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Tougher laws for drink, drug-driving

Victorian drivers caught with a cocktail of alcohol and drugs in their system will face tougher penalties under new laws announced yesterday.

RIAHN SMITH May 2, 2014 4:45am

Under the new laws, drivers caught with both in their system will face a minimum 12-month cancellation of their licence and fines of up to $4330 for their first offence.

Repeat offenders will face fines up to $38977.

Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder announced the new penalties at the inaugural Towards Zero road safety symposium yesterday.

‘‘Research shows drivers or riders with both alcohol and illicit drugs in their system are, on average, 23 times more likely to be killed in a crash than those without,’’ Mr Mulder said. ‘‘They’re also more likely to cause their crash than people with just alcohol in their system.’’

The penalties will be introduced into Parliament this month and are expected to come into effect from mid-next year.

Mr Mulder said the government was also introducing legislation so first-time drink-drive offenders caught with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system — a blood alcohol reading of 0.10 — might have their vehicles immediately impounded by police for 30 days.

Presently, immediate impoundment laws for drink driving offences only apply to repeat drink-drivers with blood alcohol readings of 0.10 or more.

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