10k breath tests nab 100 drunks (or thereabouts)

johnboy 3 July 2013 27

As part of its multi-agency road safety strategy, ACT Policing actively targeted drink and drug-affected drivers during the month of June.

Police conducted 9,802 breath tests during June removing 104 drink-drivers from Canberra roads, as well as three drivers detected under the influence of illicit drugs.

Between 2am and 5am last Thursday (June 27) four drivers were detected drink driving resulting in Immediate Suspension Notices (ISN) being issued.

A 49-year-old Higgins man returned a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.103, along with a 22-year-old MacQuarie man (BAC reading 0.120), a 34-year-old Harrison man (BAC reading 0.093) and a 23-year-old McKellar man (BAC reading 0.149).

All four drivers were summonsed to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court at a later date.

On Saturday (June 29) a 43-year-old Lyneham woman returned a BAC level of 0.258 resulting in an ISN being issued.

Acting Superintendent of Traffic Operations Rod Anderson said he was disappointed in the number of impaired drivers on our roads.

“It’s alarming that despite our best efforts, people continue to choose to drink and drive. Our message is simply not getting across, there are some people out there still not getting it,” Acting Superintendent Anderson said.

“With every police car equipped with breath testing equipment you can be caught anywhere, anytime. Our message is simple: drink or drive”.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]


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27 Responses to 10k breath tests nab 100 drunks (or thereabouts)
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rhino rhino 2:47 pm 08 Jul 13

Kayem said :

rhino said :

ezy10z said :

Does anyone have an understanding about how they police drug driving? I understand its a mouth swab, but can police pull you over for a random swab as they do for a random breath test? and exactly what drugs are detected? what if you had smoked a joint a few night earlier, would this show up?

That’s one issue I see. From what I’ve read it does appear that you can be picked up for it long after the effects have fully worn off. Some things may last an hour or less and be detectable for a few days. That’s equivalent to being pulled over on a wednesday for going out drinking on the weekend. Hardly reasonable really. Especially when cannabis is not illegal in the ACT. I’m not certain what the detectable times are though, but I did google it a year ago or so and some of the times were unreasonable.

Cannabis is illegal to possess or consume in the ACT, however if the amount concerned is less than 25 grams of dried cannabis or two non-hydroponically grown plants for personal use, police have the discretion to issue a Simple Cannabis Offence Notice which provides for a civil penalty of $100 rather than involving a criminal charge.

So possession of small amounts of cannabis has been decriminalised in the ACT, but it is still illegal.

http://www.police.act.gov.au/crime-and-safety/drugs-and-alcohol/drugs-and-the-law.aspx

Ok it’s decriminalised, not fully legal. But if you’re allowed to grow your own for personal use and you have small quantities to use just for yourself then that is not illegal. The point I was making is that there exist scenarios where you aren’t being a criminal by smoking some marijuana in the ACT and therefore the fact that you have smoked it shouldn’t be an issue. Whether you are impaired to a dangerous level whilst driving is the issue. So having it detected in your system but not necessarily having any influence on you at that moment is not really what I’d consider something that should be punished on legal grounds in the ACT.

milkman milkman 6:50 pm 06 Jul 13

poetix said :

milkman said :

I get around the problem by having a self imposed limit of two drinks if I will be driving. Works great.

Yes, I have similar policies too, but as I know I am unreliable, I make other arrangements.

Then I can drink excessively.

🙂

Kayem Kayem 4:46 pm 06 Jul 13

rhino said :

ezy10z said :

Does anyone have an understanding about how they police drug driving? I understand its a mouth swab, but can police pull you over for a random swab as they do for a random breath test? and exactly what drugs are detected? what if you had smoked a joint a few night earlier, would this show up?

That’s one issue I see. From what I’ve read it does appear that you can be picked up for it long after the effects have fully worn off. Some things may last an hour or less and be detectable for a few days. That’s equivalent to being pulled over on a wednesday for going out drinking on the weekend. Hardly reasonable really. Especially when cannabis is not illegal in the ACT. I’m not certain what the detectable times are though, but I did google it a year ago or so and some of the times were unreasonable.

Cannabis is illegal to possess or consume in the ACT, however if the amount concerned is less than 25 grams of dried cannabis or two non-hydroponically grown plants for personal use, police have the discretion to issue a Simple Cannabis Offence Notice which provides for a civil penalty of $100 rather than involving a criminal charge.

