Author Topic: Victorian drivers to be slugged for mixing booze and drugs  (Read 1980 times)

Offline dazzler (OP)

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Victorian drivers to be slugged for mixing booze and drugs
« on: July 13, 2015, 05:14:20 PM »
from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/victorian-drivers-to-be-slugged-for-mixing-booze-and-drugs/story-e6frgczx-1227439199511

Victorian drivers to be slugged for mixing booze and drugs

BY REBECCA URBAN THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 13, 2015 12:00AM

Victorian motorists caught with both alcohol and drugs in their system will face fines of up to $41,000, as well as the loss of their licence, with the state to ­introduce a specific offence that acknowledges the elevated risk of driving under the influence of a cocktail of substances.

The newly recognised offence of drink-drug driving, which ­effectively doubles the penalty for a drug-only offence, also ­closes a loophole that had meant offenders were typically charged with drink driving or drug driving, but not both.

The crackdown will likely pressure other states to consider beefing up their own laws, given that authorities across the country have acknowledged the devas­tating impact of alcohol and drugs on the roads.

Announcing the crackdown yesterday, Acting Roads and Road Safety Minister Natalie Hutchins said the prevalence of drink-drug driving was increasing, with research showing drivers with both alcohol and illicit drugs in their system were 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision.

About 8 per cent of people who died on Victoria’s roads had a cocktail of both in their system, she said.

“We see the evidence that is out there that unfortunately there are drivers getting on the roads with drugs and alcohol in their system and it’s time that we cracked down on that,” Ms Hutchins said.

“We are fed up with people who mix alcohol and illicit drugs, and the risks they pose to Victorian families.”

As well as hefty fines — $4550 for a first-time offence and up to $41,000 for a repeat offence — those convicted of drink-drug driving will face losing their ­licence for at least 12 months. Police will also now have the power to impound the ­vehicles of first-time offenders for up to three months or, in the case of ­repeat offenders, indefin­itely.

To aid the crackdown, the Victorian government recently invested $15 million in 10 new drug and booze buses, allowing police to test 100,000 motorists a year for drugs.

NSW authorities are targeting similar numbers by 2017. A report released by the NSW Centre for Road Safety last month revealed that, between 2010 and 2013, 195 deaths had been linked to the drugs cannabis, speed or ecstasy, while ­alcohol and speeding were compounding factors in some of those accidents. One in 10 drivers tested on NSW roads last year were found to have traces of illicit drugs in their saliva.

Ms Hutchins described ­alcohol and drugs as a “dangerous mix” and said she had ­personally witnessed the devastating impact 20 years ago when she had been involved in a collis­ion caused by a driver under the influence.

While she escaped unharmed, another woman in a separate car that had copped the brunt was badly injured.

“I don’t think she is walking since the accident,” Ms Hutchins said. “So there’s still a family paying a price.”

Liz Waller, the road safety manager of Victoria’s Transport ­Accident Commission, said it was important that legislation was updated to reflect what was occurring on the state’s roads.

“It sends a clear message that drink and drug driving is not ­accepted,” Ms Waller said.

The new offence comes into effect from August 1. Victoria’s road toll is slightly higher than this time last year.

[end]

Offline Narkotikon

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Re: Victorian drivers to be slugged for mixing booze and drugs
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 10:45:33 AM »
I wonder if there will be a gray area for alcohol + legit prescribed controlled substances. 

Would someone who's prescribed morphine, then drives drunk, be held to this new standard?  Or would they only be charged with regular drunk driving? 

And what about medical marijuana?  I know this is in Australia, but in general, I wonder how alcohol + legal MMJ would be treated. 
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Offline Chip

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Re: Victorian drivers to be slugged for mixing booze and drugs
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 03:34:18 PM »
reading between the lines, I'd say it's about Ice + alcohol - our roadside tests are for pot, MDMA and d-meth.

hefty fines and thankfully, I barely drink.
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Offline Narkotikon

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Re: Victorian drivers to be slugged for mixing booze and drugs
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 01:03:10 PM »
I've never understood why people would want to do meth / amph AND alcohol.  I've drank while taking Adderall before, and they both just seemed to cancel each other out.  No amph buzz, and not really any alcohol buzz. 

I can sorta see someone drinking while at a club, then later on scoring meth, and doing it one after the other.  But together?  Just seems odd to me.  Is it really that popular there?  To mix them together I mean.

Glad this won't personally affect you, Chipper.  Drinking isn't fun IMO either. 
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