All drink driving offenders in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, will now immediately lose their driving licence under new penalties announced by the Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance.

From May 20 drink drivers who are first-time, lower range offenders will receive an immediate three-month licence suspension and fine of $561.

“This means anyone caught drink‐driving in NSW, at any level, including low-range, can now lose their licence immediately,” said Constance. “This reform makes it clear if you break the law, you will pay the price. We are taking a zero-tolerance approach to drink and drug driving.”

New penalties also apply to drug drivers. Offenders who drive with the presence of illicit drugs for the first time will receive a $561 fine and a three-month licence suspension if the offence is confirmed by laboratory analysis.

Alcohol-related crashes claimed the lives of at least 68 people on NSW roads last year, accounting for nearly one in five road deaths, including 55 lives lost on country roads. Fatalities from crashes involving a drug impaired driver accounted for similar numbers of deaths.