New South Wales Taking Keys of DUI's

Police Closer to Confiscating

LEGISLATION giving police the power to confiscate car keys from drunk
drivers was rushed through the New South Wales lower house last
night.

It is due to go to the upper house today but it remains unclear if
police will be able to put the new powers into effect over the Easter
weekend. A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Carl Scully said the
government wanted the legislation passed as soon as possible but that
getting operational instructions to police in a matter of two days could
prove difficult.

Police Minister Paul Whelan outlined the intent of the legislation
last week. He said police would be given the power to forbid drunks from
driving, confiscate their keys and hand the keys to someone capable of
driving. Police could keep the keys for as long as necessary to protect
drunk drivers from themselves, he said.

Mr Whelan said similar laws already existed in Tasmania and Victoria.
Mr Scully also said legislation cracking down on dangerous loads would be
introduced into parliament this session. Under proposed changes, owning,
driving, permitting or causing a dangerously loaded vehicle to be driven
would be an offence.

Anybody found liable where someone was killed or injured, or property
damaged, would face up to one year in jail, Mr Scully said.

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