Tough new penalties for drink and drug drivers

PIC: WA Police

People who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs are set to face tough new penalties.

From July 1, for the first time, drivers caught with both alcohol and drugs in their system will be charged with the new offence of driving with a blood alcohol content of or above a particular level with a prescribed illicit drug in oral fluid or blood.

Western Australia is only the third State to introduce a specific 'poly' offence for driving while affected by a combination of alcohol and drugs.

A driver who records a blood alcohol reading in excess of 0.05 and tests positive to drugs will have their licence disqualified for a minimum of three months and face a maximum fine of $1,900 for a first offence.

Repeat offenders could face a mandatory licence disqualification for life and fine of up to $11,250 for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Penalties for existing, stand-alone drink and drug driving offences will increase by a minimum of 1.5 times the current penalty.

The penalty for refusing to comply with a direction from police to provide a breath or saliva sample for testing will more than double.

The increase in penalties reflects the seriousness of driving while affected by drugs or alcohol.

Last year there were 42 road fatalities where alcohol was suspected to be a factor.

"Impaired driving is a major contributor to road trauma in Western Australia," Police and Road Safety Minister Paul Papalia said.

"We have invested significantly in increased enforcement and now we are introducing these tougher penalties.

"It should send a clear message to the community about the seriousness and the risk to all road users when you get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs."

The Road Safety Commission has developed a road safety campaign to educate the community on the new impaired driving offences and penalties which will run State-wide on TV, radio, and digital platforms from tonight.

More from Local News

Fuel Watch
  • 127.9: Ampol Foodary Greenfields
  • 127.9: 7-Eleven Greenfields
  • 127.9: Ampol The Foodary Lakelands
  • 128.5: Vibe Mandurah
  • 128.9: Caltex StarMart Erskine