So possession of small amounts of cannabis has been decriminalised in the ACT, but it is still illegal.

http://www.police.act.gov.au/crime-and-safety/drugs-and-alcohol/drugs-and-the-law.aspx

poetix poetix 2:32 pm 06 Jul 13

milkman said :

I get around the problem by having a self imposed limit of two drinks if I will be driving. Works great.

Yes, I have similar policies too, but as I know I am unreliable, I make other arrangements.

Then I can drink excessively.

milkman milkman 1:27 pm 06 Jul 13

I get around the problem by having a self imposed limit of two drinks if I will be driving. Works great.

bundah bundah 12:35 pm 06 Jul 13

The fact is that the mindset of those who decide to drink and drive is no different to those that deliberately run red lights, inappropriately speed etc. They don’t particularly care what the law says and no doubt many don’t think that they’re doing anything wrong so it’s very easy for them to justify their behaviour.

So, therefore with the current approach adopted by the legislators and judiciary NOTHING will ever change.Such is the carefree,she’ll be right mate aussie attitude that is deeply entrenched in our society.

General General 12:18 pm 06 Jul 13

BimboGeek said :

The police said: “Our message is simple: drink or drive.”

I think they mean drink NAND drive!

OR means that the naughty option is doing neither.

Even to say drink XOR drive is a little unfair on pedestrian teetotalers.

Can they please run their marketing slogans by a mathematician before they embarrass themselves any further?

I’m going to suggest that the police are not even the slightest bit embarrassed. I am actually struggling to understand what you were trying achieve with that post.

Genie Genie 11:56 am 06 Jul 13

Who cares what percentage this is ?

There was still 100 idiots that chose to drink and drive… And this is only those that got caught.

DrKoresh DrKoresh 1:01 am 06 Jul 13

rhino said :

What do people think of the BAC limit in Australia?
It’s 0.05 in Australia but 0.08 in the rest of the anglo western world.
The fact that a middle aged woman managed to get to her car and drive without crashing at 0.258 might be an indication that someone at 0.08 (less than a third as much) may actually be able to drive and react quite reasonably.

Ours was changed from that sometime in the 70’s or 80’s to the current legal limit. If you really care that much I’d suggest researching whether there was a measurable reduction in the amount of alcohol-related car accidents after the limit was changed. Just don’t drink and drive, it’s not that difficult is it?

LSWCHP LSWCHP 10:44 pm 05 Jul 13

BimboGeek said :

The police said: “Our message is simple: drink or drive.”

I think they mean drink NAND drive!

OR means that the naughty option is doing neither.

Even to say drink XOR drive is a little unfair on pedestrian teetotalers.

Can they please run their marketing slogans by a mathematician before they embarrass themselves any further?

Ahhh…I dunno. I understand what you’re saying, but I think that the message is clear so let’s just be glad for small mercies.

BimboGeek BimboGeek 10:05 pm 05 Jul 13

rhino said :

What do people think of the BAC limit in Australia?
It’s 0.05 in Australia but 0.08 in the rest of the anglo western world.
The fact that a middle aged woman managed to get to her car and drive without crashing at 0.258 might be an indication that someone at 0.08 (less than a third as much) may actually be able to drive and react quite reasonably.

Not me. I could probably drive safely at 0.05 if I was paying attention but at 0.05 I really am not.

In Australia every car crash where someone gets hurt is unusual. It gets on the news. This is good.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 8:31 pm 05 Jul 13

NellyBean said :

I’ve had my mouth swabbed a couple of times by road side RBT’s, it takes 20 minutes.

It would only take 20 minutes if you spent 15 minutes arguing with the Sgt.

liability liability 7:40 pm 05 Jul 13

Cannabis not illegal in the ACT? What have you been smoking? It is illegal, not sure why you would think otherwise.

rhino said :

ezy10z said :

Does anyone have an understanding about how they police drug driving? I understand its a mouth swab, but can police pull you over for a random swab as they do for a random breath test? and exactly what drugs are detected? what if you had smoked a joint a few night earlier, would this show up?

