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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5233 ..

Thursday, 28 October 2010

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Legislation Amendment Bill 2010

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I present the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. This bill primarily comprises amendments to the ACT’s drink-driving laws as well as making a number of changes to the recently passed random drug-testing legislation.

The drink-driving amendments effected by this bill were originally introduced to the Assembly by the Chief Minister in June this year as the Road Transport (Drink Driving) Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. That bill was intended to make significant amendments to the drink-driving provisions of the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977.

However, before that bill could be debated, the Assembly passed Mr Hanson’s Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) (Random Drug Testing) Bill 2009, which amended many of the same provisions as would have been amended by the government’s drink-driving amendments. Consequently, the Chief Minister withdrew the government’s drink-driving amendments for redrafting so that they would accommodate Mr Hanson’s amendments to the principal legislation. This bill includes those redrafted amendments.

As the Chief Minister pointed out, when the drink-driving amendments were initially introduced, these amendments represent a key element of the government’s strategy to improve road safety in the ACT, as it tackles one of the major contributors to road crashes—drink driving.

It is worth recounting the data which demonstrates the extent to which drink driving remains a major road safety concern. Over one in five drivers killed in crashes have a blood alcohol concentration exceeding the legal limit. Nationally, random breath testing results typically show that about one in 150 drivers tested exceed the legal limit. ACT Policing data shows that approximately one in 70 drivers tested is a drink driver. This is an extremely concerning outcome, when compared to the national trend.

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