New Drink Driving Laws Start Today

    Have you ever had a few drinks at a local pub or restaurant and thought it was still okay to drive?  It’s only a short distance home after all.  Well think again.  It was never worth the risk and with the new drink driving penalties, if you are caught you will be fined and lose your driver’s licence for three months.

    What has changed?

    From 20 May 2019, if a driver commits a low range drink driving offence, NSW Police can immediately suspend the driver’s licence.

    In the case of a first time offence, the driver’s licence can be suspended for 3 months and an on-the-spot fine also issued.

    Prior to the reforms, all drivers charged with drink driving on NSW roads were required to attend court to have their penalty determined. Drivers who were charged with a low range offence did not lose their licence immediately, and were able to continue to drive until their court date.

    The reforms deliver swifter, consistent and more certain penalties for drink driving in NSW. More information about the reforms is included in the FAQs.

    What drivers need to know:

    • NSW Police can now immediately suspend the licence of any driver caught drink driving on NSW roads, including low range and first time offenders.
    • In the case of a first time, low range offence, a driver’s licence may be suspended for a period of 3 months, coupled with an on-the‐spot fine of $561 (Level 7 penalty notice – value as at 2018/19, subject to change).
    • If you receive an immediate licence suspension, you are required to hand your licence to Police, and are not permitted to drive. You may need to make alternative arrangements to get home from the roadside or police station.
    • If you have received a penalty notice and immediate suspension for a drink‐driving offence, you can elect to have the matter determined in court and appeal your suspension.
    • If you have received a penalty notice or an immediate suspension for a drink driving offence, you may wish to seek legal advice before making the decision to go to court. Higher penalties and longer periods of licence disqualification can be applied by the court and a conviction may be recorded.
    • Significant penalties apply for driving while your licence is suspended.

    More information about the reform is included in the FAQs.

    A full list of drink-driving offences and penalties is available.

    It has been suggested that a courtesy bus on Friday and Saturday that serviced Lane Cove would be a good idea (other suburbs have courtesy buses).  This is something that the Lane Cove Council should investigate to support local buisness.


    Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at info@inthecove.com.au

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