Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Transport

Chamberlains - complete legal services for business

When is a random breath test not random?

By Alderney - 10 April 2012 38

I was driving the diesel Golf southbound along Lady Denman Drive on Saturday afternoon with Mrs and Master Alderney when we happened on a police car blocking all traffic heading in that direction and funnelling it into a car park area for ‘random’ breath testing.

Now, I’m all for the police ensuring that drink impaired drivers are taken off the road. I don’t want to share the road with those so afflicted whilst driving around with my wife and child anymore than most of you, but there was absolutely nothing random about this at all. Every driver travelling along this section of road was subjected to a test.

There was only two police performing the tests, however in the time I was lined up before going on my way, one was otherwise occupied with a driver who it appeared was not in any trouble for his breath analysis, but for some other reason. He was quite obviously not being allowed to go anywhere using his car.

However, apart from a lack of any ‘randomness’ in the testing of drivers, there appeared to be no-one policing any vehicles that might have come around the bend, seen the bank-up of cars with a police van advertising a ‘random’ breath test, and done a u-turn, as any drink impaired driver with a modicum of nous would have done.

So, when did the random go out of random breath test?

For the record I counted (1 to 10) and was allowed on my way.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
38 Responses to
When is a random breath test not random?
16
Disinformation 12:37 pm
10 Apr 12
#

How is this difficult to assess?
Because there is no testing on all drivers at all times in all location, anything else is has a degree of randomness about it.

I’ve also seen police give chase to vehicles who took obvious action to avoid the chance of being tested.

Report this comment

17
Mr Evil 12:45 pm
10 Apr 12
#

“However, apart from a lack of any ‘randomness’ in the testing of drivers, there appeared to be no-one policing any vehicles that might have come around the bend, seen the bank-up of cars with a police van advertising a ‘random’ breath test, and done a u-turn, as any drink impaired driver with a modicum of nous would have done.”

The AFP’s Hellfire-armed MQ-9 Reaper deals with those people…………

Report this comment

18
Blen_Carmichael 1:02 pm
10 Apr 12
#

As usual, Wiki has all the answers:

Logical determinism or Determinateness is the notion that all propositions, whether about the past, present, or future, are either true or false. Note that one can support Causal Determinism without necessarily supporting Logical Determinism and vice versa (depending on one’s views on the nature of time, but also randomness). The problem of free will is especially salient now with Logical Determinism: how can choices be free, given that propositions about the future already have a truth value in the present (i.e. it is already determined as either true or false)? This is referred to as the problem of future contingents.

Adequate determinism focuses on the fact that, even without a full understanding of microscopic physics, we can predict the distribution of 1000 coin tosses. Often synonymous with Logical Determinism are the ideas behind Spatio-temporal Determinism or Eternalism: the view of special relativity. J. J. C. Smart, a proponent of this view, uses the term “tenselessness” to describe the simultaneous existence of past, present, and future. In physics, the “block universe” of Hermann Minkowski and Albert Einstein assumes that time is a fourth dimension (like the three spatial dimensions). In other words, all the other parts of time are real, like the city blocks up and down a street, although the order in which they appear depends on the driver (see Rietdijk–Putnam argument).

Report this comment

19
thatsnotme 1:25 pm
10 Apr 12
#

Alderney said :

thatsnotme said :

So how do you think a random test should work?

I would have thought use of the word, ‘random’ would be the give away here. Everyone was tested, nothing ‘random’ at all.

Grats on obviously not even bothering to read my entire post. As I said initially, “The random nature of the breath test is self selecting here. The Police don’t know who will be driving along the road at the time they set up for testing, so the drivers breath tested will be a random selection of people.”

So this test was completely random. If you’d driven down Parkes Way, you wouldn’t have been tested. If you were on Barry Drive, you wouldn’t have been tested. The fact you and the family were driving down Lady Denman, at the same time as the Police had set up for breath testing, is a random set of circumstances. The fact that everybody was tested takes nothing away from the random nature of the testing. If, however, the Police didn’t stop everyone, it would no longer be random, because the Police would be choosing who to pull over and who to let pass.

But hey, if you want to label me a tool because you suck at reading comprehension, then go right ahead.

