The Australian state of Victoria will adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards first-time drink drivers, with harsh new laws to be introduced from August 1. wpid-Enhance-Your-Blood-With-Elderberry-Drink-150x150.jpg
State Police Minister Wade Noonan said on Monday that offenders would have their cars impounded if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.1 — twice the legal limit.
Offenders will also have their licences canceled for 10 months and will be hit with a 500-U.S dollar fine.
Speaking to 3AW radio, Noonan said the changes received bipartisan support last year.
“They’re tough new laws, but obviously laws that are designed to send a very strong message to those who get behind the wheel having drunk a considerable amount,” he said on Monday.
“People that drive with that much alcohol in their system are idiots,” he added.
Previously, first-time offenders were issued a small fine and would be disqualified from driving for up to six month pending an appeal, but Noonan said the changes reflected the tough stance that many, law abiding citizens wanted.
He said most offending drivers would understand when they are likely over the legal limit, and if caught with a BAC of over 0.10, they are making the decision to put their own and other lives at risk.
“I think it’s fair to say that I don’t think Victorians have much time for people who get behind the wheel when they are clearly drunk and risk the lives of themselves and others on the roads.
“When people are blowing 0.1 they are clearly making that decision.”
Victoria’s road toll is 5 percent higher than the corresponding period last year, and at its highest since 2012, and Noonan said his government hopes the new laws will help lower the number of motorists and pedestrians dying on Victoria’s roads.
He said Victoria Police has the capacity to impound the expected 3500 additional cars every year, and every car impounded could potentially save a life.
“Statistics in 2013 had more than 3500 offenders blowing 0.1 or over,” he said.
“I’m reassured by Victoria Police that the depot out at Preston has the capacity to take the additional anticipated 3500 cars off the road.
“That is important that capacity is there, but the more important issue is really about keeping Victorians safe.” Enditem

-Xinhua

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