New QLD Drink Driving Laws: Immediate Suspension for Mid Range Offenders

NEW legislation that sees mid-range drink drivers lose their licences was introduced at midnight – and took five minutes to claim its first catch.

A 40-year-old Townsville woman was the first person to lose her licence immediately under the new legislation after she was pulled over on Flinders Street about 12.05am this morning.

A police spokesman said she returned a blood alcohol concentration of .108, putting her in the mid-range category of drink driving charges.

As of today, state legislation has changed the law to empower Queensland police to immediately suspend the licences of anyone returning a mid-range BAC of between .10 and .15.

Anything over .15 is considered a high range drink driving charge and already carries an immediate suspension of a person’s driver’s licence.

Until today, when the state laws changed, anyone caught drink-driving automatically loses their licence for at least 24 hours if they return a BAC under .15.

The court then decides on whether or not the alleged offender gets to keep their licence in each case.

The new laws puts the mid range drink driving levels in line with the levels considered in the high range category.

Queensland Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said drink-driving laws had been toughened following feedback on the drink-driving discussion paper last year.

She said the risk of crashing was 20 times greater when a person had a BAC of 0.15 as opposed to driving sober.

Ms Palaszczuk said the new laws were designed to cut down on the high number of drink driving related crashes on the state’s roads each year.

“In 2010, 50 people were killed as a result of crashes involving drink drivers,” she said.

“This represents 20.1 per cent of all road fatalities in Queensland for that period.

“In the same year there were more than 29,000 drink driving offences detected in Queensland.

“Those sorts of statistics are unacceptable and we will continue to do everything we can to drive down the road toll.

Ms Palaszczuk said lowering the threshold for immediate suspension would protect the public by preventing alleged offenders from legally driving again before their court date.

“Holding a driver license is a privilege and we have introduced these laws to keep drink drivers off our roads,” she said.

If a person is charged with a medium or high range drink driving charge, the court has to impose a mandatory disqualification of driver’s license.

The Railway Estate woman, who will be the first to appear in court under the new legislation, was given a notice to appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court on July 21.



Gold Coast Drink Driving are here to help you through any drink driving, drug driving, DUI, unlicenced driving, disqualified driving, dangerous driving, careless driving, hooning or any other traffic matter. We offer professional services with very competitive fixed fee prices and do not charge for travel. We will devise a strategic plan to help you through the legal process in order to help you obtain a work licence, a special hardship order or the best possible outcome for you.

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