Tuesday 19 November 2019

Minister to get tough on drink driving after new figures show a major increase

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Motorists caught driving under the influence of alcohol will be more likely to lose their licences and face longer jail terms if they re-offend, thanks to a package of new justice ministry measures.

On Tuesday the senate approved plans to increase the maximum punishment for serious traffic offences, including an increase in the drunk driving jail term from three months to one year.

Now justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus also wants to remove the right of people convicted of drunk driving offences to continue to drive pending an appeal. And he hopes to increase the maximum jail term to five years if people who have been banned from driving get back behind the wheel.

Despite efforts to combat drunk driving, the number of convictions is increasing and last week it emerged that the number of people killed in accidents involving drink or drugs has more than doubled to 36 in two years.

Last year, 3,799 people were caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol but up to September this year, the total was 5,229, new police figures showed.

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