Stop it or cop it: new laws to tackle drink and drug driving

The ACT Government has passed new road safety laws to target high risk unsafe drink and drug driving behaviour on our roads.

The passing of the Road Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 provides swifter, stronger and fairer reforms that will make our roads safer for everyone.

The new laws:

  • increase ACT Policing’s ability to act immediately to stop drink and drug-affected drivers by imposing immediate licence suspensions,
  • increase penalty levels to help deter drink and drug driving,
  • create a new combined drink and drug driving offence which will carry penalties significantly higher than for separate drink and drug driving offences,
  • expand roadside testing to allow police to test drivers for cocaine,
  • create a new infringement scheme that will see first time low-range drink drivers receive an immediate $800 fine and 6-month loss of licence.

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol:

  • affects judgment and decision making,
  • increases the effects of fatigue,
  • slows reaction time,
  • reduces attention span, and
  • is often combined with other unsafe behaviours like not wearing a seatbelt or speeding.

Even a small amount of drugs or alcohol in a person’s system can affect their driving ability and result in a crash.

The ACT Government is committed to ongoing education, behaviour change programs and safety initiatives to complement the ongoing review of the road transport penalties framework.

Police officer talking to person in car