That’s one issue I see. From what I’ve read it does appear that you can be picked up for it long after the effects have fully worn off. Some things may last an hour or less and be detectable for a few days. That’s equivalent to being pulled over on a wednesday for going out drinking on the weekend. Hardly reasonable really. Especially when cannabis is not illegal in the ACT. I’m not certain what the detectable times are though, but I did google it a year ago or so and some of the times were unreasonable.

rhino rhino 4:41 pm 05 Jul 13

What do people think of the BAC limit in Australia?
It’s 0.05 in Australia but 0.08 in the rest of the anglo western world.
The fact that a middle aged woman managed to get to her car and drive without crashing at 0.258 might be an indication that someone at 0.08 (less than a third as much) may actually be able to drive and react quite reasonably.

rhino rhino 4:38 pm 05 Jul 13

ezy10z said :

Does anyone have an understanding about how they police drug driving? I understand its a mouth swab, but can police pull you over for a random swab as they do for a random breath test? and exactly what drugs are detected? what if you had smoked a joint a few night earlier, would this show up?

That’s one issue I see. From what I’ve read it does appear that you can be picked up for it long after the effects have fully worn off. Some things may last an hour or less and be detectable for a few days. That’s equivalent to being pulled over on a wednesday for going out drinking on the weekend. Hardly reasonable really. Especially when cannabis is not illegal in the ACT. I’m not certain what the detectable times are though, but I did google it a year ago or so and some of the times were unreasonable.

bundah bundah 3:36 pm 05 Jul 13

CraigT said :

steveu said :

This still means there were 100 idiots on the road.

There are thousands of idiots on the roads, and you don’t need to breathtest them to identify them

Classic point in case just an hour ago two absolute farktards thought they’d drive through red lights at Canberra/Ipswich Monaro Hwy bound. The totally unbelievable thing was that the lights were green for traffic on Canberra Ave both directions for approx. 3 seconds prior to them driving through the intersection and had it not been for the SUV who was in the right hand lane next to me stopping to avoid being hit and my instinctive reaction to also stop i would’ve been T-boned,quite possibly,by both farktards in their 4 wheel drives.

devils_advocate devils_advocate 3:07 pm 05 Jul 13

magiccar9 said :

bundah said :

To the Lyneham woman caught with a reading of 0.258,may i say very impressive drinking and then to get behind the wheel,awesome,you must be so proud!

I think its pretty impressive she managed to get to the RBT from her local watering hole. Actually with a reading like that I’m impressed she managed to get to her car.

On another note, the cops say they’re disappointed at the number of people caught. To be honest I’m quite amazed. Out of 10k tests only ~100 were over. If my math is correct that’s ~1% right? I think that’s pretty good considering. I’d be more included to be outraged at something like 10 – 20% myself.

That was 100 people that got caught. Who knows how many more were driving, and whether 1% is a representative sample of the proportion of drivers that are legally drunk at any given time. Estimating hidden populations is notoriously difficult. I presume the booze vans camp out at places where they think they’re likely to intercept the drivers, but I dunno. Maybe the drunk drivers stay away from the obvious places, and coppers adjust their plans to account for this?

CraigT CraigT 2:57 pm 05 Jul 13

steveu said :

This still means there were 100 idiots on the road.

There are thousands of idiots on the roads, and you don’t need to breathtest them to identify them

General General 1:22 pm 05 Jul 13

magiccar9 said :

bundah said :

To the Lyneham woman caught with a reading of 0.258,may i say very impressive drinking and then to get behind the wheel,awesome,you must be so proud!

I think its pretty impressive she managed to get to the RBT from her local watering hole. Actually with a reading like that I’m impressed she managed to get to her car.

On another note, the cops say they’re disappointed at the number of people caught. To be honest I’m quite amazed. Out of 10k tests only ~100 were over. If my math is correct that’s ~1% right? I think that’s pretty good considering. I’d be more included to be outraged at something like 10 – 20% myself.

That figure scares the crap out of me, that’s 100 potential fatal collisions or 100+ people in our hospitals.

steveu steveu 1:17 pm 05 Jul 13

This still means there were 100 idiots on the road. 1% is a good figure on face value against the sample size, but taken into the context of things it is still a worry that some people havent got the basic respect and intelligence to understand that driving whilst intoxicated is a selfish and dangerous act.

Please have a good time, dont carry on like a turkey – but just catch a cab or arrange a lift.

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