Report this comment

20
devils_advocate 1:35 pm
10 Apr 12
#

p1 said :

I think that the police should do more of this type of testing. The only time I have ever objected was when they were set up on Belconnen Way at 8:15am on a weekday, between Aranda and Cook. The traffic was backed up to Kippax…. But even that was probably worth it from a “visibility of policing” stand point – just so long as they don’t do it too often.

This is to catch people who are still “over” from the night before, and from what I hear does a lot of business (judging from a small sample from ACT magistrate’s court). I’m not 100% sold on whether these types of tests (i.e. testing hangover-edness rather than actual drunkenness) is genuine enforcement or cynical trapping, as being hungover is not really the same as being drunk (although I never drive in either condition).

Report this comment

21
p1 2:14 pm
10 Apr 12
#

devils_advocate said :

p1 said :

I think that the police should do more of this type of testing. The only time I have ever objected was when they were set up on Belconnen Way at 8:15am on a weekday, between Aranda and Cook. The traffic was backed up to Kippax…. But even that was probably worth it from a “visibility of policing” stand point – just so long as they don’t do it too often.

This is to catch people who are still “over” from the night before, and from what I hear does a lot of business (judging from a small sample from ACT magistrate’s court). I’m not 100% sold on whether these types of tests (i.e. testing hangover-edness rather than actual drunkenness) is genuine enforcement or cynical trapping, as being hungover is not really the same as being drunk (although I never drive in either condition).

I have nothing against them stopping people in the morning – my issue was one of the benefit of this police work vrs the fact they pissed off half the commuters in Belco.

…and if you still have the alcohol in your blood the next morning, you are still drunk. And in addition to that, you are now tired (you body doesn’t rest very well while trying to sober up), and probably dehydrated. None of those things make you any safer on the road.

Report this comment

22
RaTTyRaTT 2:25 pm
10 Apr 12
#

I have absolutely no problem with breath testing for the record, however I have a MASSIVE problem with where they setup the testing places. It was not long ago that they set up a testing area on Erindale Drive (near the large roundabout) working to pick up traffic coming from Woden to Tuggeranong. You go round the corner, and “no way to get away” is probably the thought some wise-arse had at the station.
Well, that’s fine – except for one thing. It’s a great way to A: test the brakes of people coming down Yamba Drive towards Tuggeranong (on the downside of the hill) and B: how to get a police officer killed in the line of duty.’
I got pulled by this setup, after having to emergency brake and gave the officer who came up to me a massive earful. Mostly he acted all high & mighty, until I pointed out a couple of factors, 1. if someone is doing 80Km/h down that hill, what is the stopping distance they have if they come round the corner, and the police setup about 25 – 50 metres beyond. 2. I believe Occupational Health & Safety would have a conniption fit if they saw that (along with the Police Union.)
It was the dumbest place to put a RBT I have ever seen, and told the guy that. Said to him that if he moved about another 100m down the road, he could get traffic coming off Sulwood Dr. and still be safer than where they were.

So, moral of the story, Cops aren’t always right, and most certainly it would be nice to meet a cop that was actually teachable/listening to people around them, rather than thinking he was the best thing since AIR was invented… (LOL)
Note: they didn’t follow my advice, thus a number of vehicles were doing emergency braking and nearly killing themselves on that corner, but the cops did clear out soon after… about 30 mins later they were gone.

Report this comment

23
niftydog 2:26 pm
10 Apr 12
#

Alderney said :

niftydog said :

I don’t understand why this bothers you.

I’m sorry, did I say it bothered me? Oh that’s right. I forgot about the bit that you know what’s going on in my head more than I do. My apologies.

You didn’t have to say it – it’s obvious from the tone of your posts. Why else would you go to the trouble of venting on this forum if it didn’t bother you?

Alderney said :

You obviously have a diferent understanding of the word ‘random’ than the rest of the English speaking world.

I don’t agree with your interpretation of ‘random’ as it relates to breath testing, but I’m perfectly comfortable with that.

Report this comment

24
Ben_Dover 2:42 pm
10 Apr 12
#

Ben_Dover said :

So, when did the random go out of random breath test?

Picking a group of drvers, or even all drivers using a particular route in fact, is a good way of ensuring randomness.

To pick and choose cars out of passing traffic is a way of ensuring bias.

Which bit of that do you find confusing?

