3 Sep 2010

Tougher drink-drive measures on the way

2:49 pm on 3 September 2010

Tougher penalties for people who kill while driving drunk are to be introduced into Parliament.

Warren Jenkins, who had 17 previous drink-driving convictions, was sentenced on Thursday to four years in prison for killing Katherine Kennedy while driving drunk and disqualified.

Her family says more innocent people will die on the roads if stronger sentences for repeat drink-drivers are not introduced.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce is not commenting on the case but says tougher penalties will be introduced into Parliament this month.

Under the changes, the maximum prison term for drink or drug-driving causing death and dangerous or reckless driving causing death would be doubled to up to 10 years in prison.

Ms Kennedy's brother, Chris Kennedy, says this is a positive step, but the family want drink-drivers to be taken off the roads at an early stage.

Also to be introduced are a zero drink-drive limit for recidivist drivers, and, for repeat drink-drivers, a vehicle-fitted breath device that locks the car if they are over the limit.