New Penalties for Drink and Drug Driving

With drug driving one of the highest contributors to road deaths in our State, the South Australian Government has prescribed new penalties for drink and drug driving. It is clear that the Government has taken an uncompromising approach to curving the concerning trend of inebriated driving.

New Penalties for Drug Drivers

First Offence

As of the 8th of March 2018, first time drug drivers are now set to receive an immediate three-month licence disqualification, in addition to the existing expiation fee and four demerit point penalty.

Second Offence

For a second offence the licence disqualification will increase from 6 months to not less than 12 months.

Third Offence

For a third offence the licence disqualification will increase from not less than 1 year to not less than 2 years.

Subsequent Offence

For any further offending the licence disqualification will increase from not less than 2 years to not less than 3 years.

Dependant Drink and Drug Drivers

Further to the above, it will now be an additional offence should you be detected for drink and drug driving with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle. This offence will apply where the driver’s blood alcohol content is .08 or greater and to all drug driving offences.

Drivers committing this offence will not regain their licence until they show they are not dependent and will be required to undergo a dependency assessment and be found not dependent to regain their licence.

If you are charged with drink or drug driving and fear you will be liable to participate in the dependency assessment program it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. We can advise you of the likely penalty you will receive and can assist you in achieving the best possible outcome, should you wish to contest the charge or assist in receiving a more lenient penalty should you wish to plead guilty.


Image: “SU 215 Commodore SS” by Highway Patrol Images via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.