Australia to scrap ‘drunken driving’ rules as booze consumption drops

The Australian government will scrap alcohol consumption rules aimed at stopping drunken driving and instead focus on “dynamic” alcohol sales to increase competition and drive down alcohol-related injuries, the government announced on Monday.

The change is part of a national package of measures designed to reduce alcohol-induced harms and improve public health.

“It’s about driving the economy, about driving safety, and it’s about encouraging competition,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said on Monday after announcing the changes to the Liquor and Gaming Act.

“We know the alcohol industry is suffering and that’s why we’re introducing the first-ever alcohol pricing scheme, and we’re giving the industry the tools they need to get the job done.”

Mr Morrison said he was committed to working with the industry to make changes that were cost-effective and fair.

“It has been proven over and over again, that we need competition and we need a level playing field for our consumers,” he said.

Under the proposed reforms, Australians would be required to pay $30 for each 12-pack of beer or wine sold.

It would also increase the number of bars in Sydney to 10, with the number expected to increase to 20, and increase the amount of alcohol sold at sports events to 50 per cent.

Mr Abbott said he wanted to see “drunk driving” and other issues such as drunk driving go away.

“I don’t think it’s a healthy environment for a nation,” he told reporters.

“The evidence shows it’s not a good environment to have drunk driving and other road accidents.”

And I’m determined to make sure that we keep the alcohol laws on the books and keep Australians safe.

“The ABC has contacted Mr Morrison’s office for comment.

Topics:government-and-politics,law-crime-and‑justice,government-prisons,australiaContact Louise JonesMore stories from Victoria

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