Published: Sep 28, 2018

End of the road for drink driving reforms

New drink driving reforms have passed NSW Parliament today signalling the end of the road for this dangerous behaviour behind the wheel.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said under the new legislation, if any driver commits a low-range drink driving offence they will be fined $561 and lose their licence immediately at the roadside for three months.

This penalty will also apply to first time drug presence offences detected on the roadside via NSW’s mobile drug testing (MDT) program.

“We needed a stronger deterrent. Last year 55 people lost their lives in alcohol related crashes and 81 people died in crashes involving someone with illicit drugs in their system,” Mrs Pavey said.

First time mid-range offenders will need to have an alcohol interlock device installed to prove they can separate their drinking from driving.


  • On the spot $561 penalty, plus a 3 month licence suspension for low range drink driving and drug driving first offences.
  • Expansion of the alcohol interlock program to mid-range drink drivers
  • Vehicle sanctions for high risk, repeat offenders – in addition to other penalties - including licence plate confiscation and vehicle impoundment.

“The 0.05 limit has been in place in NSW for almost 38 years. Today is about driving home to the community that there are no more excuses.”

“The message to the community is powerful. Have a Plan B. Because if you drink drive, you will be caught, and you will lose your licence, Mrs Pavey said.”

The sweeping reforms will commence from the end of 2018 and are a key priority of our Road Safety Plan 2021.