road safety.
Penalties upwards of double the current fine or completely taking away a driver’s vehicle are designed to create a safer road environment for everyone, from learner drivers to even the most experienced drivers.
Police will be more strict when it comes to blood alcohol levels and drink driving offences, and those caught drink driving, drug driving, or distracted driving will have a number of penalties that they’ll have to deal with in order to get back on the road. The program is an important part of the continued safety of all drivers, and will be able to help improve the safety of everyone on the road!