Grampians Community Health are preparing for an expected increase in illicit drug and drink driving offences, following changes by the Victorian government.
The state government introduced tough new penalties for drink and drug drivers, which came into effect this month.
First-time drink drivers who record a blood alcohol reading between .05 and .069 will lose their licences for a minimum of three months, as will drug drivers.
All drink drivers will now face mandatory alcohol interlocks fitted to their vehicles for a minimum of six months.
All drink and drug drivers will be required to complete a mandatory behaviour change program to address the underlying causes of their behaviour and may receive referral for professional support and assistance.
GCH’s Drink Drive Drug Drive program has been under review since October 2017 in anticipation of the changes and the new requirements for accreditation by VicRoads.
“An average of 70 people contacted Grampians Community Health for support drug drive related in the past two years” GCH Alcohol and Drugs Support Services manager Caleb Lourensz said.
To coincide with the new legislation requirements, Grampians Community Health will be relaunching their revised Drink and Drug Drive program in June.
It will be a six hour program for Victorian drink drivers and a 10-hour intensive drink and drug driver program.
GCH has been delivering Alcohol and Drug Counselling support services for 30 years.
“Until the message is headed in the community that drink or drug driving is not acceptable, the tougher penalties and requirements mean that for now it is expected that there will be even more people undertaking drink and drug drive behavior change courses,” GCH chief executive officer Greg Little said.
Up to 3000 full licence holders are caught drink driving between 0.05 and 0.069 blood alcohol concentration each year.
VicRoads acting deputy chief executive officer Robyn Seymour said “research has shown licence bans reduce repeat drink driving offences by 70 per cent while fitting an alcohol interlock device cuts repeat offences by 63 per cent – that is a major benefit for road safety”.