On Wednesday, 24 February 2021 Parliament passed a new piece of legislation that will result in harsher penalties for road users who are detected driving a motor vehicle with alcohol and illicit substances in their system.
The Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Drink and Drug Driving Offence) Bill 2021 is named the Four Angels Law following the tragic accident in 2020 which killed four siblings Anthony, Angelina, Sienna Abdallah and their cousin Veronique Sakr. The driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol and was tested positive to having illicit drugs in his system.
The new legislation prescribes the following offences:
Mid-range PCA and presence of illicit substance
- $3,300 fine and/or 18 months in jail
- License disqualification of 3 – 6 months followed by 12-months interlock program.
High range PCA and presence of illicit substance
- $5,500 and/or 2 years imprisonment
- License disqualification of 6 – 9 months disqualification followed by 24-month interlock program.
Mid-range PCA and presence of illicit substance – second offence
- $6,600 and/or 2 years imprisonment
- License disqualification of 6 – 9 months followed by 24-month interlock program.
High range PCA and presence of illicit substance – second offence
- $11,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment
- license disqualification of 9 – 12 months followed by 48-month interlock program.
The legislation is introduced with a new standard practice for roadside breath test whereby drivers who test positive for mid-range or high-range alcohol levels at the roadside will automatically be tested for drugs in their system.
Further, drivers who test positive for low levels of alcohol such as low, special, and novice range will also be tested for drug presence if they have a previous combined offence. This new approach is combined with a commitment by the New South Wales Liberal Party to continually increase random roadside drug test by 200,000 per year each year.
The recently announced changes will undoubtedly again bring the controversial presence of illicit drug laws under scrutiny.
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