Four times in three weeks; WTF?

deezagood 12 June 2009 42

I have been randomly breath tested four (yes, four) times in the past three weeks.

While this in itself does not warrant comment, the fact that I had never once been RBT’d in the previous five years of living in Canberra makes this sudden flurry of breath testing quite interesting.

The other intriguing aspect is that three of the four occasions have occurred prior to 1030am on weekdays.

Whilst I applaud the increased police vigour, I must question the rationale behind morning tests (surely people are more likely to drink and drive of an evening or at very least after lunchtime?).

Has anybody else noticed this sudden increase in RBT activity? Are there end-of-year testing quotas that need to be met?


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42 Responses to Four times in three weeks; WTF?
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deezagood deezagood 12:30 pm 13 Jun 09

GnT said :

My theory is that police have quota to fill for number of people tested, not number of people caught. Each person they catch over the limit adds time and work. So on a weekday morning they can get through their quota relatively quickly, but on a weekend evening they have to waste time actually processing drunk drivers.

Call me a cynic …

I was actually thinking the same thing; until all of these Rioters convinced me that there are apparently lots of people that drive around drunk during weekday mornings!

ant ant 11:41 am 13 Jun 09

Well, it’s not surprising as in recent months, the police have expressed Disappointment at the numbers of people they’re catching over teh limit. So it figures that they are off to catch more of them. I still haven’t seen any but doubtless shall.

Qbn police used to set up next to the red rooter a lot but haven’t in years, not sure where they’ve moved to. I know the Bung Cop is quite active as in his column in the local he reports on those he’s caught (he is Disappointed, too).

You often see police out on Dairy Flat Rd (both sides) with a hairdryer, but they only spend a short time there. Quite effective, I’m sure they get a lot of people. If they set up at the 60 zone outside the airport, they’d clean up!

GnT GnT 9:49 am 13 Jun 09

My theory is that police have quota to fill for number of people tested, not number of people caught. Each person they catch over the limit adds time and work. So on a weekday morning they can get through their quota relatively quickly, but on a weekend evening they have to waste time actually processing drunk drivers.

Call me a cynic …

bd84 bd84 10:10 pm 12 Jun 09

Thumper said :

I don’t see why they don’t just set up outside a club on a Friday or Saturday night and nab everyone who drives out of the car park.

Why do you think they’ve nabbed a record number of drunk drivers this financial year? They’ve done that quite a few times in Civic and around the place. The increase is directly related to an increase in the number of RBT.

Having said that, I’ve been on the roads for 8 or so years and I have been RBT’d once, been waved through about 2. That one time I was stopped was late night about 4 years ago as I was on the way home from work. I’ve driven at all hours over the years, including various times on new years eve and morning, didn’t even see one police car.

astrojax astrojax 7:42 pm 12 Jun 09

I cannot remember the last time I saw a policeman checking speeds instead of a camera

they do it quite often on limestone, by the lone pine at the war memorial; and i have also seen them set this up by the being-remodelled barton building on kings ave… you must need to get out more, dvaey! ; )

and further to your excellent advice, ozi, don’t drive drunk anyway – not just ’cause of a chance to get caught…

Ozi Ozi 6:32 pm 12 Jun 09

You tend to nab some good high-range readings during the mornings,and these are generally the chronic alcoholics.

You also get the people who think that even though they were pissed enough to fall over and vomit at 3am sunday morning, they are fine to drive by 10am because of a sleep. These idiots need to be caught, and as such RBT will continue.

Oh and there’s not much point having RANDOM breath testing only at night on the weekends. The whole point is to be visible so that people are aware of a constant chance of being breath tested, and due to this, don’t drive drunk.

Fisho Fisho 5:28 pm 12 Jun 09

If you’ve ever done any driving as part of work in this town you’ll know that these early morning sessions catch a few drunks, probably a few defect cars and people driving without licenses as well.
I recall one RBT near Calwell @11am where they had netted 5 dunces.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 5:18 pm 12 Jun 09

4 times in 3 weeks?! LOL! About 14 years i was tested 4 times in one night.

First time coming out of the carpark across from Baileys Corner in Civic, then about 5 min’s later on Commonwealth Ave going towards Parly House (just after the bridge), then about a couple of hours later on the other side of Commonwealth Ave coming back into Civic after picking someone up in Woden and finally, driving home along William Hovell.

