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Repeat driver offences on the rise

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
The launch of Operation Overview.
Camera IconThe launch of Operation Overview. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

More Albany drivers are being taken off the road for repeated traffic offences and then blowing a second chance to stay behind the wheel, according to Department of Transport figures.

Statistics released by the DoT showed a 48 per cent increase in Albany drivers who were gi-ven another opportunity to stay on the road through WA’s Double or Nothing law last financial year.

Drivers who elect to take the Double or Nothing option can drive for the next 12 months as long as they do not commit an offence that accrues more than one demerit point.

If they offend again in the year-long good-behaviour period, they are suspended for double the original penalty.

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In the last financial year, 85 Albany drivers elected to take the Double or Nothing option, up from 56 drivers in the 2016-17 financial year.

However, almost a third of the drivers have re-offended and had their original penalty doubled as a result in the last two years.

Statewide figures released in February showed 6812 drivers chose the Double or Nothing option last year but 1839 of them re-offended within a year.

Under the Double or Nothing law, drivers who lose their licence through a demerit point disqualification cannot apply for an extraordinary licence.

Applications for extraordinary licences in Albany also increased in the last year, with 57 drivers applying to have their licence reinstated with conditions, up from 44 in 2016-17.

The conditions usually allow driving for work or medical reasons but not all applications are successful as they are judged on a case-by-case basis by a magistrate.

The Alcohol Interlock Scheme, also designed to give repeat and serious drink-drivers another chance on the roads, has seen six Albany drivers have the breath-test machines fitted to their cars in the last year.

The new laws force the driver to blow a blood alcohol level under 0.02 per cent for the car to start.

The scheme applies to first-time drink-drivers caught with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or above and repeat drink-drivers convicted of two or more drink-driving offences within five years.

The scheme applies to first-time drink-drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or above.

It will also apply to repeat offenders convicted of two or more drink-driving offences within five years.

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