Mike Stevens | Oct 11, 2010

The Victorian Government has announced tough new changes to the state's 'hoon' laws this week, giving police the option to immediately impound vehicles for 14 days on a first offence.

Until this week, police in Victoria could only impound a first-time offender's vehicle for 48 hours.

Roads Minister Tim Pallas said the Government had increased impoundment times as part of a range of strong measures in the Road Safety Amendment (Hoon Driving) Bill, approved in Parliament this week.

The changes to the legislation also allow police to impound cars for a wider range of offences, including repeat offences of unlicensed or drink driving (specifically with blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more) and drug driving.

Extreme speeding and disqualified driving offenders also face tougher penalties.

"The courts will also be able to impose stronger vehicle impoundment sanctions, with a first offence of extreme speeding (70 km per hour or more over the speed limit) now able to result in up to three months impoundment or immobilisation of the offender's vehicle,” Mr Pallas said.

Police will also have the ability to immobilise cars by fitting a special steering-wheel lock to the vehicle.

As before, serial offenders face having their vehicles crushes or sold, with the proceeds used to assist victims of crime.

The new laws are set to go into operation early next year.

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