Australia’s toughest booze, drug driving laws locked in

Victoria will soon have the toughest anti-drink and anti-drug driving penalties in the country

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BOOZED-UP and drug-affected drivers face losing their licence on the spot as part of the upcoming roll-out of the harshest penalties in Australia.

The new laws come into effect in Victoria from the end of this month. Under the new guidelines, drivers found to be over .05 will automatically lose their licence, as well as book themselves in a drink driver behaviour change program. Oh, and they’ll also have to fit an alcohol interlocker to their daily drivers for at least six months after reclaiming the right to drive.

Drivers caught behind the wheel in Victoria with traces of illegal drugs in their system already lose their licence immediately for three months. However, this will be extended to six months under the new regulations. They will also need to complete a drug driver behaviour change program at their own cost before reclaiming their licence.

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The type of course drivers will need to complete will depend on the severity of the offence. VicRoads, which oversees the licensing system in Victoria, says the courses are up to 12 hours long, and split over several days.

It says the programs include “alcohol screening and assessment, [and] motivational and behaviour change techniques to address the underlying causes of drink and/or drug driving”.

Drivers caught before April 30, 2018 and not due to get their license back before April 2019 will also need to complete a program.

Regulation changes that came into effect from January 31 this year also mean Victorian license holders caught drink driving interstate face the same punishment as if they’d been caught in their home state.


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