Report this comment

25
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:50 pm
10 Apr 12
#

Roadside breathe testing shouldn’t be random, it should be targeted based on detailed profiling. There must be heaps of data about the people who have been caught driving, and this should be used more to improve the effectiveness of catching those who drink drive.

For example, certain days and times, certain places, hell even certain types of cars.

Report this comment

26
Jim Jones 3:19 pm
10 Apr 12
#

I, for one, am completely disgusted.

Why do they always do so-called ‘random’ breath testing on people driving cars? If it’s really going to be random, then they need to stop profiling people driving cars and do some *real* random testing: sneaking into bedrooms in the middle of the night, and truly random stuff like that.

Also, why just test people? That doesn’t seem particularly ‘random’ to me. I think it would be far more random if they started testing domesticated alpacas, pieces of driftwood, black carrots, sedimentary rocks and bits of Legos.

Report this comment

27
Jim Jones 3:26 pm
10 Apr 12
#

RaTTyRaTT said :

I have absolutely no problem with breath testing for the record, however I have a MASSIVE problem with where they setup the testing places. It was not long ago that they set up a testing area on Erindale Drive (near the large roundabout) working to pick up traffic coming from Woden to Tuggeranong. You go round the corner, and “no way to get away” is probably the thought some wise-arse had at the station.
Well, that’s fine – except for one thing. It’s a great way to A: test the brakes of people coming down Yamba Drive towards Tuggeranong (on the downside of the hill) and B: how to get a police officer killed in the line of duty.’
I got pulled by this setup, after having to emergency brake and gave the officer who came up to me a massive earful. Mostly he acted all high & mighty, until I pointed out a couple of factors, 1. if someone is doing 80Km/h down that hill, what is the stopping distance they have if they come round the corner, and the police setup about 25 – 50 metres beyond. 2. I believe Occupational Health & Safety would have a conniption fit if they saw that (along with the Police Union.)
It was the dumbest place to put a RBT I have ever seen, and told the guy that. Said to him that if he moved about another 100m down the road, he could get traffic coming off Sulwood Dr. and still be safer than where they were.

So, moral of the story, Cops aren’t always right, and most certainly it would be nice to meet a cop that was actually teachable/listening to people around them, rather than thinking he was the best thing since AIR was invented… (LOL)
Note: they didn’t follow my advice, thus a number of vehicles were doing emergency braking and nearly killing themselves on that corner, but the cops did clear out soon after… about 30 mins later they were gone.

If you’re travelling too fast to stop when the car in front of you stops, then it sure as sh1t ain’t the cops fault.

So you were tailgating and screeched to a stop, the gave the cop ‘an earful’, told him ‘It was the dumbest place to put a RBT I have ever seen’, and then you complain that they the police are ‘all high and mighty’ and ‘won’t take advice’?

BWAAA HA HA HAHAH AHAHA HAA

Report this comment

28
Evil_Kitten 3:44 pm
10 Apr 12
#

Of course an RBT station set up like that is random!

What’s not random is when you’re minding your own business, not speeding or doing anything wrong, and they do a U-bolt in traffic to turn around and chase you down for one. Which is what has happened to me a few times, undoubtedly because of the kind of car I drive.

I’m not complaining by the way. I’m just saying your “not random” has nothing on my “not random”.

Report this comment

29
chewy14 5:02 pm
10 Apr 12
#

Jim Jones said :

If you’re travelling too fast to stop when the car in front of you stops, then it sure as sh1t ain’t the cops fault.

So you were tailgating and screeched to a stop, the gave the cop ‘an earful’, told him ‘It was the dumbest place to put a RBT I have ever seen’, and then you complain that they the police are ‘all high and mighty’ and ‘won’t take advice’?

BWAAA HA HA HAHAH AHAHA HAA

Where did he say he was tailgating? He said he had to perform an emergency stop because the RBT was set up 25-50m from a corner.

I’d actually like to know what the requirements for setting up an RBT are with regards to road safety for the police and the public.
I too have seen some RBT setups where they didn’t look too safe.

Report this comment

30
liability 5:56 pm
10 Apr 12
#

As a side note, there was the much reported [at the time] incident in Tassie in 2009 when the Tassie Police checked every single vehicle driving out of the Falls Festival – a large rock music festival.

There was up to a six hour wait for vehicles to get through the rbt check point. Lots of unhappy campers

Report this comment

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site