Not sure if I can really count the William Hovell one though as when I wound down my window and the cop leaned over I just said, “What, again?” He asked me what I was talking about and when I told him this was No. 4 for the evening he asked me where the other three had been. When I told him the locations he simply said “well, if you’re still in your car you must have been under the limit” and kindly sent me on my way.

I am pleased to report all instances were friendly and professional.

dvaey dvaey 4:41 pm 12 Jun 09

Another thought worth considering, is that by calling in their RBT powers, police have an easy way to check licence and registration details, since they can pull you over without reason, simply to perform a random test, then check your other details while youre stopped. This can sometimes be a trigger for someone trying to outrun the police, and making it evident that theyre wanted, as we often seem to hear of vehicles on riotact who get into a chase after police attempt to initiate a roadside stop.

If police setup shop on the road and simply pulled drivers over asking to see their licence then sending them on their way, there’d be much more outcry than if they defend their actions by claiming its anti drink-driving, so this simply covers their butts.

dvaey dvaey 4:35 pm 12 Jun 09

Ive driven pizza delivery for the last 6 years between 5-10pm in the evenings, and can only recall once that Ive been breath tested in that time. I always expect to see them setup, and always seem to find myself disappointed, to think that if I can drive as many km as I do without being checked, how easily could a drunk person do it.

I was nearly going to actually start a riotact post yesterday, when after travelling down Adelaide Ave, I saw an actual marked police car with an actual policeman using a radar gun without a camera. I cannot remember the last time I saw a policeman checking speeds instead of a camera (other than my trips down the Hume, and even then I find Im generally lucky to see one highway patrol vehicle per 500km travelled.)

astrojax astrojax 4:23 pm 12 Jun 09

deezagood said :

I agree that morning testing is valid on perhaps a Saturday or Sunday morning, and maybe early morning during the week to catch the drunk-driving-home or drunk-driving-to-work folks … but I still think that a 10am test on a Wednesday morning is probably not going to catch as many people as say a 10pm test on a Friday night. I very rarely see RBT stations set up late on a Friday or Saturday night in Canberra, but maybe that is because I myself am not out as much at that time? I also found the increased incidence of RBT a bit strange (noting that I don’t think this is a bad thing).

while there may be fewer drivers over the limit at these midweek morning times, the volume of traffic in which they drive mean that the chances of their inflicting serious damage [ie injury] is increased – don’t forget, some people work shifts, others have a variety of reasons for flexible working hours, so one shouldn’t assume that just ’cause [jealously] you yourself aren’t under the weather that other drivers aren’t…

i got stopped twice in a few hours by the same copper a few years back – he gave me one look the second time, shook his head and laughed to himself and waved me on. noice.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 4:22 pm 12 Jun 09

Cops are tops.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 4:00 pm 12 Jun 09

Good work AFP.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 2:18 pm 12 Jun 09

As they should

There is NO REASON for DUI!

deezagood deezagood 1:34 pm 12 Jun 09

Good!

chewy14 chewy14 1:32 pm 12 Jun 09

Thumper said :

I don’t see why they don’t just set up outside a club on a Friday or Saturday night and nab everyone who drives out of the car park.

They did this the other weekend on the south side.

Nabbed quite a few of the locals who live in the area and were driving home.

deezagood deezagood 1:22 pm 12 Jun 09

I agree that morning testing is valid on perhaps a Saturday or Sunday morning, and maybe early morning during the week to catch the drunk-driving-home or drunk-driving-to-work folks … but I still think that a 10am test on a Wednesday morning is probably not going to catch as many people as say a 10pm test on a Friday night. I very rarely see RBT stations set up late on a Friday or Saturday night in Canberra, but maybe that is because I myself am not out as much at that time? I also found the increased incidence of RBT a bit strange (noting that I don’t think this is a bad thing).

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 1:21 pm 12 Jun 09

Because the clubs are not where the serious long term alcoholics hang out.

They are just (if not more) dangerous as the drunk club crowd.

Thumper Thumper 1:00 pm 12 Jun 09

I don’t see why they don’t just set up outside a club on a Friday or Saturday night and nab everyone who drives out of the car park.

Inappropriate Inappropriate 12:58 pm 12 Jun 09

I’ve had the early morning breath test on the way to work. While I can understand the value of the early morning test, I have to question the return for value of doing it during the middle of the week – surely they’re likely to catch more people on a Sunday/Monday morning and not a Wednesday/Thursday morning? Who goes on a bender early in the week?

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