The Victorian Government has brought in tougher penalties for drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The new penalties take effect from 30 April.
According to VicRoads, if you get caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%, you will:
Automatically lose your licence
Need to complete a compulsory drink driver behaviour change program
Need to get an alcohol interlock installed in any vehicle you drive for at least six months
This also applies to commercial drivers who commit their first drink driving offence with a BAC under .05.
Drivers caught with drugs in their system will lose their licence for a minimum of six months (instead of three), and will also need to complete a drug driver program behaviour change program before getting their licence back.
The type of Behaviour Change Program will depend on the offence. The programs are up to 12 hours long, split over several days.
The new program includes alcohol screening and assessment, motivational and behaviour change techniques to address the underlying causes of drink and/or drug driving. It can also provide referrals to specialist treatment services for people with a serious alcohol and/or drug problem.
Drivers charged under the new laws must bear the cost for installing an alcohol interlock device or attending a Behaviour Change Program.
Victorian drivers should also note that, since 31 January 2018, if they are caught drink driving interstate, the same rules apply as if they were caught in Victoria.