The Road Safety Council is reminding drivers that the changes to the Road Traffic Act 1974 relating to drink and drug driving penalties come into effect at midnight, leading into 1 October 2011.
“Driving after drinking or taking drugs means you are more likely to be involved in a crash,” Independent Chairman of the Road Safety Council, Professor D’Arcy Holman said.
Alcohol is currently a factor in almost a third of crashes in which people are killed and seriously injured on Western Australian roads. With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05, the risk of being involved in a crash doubles.
“If you do drink or take drugs and drive you risk not only your life but the lives of those around you. You will also face harsher penalties and lose your license for longer in some cases, if you are caught.
“If you plan to drink, plan not to drive; take public transport or a taxi or plan to be a Skipper and not drink at all this Grand Final weekend to ensure you and your friends get around safely,” Professor Holman said.
Penalties for a BAC between 0.05-0.08 are increasing from $100 to a maximum $500 for a first offence and from $500 to $1000 for a second offence as well as a six to eight month license disqualification.
Offenders with more alcohol or drugs found in their system, will be fined more or have their license taken away for longer.
In addition to the increased penalties, some groups of drivers will be required to drive with a zero BAC including taxi drivers, bus drivers, some heavy vehicles, vehicles carrying dangerous goods as well as those with extraordinary licenses.**
Under the State Government’s road safety strategy Towards Zero, the ultimate goal is zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
* * *
**Download: Question and Answer - Amendments to Drink and Drug Driving Penalties (17 page PDF 4.3 MB)
Full details of the penalties can also be found on the WA Police website.
0417 939 743