New state laws target repeat drink drivers, smokers and litterbugs
DRINK drivers, smokers and litterbugs will all have to curb their behaviour following the introduction of a range of new laws introduced for 2015.
First in line are repeat and high-range (0.150 or above) drink driving offenders.
From February 1 they will be subject to mandatory "alcohol interlocks" for a minimum of 12 months, on top of any suspension of licence.
"The program could see up to 6000 new drink driving offenders enter the program each year," NSW Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said.
"Most offenders face up to their actions and don't re-offend, but unfortunately one in six offenders will get another drink driving offence within five years - it is this group we are targeting."
Alcohol interlocks don't let people start a car unless they pass a breath test.
Program participants must only drive a vehicle with an interlock device installed at their own expense ($2200 plus) and must drive with a zero blood alcohol concentration at all times.
People who attempt to help participants evade the system will also face fines of $2200.
Minister Gay has also cracked down on able-bodied people who park in disabled parking spots.
These "selfish lowlifes" will not only be hit with the existing $519 fine, the highest in the country, but will now also lose one demerit point, he said.
"I'm outraged by able bodied people who steal disabled car parks just to make their life easier," Mr Gay said. "The only people who can legally park in a disabled car park are those holding a valid mobility parking sticker.
The public will also be able to help enforce anti-littering laws after Environment Minister Rob Stokes decided fines for littering from vehicles can be issued based on reports from the public.
"We want people to know that, if they litter from a vehicle, they run the risk of being seen, being reported and facing a hefty penalty," he said.
Cigarette butts made up more than 90% of litter reported from vehicles, and were a serious fire risk, he said.
The new reporting system will be up and running from February 1, and fines will be issued for offences from March 1.
All reports will undergo a verification process before a fine is issued.
Smoking in all National Parks across New South Wales has also been banned, and will occur park by park through 2015.
Under the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation, you can be fined $300 for smoking where the ban applies.
On-the-spot fines will be issued as a last resort, and only to repeat offenders, or until the ban is well understood by the community.
Consumers will have greater protection from shoddy construction work under tougher new home building laws, the NSW Fair Trading Minister, Matthew Mason-Cox, said.
Builders and traders now face up to 12 months in prison if they are repeat offenders of unlicensed contracting work or don't have the required insurance.