NSW introduces heavy penalties for combined drug, drunk driving

New South Wales is cracking down hard on drivers caught with drugs and alcohol in their system at the same time.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
News Editor
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Drivers caught with alcohol and illicit drugs in their system on New South Wales roads face harsh new penalties.

Introduced on June 28, 2021, the new penalties for combined drink and drug driving are designed to “deter this high risk behaviour and send a clear message to drivers that they are putting themselves and others at significant risk”.

According to research quoted by Transport for NSW, combining alcohol with illicit drugs behind the wheel makes you 23 times more likely to have a fatal accident.

Penalties vary based on the blood-alcohol content (BAC) of a driver, and whether it’s their first offence or not.

Penalties for high-range (0.15 BAC and over) offences and drugs combined are below:

PenaltyFirst offenceSubsequent offence
Max. fine$3300$5500
Max. prison time18 months Two years
Min. licence disqual.12 months Two years
Max. licence disqual. UnlimitedUnlimited
Auto. licence disqual.Three yearsFive years
Immediate licence susp.YesYes
Alcohol interlock orderYesYes

Penalties for mid-range (0.08-0.15 BAC) offences and drugs are below:

PenaltyFirst offenceSubsequent offence
Max. fine$2200$3300
Max. prison time9 months12 months
Min. licence disqual.6 months12 months
Max. licence disqual.UnlimitedUnlimited
Auto. licence disqual.12 monthsThree years
Immediate licence susp.YesYes
Alcohol interlock orderYesYes

Penalties for low-range (0.05-0.08 BAC) offences and drugs are below:

PenaltyFirst offenceSubsequent offence
Standard fine$581N/A
Max. fine $2200$3300
Max. prison timeN/AN/A
Min. licence disqual.3 months6 months
Max. licence disqual.6 monthsUnlimited
Auto. licence disqual.6 months12 months
Immediate licence susp.YesYes
Alcohol interlock orderNoYes

“This new law targets those with the highest road safety risk and repeat offenders,” Transport for NSW says.

New South Wales joins Victoria and Western Australia in punishing drivers for combined drink and drug driving offences.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Scott Collie is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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