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VIC Drink-drug drivers to face tough new penalities

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by cjvfr, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Victorians caught driving with a potentially deadly mix of drugs and alcohol in their system will face fines of up to $41,000 and a minimum two-year licence cancellation.

    In an Australian first, tough new laws to be introduced by the Andrews government on August 1 will create a separate offence for drink-drug driving.

    Under the crackdown, Victoria Police will be able to impound the vehicles of first-time offenders who test positive for drugs and also have a blood alcohol concentration of .10 or higher. First offenders will also face a minimum 12-month licence suspension and fines of up to $4550.

    Repeat offenders will face fines of $13,650 to $40,959, depending on their blood-alcohol level and previous convictions. They will also face a minimum two-year licence cancellation – and the prospect of having their cars impounded permanently

    The Age
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. Let me start by saying I wholeheartedly agree with tougher penalties for drug-drink drive offenders. However, and I maybe reading this wrong, to immediately impound someone's vehicle on the spot for a suspected 'drug' driving offence is a tad rough considering the roadside test for drugs is far from infallible, there are many cases where the lab test has shown the roadside test to have been a 'false positive'.

    Add to that I have an ingrained dislike of the government seizing the property of citizens (excluding property that has been gained illegally or as a direct result of illegal activity) without proper compensation or consideration (for example the payment of outstanding debts).
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. .. and with that, Mick, I wholeheartedly agree....
    • Like Like x 3
  4. I believe these powers are only applicable if you test positive to drugs and blow over 0.10 in alcohol. I agree that the drug tests are far from precise and can be triggered by other foodstuffs. I would hope there is a further test rather than the enzyme swab if you test positive.

    Regarding seizure of property, I agree that without due compensation this is aborrent and probably unconstitutional. Impounding though tends to suggest you can recover the vehicle by paying the appropriate impound and towing fee. It is a further background fine so I think it is a double jeopardy situation so I am uncomfortable with it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. impounded not confiscated. There would be provision for involved parties to dispose of said vehicle, like those holding title.

    Throw the book at them as far as I care, make it have sharp pointy edges.
  6. "and the prospect of having their cars impounded permanently" suggests you don't get your vehicle back.
  7. Ok I hadn't seen that part. That would fail a legal test by reasons that we have discussed. Of course the cost of testing it in court would be carried by the vehicle owner. It would appear to be unfair and disproportional to the offence.
  8. I think it's little more than sickening nonsense. The pernicious influence of alcohol on driving is beyond reasonable doubt; I for one do not accept the assertion that any presence of drugs whatsoever presents a deplorable and unacceptable risk. When roadside drug testing is brought more into line with alcohol testing they might have even a shred of credibility.
  9. ww2 pilots flew on "go pills"
  10. I hate the word 'tough' in the political context.
  11. :) Yes it usually means we haven't really thought about the consequences, expenses, legal situation but it will make a good sound bite.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. We have had people in to A&E with Blood Alcohol levels of 0.350 and I have rung the result through and asked how they were feeling and was told they were sitting down fine, had some abdo pain (reason they came in) but only tested for blood alcohol when they smelt it on their breath. Chronic Alcoholics can function quite well with those levels of alcohol in their system. I still wouldn't want them behind the wheel of a car though.

    Does anyone think that a $40,000 fine would deter a crack addict from getting behind the wheel?
  13. Given that murder can attract a 20+ year gaol sentence and we still have people committing murders, I think the answer is pretty obvious.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  14. No, anybody with an drug addiction and an alcohol dependency wont be deterred. Cancellation of licenses is unlikely to prevent them driving as well. You would never be able to recover the $40k fine from the majority that are picked up.

    I don't know what it is meant to achieve, perhaps recreational drug users considered about 10% of the population will not drink but will instead increase their drug intake before driving. Failure of a roadside screening is 3 penalty units and 3 points provided you are not impaired in the judgement of the police officer.
  15. That was my thoughts too. Many of the offenders may have nothing to lose, especially if they're on welfare benefits and have nothing to their name - so what deterrent is a $40K fine?

    I like that the government is focused on this and trying to make a difference - the intention is good, but it just seems that when it comes to road use, and how to police and punish for it - they seem to be fairly clueless. Either that or they're smart and its intention is more of a publicity stunt than for effect.
  16. laws and fines should be thought of as deterrents, rather than punishments...

    unfortunately, not a lot of thinking going on in the community :p

    didn't that woman in Perth (?) get off some drug driving charge, after hitting and injuring a kid, because experts said the meth in her system would not have impaired her driving ability?
  17. This times a million. The effect of this so disparate it's ridiculous. Not even dole recipients but low income earners too will not have any real notice until they get hit with a fine in the tens of thousands of dollars that they'll be paying off for years. It will likely impact on their family and the cycle of poverty continues.

    One can only hope the magistrates have more sense when applying this law than the baboons who legislated this.

    It's been shown universally that massive sentencing has little impact on prevention it just hits the disadvantaged even harder. Think 3 strikes laws in America.
  18. Is there even a real problem? My memory of the statistics dragged out every time there is a blitz is very, very low numbers.

    now, if they impounded you car for failing to keep left, or tailgating......
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Seems an interesting couple of messages from the Vic pollies, "we're no longer going to chase you if you are asked to stop by police" and "we're going to fine you squillions and take your car away".

    So (i) why register or (ii) insure your car, or (iii) stop drinking and (iv) stop taking drugs and driving. You just have to have a vehicle that has no trace to yourself (see i & ii) and you can get away with iii & iv with impunity as you drive straight past the road side test stations, or drive off if stopped by the police.
  20. doesn't seem to make much sense does it?