Harsher penalties for drink drivers

People who drink and drive in Queensland will face tough new drink driving laws.

Anyone caught and convicted of drink driving, no matter what the blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC), will have to complete an education course. In addition, the existing Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program has been strengthened and expanded to apply to more offenders.

Drink driving remains one of the biggest contributors to death and injury on our roads, representing more than 20% of all lives lost. Last year, 62 people lost their lives and a further 783 were hospitalised with serious injuries from drink driving – a significant increase over the previous year. The majority of these casualties occurred in crashes where there was a driver/rider with a BAC of 0.10 or higher, an important reason why these offenders will now be required to enter the interlock program.

The reforms are designed to help people separate drinking from driving.

Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program

  • The program now includes mid-range drink drivers (those with a blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10-0.149) in addition to repeat offenders and high risk/high-range (BAC 0.15 and over) drink drivers.
  • Participants must have an alcohol ignition interlock fitted to any vehicle(s) they drive. This includes work vehicles in cases where a participant has been granted a work licence. There are no exemptions for employment.
  • The program is now performance-based meaning if a driver fails interlock breath samples or breaches other conditions, such as getting regular interlock services and not tampering with the interlock, their time in the program will be extended.
  • The sit-out period (time they are not allowed to drive if they choose not to fit an interlock) increases from 2 years to 5 years.
  • The cost associated with relicensing and getting an interlock fitted and serviced is, on average, $3,000 for the first 12 months.

Education courses

  • All drink drivers who commit and are convicted of a drink driving offence will be required to complete an online early-intervention course called Plan.Drive.Survive. Foundations, in order to get relicensed.
  • All repeat drink driving offenders will be required to complete a face-to-face, multi-session course –  Plan.Drive.Survive. Comprehensive – as a condition of completing the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program.

Read more about the interlock program and drink driving education courses.