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South Australian police can take away drug ‘stupid’ driver’s license immediately

Drivers in South Australia can now have their license revoked immediately if they test positive on a roadside drug test.

New laws have gone into effect and closed a loophole that allows drivers who test positive to continue driving.

Drivers who test positive for drugs will now receive an Immediate Licensure (ILOL) notice from the South Australian Police (SAPOL).

They had previously received expiration notices or court summons, allowing them to continue driving in the meantime.

If a driver is found guilty of a drug offense by a local court, they will be disqualified for a minimum of six months provided it is their first offense and additional deadlines will apply to those previous drug-related offences.

After reapplying for a license, drivers will receive a probationary license that stipulates that they must have a blood alcohol and drug level of zero when driving and carry their license with them at all times.

The South Australian government says between 2017 and 2021, 20% of motorists or motorcyclists killed on local roads will test positive for cannabis, methylamphetamine, MDMA or a combination of these drugs.

During 2020-21, SAPOL said it conducted 33,790 roadside drug tests with 5317 positive results.

Joe Szakacs, South Australia’s minister of police, emergency services and correctional services, said: “There is no place on the roads of South Australia for selfish and stupid drug-addicted drivers.

“Some people think it’s okay to drive after taking drugs. These new laws will ensure those selfish drivers have a stern wake-up call.

“The reckless decisions of drug drivers put people’s lives in danger on the road and all South Australians have seen the results of what can happen when people choose to get in the back seat. the driver with drugs in his body.”

“Driving is a privilege. These changes send a strong and clear message that reckless driving and those who choose to drive with drugs are making a very dangerous decision. They don’t deserve to be out on the streets,” said Ian Parrott, assistant commissioner of South Australian police.

The changes to the law aren’t just about driving under the influence of drugs.

ILOL notices can also now be made for reckless or dangerous drivers, who could have their license suspended or revoked, while the maximum fines for exceeding the speed limit 45 km/h or more was increased to $5000 for the first offense.

The South Australian government has also introduced a 12-month prison sentence for drivers who have had their driver’s license suspended or stripped but continue to drive, up from six months. Drivers convicted of a subsequent offense can also be jailed for three years, up from two years.

These changes allow SAPOL to take away people’s licenses in more cases.

Previously, SAPOL could only issue ILOL notices to the following alleged motorists:

  • Speeding 45km/h or more than the signed speed sign
  • Drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to 0.149 (6 months ineligible) and 0.150 or higher (12 months ineligible)
  • Refuse to be tested for drugs or alcohol
  • Extreme speed violation
  • Causing death using a motor vehicle

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