Drivers caught driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol face tougher penalties, under new reforms introduced this week.
As part of the Road Safety Plan 2021, the NSW Government introduced a range of new reforms to strengthen the drink and drug driving penalties applied to offenders.
Drivers caught drink driving will receive a $561 fine and immediate three-month licence suspension, even if they are a first time or low-range offender.
Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Belinda Coe, said "Driving with the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system is not only illegal, it’s extremely dangerous and puts your life and the lives of all other road users at risk.
"This reform will ensure those who put their lives and the lives of others at risk, receive swift and certain penalties to help protect all road users."
Western Region Traffic Tactician, Inspector Ben Macfarlane said alcohol was one of the major factors in crashes that kill or injure people on NSW roads.
"The 0.05 blood alcohol limit has been in place for almost 38 years. If you are caught drink driving, there is no excuse," he said.
"If you have an illegal level of alcohol in your bloodstream or have used illegal drugs, you can expect to be caught and charged by police."
The latest change is one in a wave of drink and drug driving reforms introduced since July 2018, aimed at reducing the number of crashes and fatalities. These include the extension of Mobile Drug Testing with the inclusion of testing for cocaine, and extension of the Alcohol Interlock Program to include mid-range offences.
Previously, low-range drink-drivers did not lose their licence immediately and were still able to drive up until their court date. Drink-drivers had to attend court to determine the severity of their penalty.
Alcohol-related crashes claimed the lives of at least 68 people on NSW roads last year, accounting for nearly one in five road deaths - 55 lives were lost on country roads. The Road Safety Plan aims to reduce road fatalities by at least 30 per cent by 2021.
For more information on the reforms, visit Centre for Road Safety website.