TOUGHER LAWS: The Queensland Government is considering abolishing work licences for drink drivers.
TOUGHER LAWS: The Queensland Government is considering abolishing work licences for drink drivers. Supplied

Boozers beware: Jobs at risk for drink drivers

THE Queensland Government is considering abolishing work licences for drink drivers, under an overhaul of laws targeting reckless motorists.

One proposal would abolish restricted licences so all convicted drink drivers need to serve their licence disqualification period and would not be allowed to drive during the disqualification at all, even if it was work purposes. Queensland is one of the few Australian jurisdictions to have a work licence option.

The public is being invited to provide input on the measures which include excluding mid-range drink drivers - with a blood alcohol content of 0.1to 0.149 from the work licence program - in addition to the current ban on drivers 0.15 or higher. There are also recommendations for a mandatory online training course for first-time offenders and an intensive face-to-face course for repeat offenders.

Another measure includes keeping interlocks installed in vehicles until offenders can demonstrate they can separate drinking and driving.

RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding said the motoring body would make a formal submission into the review.

"The last review of drink driving laws was in 2010, so it's a good time to revisit this very important issue and we will be putting forward our recommendations to improve safety for all Queensland drivers,” Mr Spalding said.

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said he was frustrated that one in five road fatalities in Queensland still involved a driver under the influence of alcohol.

"Clearly this is unacceptable and I call on Queenslanders to have their say on how this can be stopped,” Mr Bailey said.

"Along with the enormous emotional and physical toll, these people can face crippling financial impacts from long term health related costs.”

Mr Bailey said, if left unchecked, it is estimated that drink driving could cause more than 2,400 fatalities and serious injuries over the next five years, with a projected cost to the community of $2.7 billion.

"It is a sad fact we know that a quarter of drink driving offenders will go on to reoffend and that nearly half of all drink drivers are caught driving at twice the legal limit,” he said.

The Drink Driving Discussion Paper is be available at www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au .

It will be open for community feedback until Tuesday, March 7.

PROPOSALS:

Abolishing or tightening eligibility for a restricted (work) licence

Making it harder for people to sit-out of the interlock program

Making people demonstrate that they can separate drinking and driving before the interlock can be removed

Expanding the interlock program to other high risk offenders including those with BAC between 0.10 - 0.149, provisional and learner drivers

Requiring all drink driving offenders to complete alcohol screening and complete a brief education program



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