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New Drug Driving Laws Now in Effect in South Australia


drug driving

On 8 March 2018 new drug driving laws came into effect in South Australia. These laws were made by the South Australian Parliament in November 2017. The new laws have introduced tough penalties for drivers who commit drug driving offences in South Australia.  

Penalties for drug driving offences include fines, licence disqualification, demerit points and even imprisonment.

The current law in South Australia for Drug Driving Offences and the penalties involved are:

Driving under the Influence (DUI) Drugs

First Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,100 and not more than $1,600, or imprisonment for not more than three months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than twelve months; as well as 6 demerit points.

Subsequent Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,900 and not more than $2,900, or imprisonment for not more than six months, and a mandatory licence disqualification for not less than three years; as well as 6 demerit points.

Driving with a prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood

First Offence: An on the spot fine, 4 demerit points and licence disqualification for three months or a court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $900 and not more than $1,300, 4 demerit points and a licence disqualification of not less than 6 months.

Second Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,100 and not more than $1,600, 4 demerit points, and a licence disqualification of not less than 12 months.

Third Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,200, 4 demerit points, and a licence disqualification of not less than 2 years.

Subsequent Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,200, 4 demerit points, and a licence disqualification of not less than 3 years.

Refusal or failure to undertake a drug screening test, oral fluid analysis or blood test

First Offence: A court imposed penalty of a fine of not less than $900 and not more than $1,300, 6 demerit points, and a licence disqualification for not less than 12 months.

Subsequent offences: A  court imposed penalty of a  fine of not less than $1,500 and not more than $2,200, 6 demerit points, and a licence disqualification for not less than 3 years.

Drug driving with a child in the vehicle

If a person commits a drug driving offence with a child under 16 in the vehicle at the time the offence occurred, the offender will be required to pass a dependency assessment prior to their licence being reissued at the end of the disqualification period.

 The increase in the drug driving penalties in South Australia now brings the drug driving offences into line with penalties applied to drink driving offences in this State.

If you are charged with a drug driving it is important that you seek legal assistance as quickly as possible to maximise the options that are available to you in terms of negotiating or defending the charge or receiving a lenient penalty upon your guilty plea.

Written by Nestoras Alexandropoulos. Settled by Eva Bailey.

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Nes Alexandropoulos
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Nestoras Alexandropoulos 

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Please note, this Blog is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Andersons Solicitors. It relates to South Australian legislation. Andersons Solicitors is a medium sized law firm servicing metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia across all areas of law for individuals and businesses.