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Impaired drivers hit with tough new laws

Both drug and drink driving remain issues across the country, with many car accidents caused by impaired drivers.

However, in an attempt to curb this behaviour and reduce NSW's ever-growing road toll, the state government has passed tougher laws to prosecute these parties.

Recently released data for the state revealed that 11 per cent of all road fatalities involved a driver or motorcyclist who had illicit drugs in their system. There are also around 26,000 drink driving offences recorded each year.

In a September 17 media release, Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay explained the laws are designed to reduce the ways that dangerous drivers can avoid detection.

"This is a sensible and common sense reform to make sure police have the necessary ability to gather evidence and prosecute drivers in ambiguous drug and alcohol testing situations," he said.

"We are constantly looking at new ways to ensure our drug and alcohol testing is robust and effective to remove this dangerous behaviour from our roads and help save the lives of innocent motorists."

What changes have passed parliament?

There are a number of notable changes that will be in place within the next couple of months. These include:

  • Police able to arrange for blood samples to be taken when a driver is physically unable to complete a breath test
  • Improve evidential accuracy by streamlining the urine handling process to match modern laboratory processes
  • Drivers required to stay on site until testing is completed to ensure samples have been analysed entirely

Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres also highlighted another law which passed the NSW Parliament this week.

"Another important change is the ability for police to now require a driver to submit to a sobriety assessment if their behaviour, condition or appearance causes a police officer to believe that a driver is under the influence of a drug but a random breath test is negative for alcohol," he said.

NSW car accident compensation

If you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and receive a whiplash injury or worse, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most road users including drivers and pedestrians.

It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident.

These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it's completely up to you whether you engage their services.

© 2014 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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