As of 1 July 2021, the WA State Government’s new Road Traffic Amendment (Impaired Driving and Penalties) Act 2019 has come into effect.
The new “polydrug” offence separates the offence of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs from the offence of driving under the influence of both. Under the new law, a person commits an offence if they drive or attempt to drive with a blood alcohol content of above 0.05 while also under the influence of drugs.
The penalties for these new “polydrug” offences will be higher (generally 1.5 times more) than the penalty for simple drink driving.
Queensland Government has announced a further $4.2 million over four years will be spent to expand and continue its roadside drug testing programme. The drug test boost was part of ‘a record $2.86 billion Police Budget for 2021-22 to support police in keeping communities safe across Queensland’.
This means roadside drug testing in QLD will continue to climb. Since the introduction of roadside drug testing in the state in 2007, the number of tests conducted has risen steadily. Between 2009 and 2019, the number of tests increased by 563 per cent. In the 2018/2019 year there were close to 70,000 tests conducted, with around one in five drivers testing positive.
NSW Police and Crime Stoppers NSW have called on road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving on roads across the state as part of a new safety campaign. The new ‘Four Ds’ campaign focuses on enlisting the community’s help to crackdown on drink, drug, dangerous, and distracted driving to prevent crashes.
Crime Stoppers NSW CEO Peter Price said he hoped community involvement would help improve safety and accountability on NSW roads. “Never before have we asked the community to report these crimes and Crime Stoppers NSW is the first, not only in Australia, but around the world, to initiate this campaign,” he said.
So far this year, 280 people have died on NSW roads with speed a factor in 28 per cent of cases, drugs a factor in 20 per cent, 16 per cent alcohol-related.