New drink driving reforms on the way

Motorists will be bound by tougher drink driving laws under new reforms announced by the Bligh Government

By Brad Gardner | March 24, 2011

Motorists will be bound by stricter drink driving laws under new reforms announced by the Bligh Government to improve road safety.

The Transport and Other Legislation Amendment Bill will introduce a new offence for drivers with an alcohol level of .10 up to .15 in Queensland.

An offender’s licence will be immediately suspended and courts will have the power to ban them from getting behind the wheel for between three to 12 months.

Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says fines will be increased from $1400 to $2000.

"Currently, drivers can be tested for alcohol up to two hours after they were driving. The Bill extends that period to three hours," she says.

Police officers who pull over a suspected drink driver will be free to conduct a breath-test once the Bill is passed.

"Currently, another officer must operate the instrument. These reforms will be of particular assistance in rural and remote regions of the state where testing equipment and additional police officers may not be readily available," Palaszczuk says.

The minister has already flagged an intention to introduce more drink-driving reforms, saying she is currently looking at the feasibility of mandatory blood tests for people taken to hospital due to a road crash.

"Introducing a compulsory blood testing program could assist in the identification and prosecution of drink drivers," Palaszczuk says.

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