THE failure of the State Government to empower magistrates to jail drug impaired drivers has been blasted by a Warrnambool MP.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said she raised the issue in May and nothing had been done since by the Labor Government.
On Monday Andrew Fortune, 50, of Otway Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to three counts of drug driving and was re-sentenced on four similar charges after the new offending breached a community corrections order.
Magistrate Jon Klestadt said state laws meant he was unable to jail drug drivers, with the maximum penalty a fine.
Fortune was convicted, fined $2250 and his licence was cancelled for 12 months.
Mrs Britnell said the issue was raised with the State Government when Fortune was in court during May.
"Magistrates have made it clear they are frustrated due to their lack of powers," she said.
"Drug driving is a blight on our community. We need the appropriate laws to address exactly these circumstances.
"The Labor Government has had ample time to address this issue and failed to do so. It's time for action, in fact, well past time for action."
Mrs Britnell said all road users were being put at risk by drug drivers.
"We don't tolerate drink or drug driving and the community expectation is that magistrates have the power to act - to jail offenders when necessary," she said.
"These laws are not difficult to change but the Labor Government is soft on crime. This lack of action is just typical behaviour by this government.”
Victorian Attorney General Martin Pakula has been approached for a response.