Published on May 27, 2019
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New drink driving penalties came into effect on May 20, 2019. If you blow over .05 it now means an automatic suspension of your driver’s licence.
What might the changes mean for businesses in the hospitality industry? And, at the same time, what can the industry do to ensure that it doesn’t affect their business?
How the changes will work
From May 2019, drink drivers who are first-time, lower range offenders will receive an immediate three-month licence suspension and a fine of $561.
According to Melinda Pavey, the then NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight. “The 0.05 limit has been in place in NSW for almost 38 years. This is about driving home to the community that there are no more excuses.”
“The message to the community is powerful. Have a Plan B. Because if you drink drive, you will be caught, and you will lose your licence.”
What can the industry do?
If you serve alcohol, you and your staff need to be even more mindful of the responsible service of alcohol.
- Make sure you display signage and pamphlets regarding the introduction of the automatic suspension of a driver’s licence.
- Implement a designated driver program that, for example, offers free soft drink to the designated driver.
- Consider providing a courtesy bus or offer to phone for a taxi. Try to call attention to the ‘Plan B’ awareness campaign to your patrons.
- Have somewhere safe for patrons to park their car if they are over the limit and they need to leave the car and call a taxi.
- Serve food with alcohol, such as bar snacks in pubs. Studies have shown that a lack of food in your stomach means you will absorb alcohol into your blood faster. However, eating food after you’ve been drinking will not reduce your blood alcohol level.
For more information on the changes to the drink driving penalties visit the Roads, and Maritime Services website.
For service of alcohol signage and information contact Department of Industry, Liquor and Gaming NSW.
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