The Victorian government has passed new tougher drink driving laws which will apply to all persons caught drink driving in Victoria from the 30th April 2018. Previously, if you were 26 years of age or older and not a 00 licence holder then if you blew between .050% and .069% and had no prior drink driving offences in the past 10 years you did not lose your licence. Instead you would have previously received a traffic infringement notice with 10 demerit points and a small fine. The new laws mean you will now have your licence cancelled and disqualified for a minimum of 6 months and pay a fine. This is mandatory and compulsory with no exceptions for a work licence.
Now all persons with a Z condition ( 00% ) caught drink driving with readings between .00 and .049% will face a mandatory 3 month cancellation and disqualification of their licence.
Further changes mean everyone caught drink driving will now have to complete an expensive 12 hour Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program before they can be re-licenced. The old 2 hour drink driving education course which only applied if you blew .07% or higher has been abolished by the government. The government clearly has identified that a change in driver behaviour is an effective way to reduce the number of drink drivers on our roads. The only problem with such a blanket approach which casts the net so widely is you could be 80 years old and have held a licence for 62 years with no driving priors at all and make one simple error by having one mouthfull too many of alcohol and blow.050% instead of .049% and you will be forced to undergo an expensive 12 hour driver behavour change program. But the government would argue that is the price the community has to pay in order to reduce the road toll.
Further changes mean all persons caught drink driving after the 30th April 2018 will be required to have the alcohol interlock device installed for at least 6 months. Again this is expensive to install and lease and then have removed from your car. Indeed, it is now a very expensive exercise to breach the new tougher drink driving laws. If you are caught drink driving and need legal advice please call me on 0412 407577 to arrange an appointment.