Drunks to cop it from new laws

By Ivy Jensen

MURRAY River’s top cop has welcomed tough new laws which will suspend licences of anyone caught drunk driving in NSW immediately and fine them almost $600.

From Monday, May 20, first-time, low-range drink-drivers will face an on-the-spot three-month licence suspension and a $561 fine.

Murray River Police District Inspector Paul Huggett said mid and high-range drunk drivers had been suspended immediately for many years, so including the low-range category re-enforced to drivers and the community it was not acceptable to drive with any level of intoxicating substances in their system.

‘‘Let’s not forget that driving while intoxicated is a criminal offence,’’ he said.

‘‘Any measure that we as a community can take to reduce impaired drivers — whether that be fatigue, driver distractions, restraints and speeding — can only be seen as a direct benefit to all road users.’’

Insp. Huggett said alcohol was one of the major contributors to road trauma and anything to curb that was welcome.

Sixty-eight people died in alcohol-related crashes on NSW roads last year.

Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Corboy said the law change would protect everyone on the road by ensuring swift and certain penalties.