Combined drink and drug driving offence

Since 28 June 2021 harsher penalties apply if a driver is detected with an illegal level of alcohol as well as illicit drugs present in their system.

Research shows that the combined use of illicit drugs and alcohol increases the risk of a fatal crash by 23 times.

The offence is designed to deter this high risk behaviour and send a clear message to drivers that they are putting themselves and others at significant risk when mixing alcohol and drugs with driving and this behaviour will not be tolerated on NSW roads.

This new law targets those with the highest road safety risk and repeat offenders. This includes drivers who are detected with:

  • a middle or high range blood alcohol concentration combined with illicit drug presence, or
  • low, novice or special-range blood alcohol concentration combined with illicit drug presence, if the driver has been convicted of a combined offence within the previous five years.

Tougher penalties will apply for a combined offence, compared to those currently available for separate drink and illicit drug driving offences.

Penalties include increased fine levels and increased minimum disqualification periods. If the offence is a second or subsequent offence within five years, penalties are around double that of a first-time offence.

Alcohol interlocks will be mandatory for people convicted of a combined drink and drug driving offence. Vehicle sanctions may also apply.

To view the penalty framework, visit the Transport for NSW website

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