21 May

NSW Crackdown on Drink Driving

NSW have introduced new laws affecting punishment for all levels of drink driving offences. NSW have introduced new laws affecting punishment for all levels of drink driving offences.


The following changes impact NSW drivers:

  • Swift and Certain loss of licence for lower-range offenders
  • Mandatory Alcohol Interlock for mid-range offenders
  • Vehicle Sanctions for high-risk drink drivers


Swift And Certain Loss

As of 20 May 2019, first-time offenders charged with low-range drink driving may have their licence immediately suspended for a period of 3 months. There is additionally a $561 fine.

For repeat offenders and / or higher range offences, the penalties increase from there.

This applies to all drivers charged on NSW roads from Monday 20 May 2019.


Alcohol Interlock Laws

Previously, all NSW drivers convicted of high-range, repeat or other serious drink-driving offences were required to have an alcohol interlock device installed in their car. The new laws mean that now middle-range offences committed from 3 December 2018 also result in mandatory interlock.

A mandatory interlock order means that a driver is first disqualified from driving, then has a participation period in the interlock program of at least 12 months. The duration of each stage depends on the type and seriousness of the offence.


Vehicle Sanctions

NSW Police have the power to confiscate number plates and/or impound a driver’s vehicle. Previously only applying to certain high-risk offences such as hoon offences (eg. street racing, police pursuit, speeding over 45km/h), the new laws include repeat, high-risk drivers from 3 December 2018.

These vehicle sanctions typically apply for 3 months, although can be longer depending on the offence and offender’s history.

Gatenby Criminal Lawyers have expert solicitors that appear in New South Wales, as well as any other Jurisdiction in Australia. If you or someone you know needs legal help with drink driving, contact us now for your free case assessment.


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About the Author: Blair Carey

About the Author: Blair Carey

Blair Carey is a Criminal Law Clerk at Gatenby Criminal Lawyers.  He regularly researches new laws and their potential impact for our clients. Blair assists Michael Gatenby and our expert solicitors with providing the best advice on all related matters.