A new law sees first-time offenders caught under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving lose their licence immediately for three months.
But a local woman who had her driver's licence suspended immediately, for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, regained her licence after just 11 days when she faced Armidale Local Court this week.
The Armidale highway patrol officer had immediately suspended her licence at the time the offence was committed, and the second test at the police station proved positive.
One of the objectives of the new law is to ensure penalties, including licence suspension and fines, are swiftly applied to low-level first-time offences.
At Armidale Local Court, the application to have the licence returned to the driver, under the special circumstances provisions, saw the woman's licence reinstated.
The court heard this does not mitigate the offence, with the driver pleading guilty but appealing for special consideration.
Magistrate Michael Holmes commented on the driver's good character and long commitment to local charitable work.
Introduced on May 20, the law sees drink drivers who are first-time, lower range offenders will receive an immediate three month licence suspension and fine of $561.
The driver will hand their license to police at the police station after that test.
Offenders who drive with the presence of illicit drugs for the first time will receive a $561 fine and a three month licence suspension if the offence is confirmed by laboratory analysis.
The main purpose of the bill - Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bill 2018 is to amend road transport legislation in order to tackle drink- and drug-driving behaviour by strengthening penalties and sanctions and enhancing enforcement.
These reforms relate to the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety Act) 2018, which introduced tougher penalties for driving under the influence offences.