From early 2024, NSW Police will be given the ability to issue up to 2 on the spot Criminal Infringement Notices (CIN) to adults for personal drug use and small quantity drug possession offences.
A CIN is usually a $400 fine however under this new scheme the fine can be waived if the person completes a drug and alcohol intervention program. If the program is not completed, the penalty will be enforced by Revenue NSW.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage people who get an Infringement Notice to seek further education and health support. It will hopefully reduce the contact with the criminal justice system for first and second time drug possession users.
The new scheme gives the Police another tool to use in their kit instead of sending someone to Court. However, it is not mandatory for Police to issue an on-the-spot fine, it will be entirely up to their discretion and dependent on the situation.
This scheme will not apply to large scale production and manufacturing of drugs nor will it apply to convicted drug supplier or traffickers.
It is still an offence to possess and use illicit drugs however the scheme seeks to encourage low level drug users to engage with health and education services. It is anticipated that the scheme will divert thousands away from the Court system each year.
The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.