Western Australia Minister for Police Rob Johnson
Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien
Drink Drivers Face Immediate Licence Suspension
Victor P Taffa
Motorists caught driving with a blood alcohol content above 0.08 will immediately lose their licence at the roadside under new legislation being introduced into State Parliament today.
The Road Traffic Legislation Amendment (Disqualification by Notice) Bill 2010 will also make it harder for people to obtain Extraordinary Licences.
Police Minister Rob Johnson said the Bill would enable Police to issue a notice that immediately disqualified a person from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for two months.
Mr. Johnson said under the proposed legislation, Police could also issue an immediate licence disqualification notice for anyone who refused a breath or blood test.
“This measure is intended to act as a further, strong deterrent to drink drivers by imposing an immediate and significant sanction.” Mr. Johnson said.
“Under current laws, motorists who are caught driving over 0.08 can simply get behind the wheel the following day and continue to drive until they are due to appear in court.”
“This is unacceptable and I believe these drink drivers, who are caught well above the legal limit, should not be allowed back on the roads until they have served a period of suspension.”
Mr. Johnson said the legislation would remove the option allowing an alleged offender to nominate a medical practitioner or registered nurse to take a sample of their blood for analysis instead of taking a breath test. This is intended to prevent people from delaying the issuing of a disqualification notice.
The Bill will require Police to charge a person within 10 days of the alleged offence or the disqualification notice would become void.
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said the State Government was also responding to community concerns regarding the issuing of extraordinary licences, with the new legislation making it more difficult for people to obtain them.
“The new legislation will tighten the standards and leave minimal room for interpretation by the courts ensuring that extraordinary licences can only be issued where specified circumstances of extreme hardship can be demonstrated.” Mr. O’Brien said.