Tough New ACT Drink Driving Rules as of 2010
Tough new drink driving laws will come into effect on 1 December 2010 in an effort to curb the reckless drink driving culture needlessly endangering the lives of Canberrans every day, Chief Minister and Minister for Transport Jon Stanhope announced today.
"Nationally random breath testing results show that about 1 in 150 drivers tested exceed the legal limit, while in the ACT 1 in 70 drivers tested are above the limit," Mr Stanhope said. "This clearly shows the complete lack of regard some Canberra drivers have for not only their own safety on the road but of all other road users.
"There are more than 1,500 drink driving offences detected each year, and at least one third of these are repeat offenders, which indicates the high proportion of Canberrans that think it is okay to continuously put their fellow Canberrans at risk on our roads.
"The new laws will limit access for restricted, or "work", licences to genuine first offenders - drivers who have no prior drink driving convictions - meaning that there will no longer be any second chances in relation to drink driving offences.
"Restricted licences will also be limited to low-range offenders as experience in other jurisdictions shows that higher range offenders, who record an alcohol concentration of 0.1 or higher are at greater risk of reoffending and are thus less likely to comply with the terms of a restricted licence."
"Zero tolerance will now apply to learner and provisional drivers so that from day one drivers understand that they have a choice - drink or drive. Supervisors of learner drivers will also be subject to zero tolerance.
"All convicted drink drivers will also be required to undertake an alcohol awareness course to better educate offenders of the effects that driving while under the influence can have on driver behaviour and the increase in risk."
The Government's DRINK OR DRIVE media campaign will continue over this summer, aligned with ACT Policing drink drive enforcement, reminding Canberrans that they have a choice. Reminders will also appear on roadsides via Variable Message Signs and in selected licensed premises.
In summary the tough new drink driving laws will:
* reduce the current alcohol concentration limit for special drivers (including learner, provisional, public vehicle
and heavy vehicle drivers and holders of restricted driving licences) from 0.02 to zero;
* extend the zero alcohol concentration limit to persons instructing or supervising learner drivers;
* limit access to restricted ("work") licences to genuine "first" offenders by changing the definition of "repeat offender" to mean anyone with a conviction for a drink driving or relevant offence, irrespective of how long ago that conviction was recorded;
* deny access to restricted licences for high range first offenders who exceed the applicable alcohol concentration by 0.05 or more (i.e. for full licence holders , a alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more);
* require police to immediately suspend the driver licence of a high range offender who exceeds the applicable alcohol concentration limit by 0.05 or more (i.e. for full licence holders a alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more);
* require all convicted drink drivers to attend an alcohol awareness course prior to being issued a probationary or restricted driver licence; and
* improve procedures relating to the taking and storing of blood samples from persons suspected of, or charged with, offences under the Act.