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RBT Avoiders

By Jethro 4 August 2012 55

Driving inbound along Parkes Way last night I was pleased to see a big RBT operation set up testing outbound traffic about 600-700 metres past the Bindubi Street exit. Judging by the number of cars left on the side of the road it looked like the police has successfully removed quite a few drink drivers from our roads.

However, as I waited at the Bindubi Street lights I saw in my rear-view mirror a number of outbound cars perform illegal u-turns over the median strip and high-tail it down Bindubi Street when they spotted the booze bus up ahead.

I was a little surprised that the RBT operation was set up in a place where people could see it a long way off and take action to avoid it. I was also surprised that there wasn’t a least 1 police officer stationed down near the Bindubi Street lights ready to catch people trying to avoid the breathalyser.

Most of all, I was furious at the pricks who were driving drunk on the road and avoiding responsibility for breaking the law.

Should the police be more careful about policing those avoiding the RBTs? Should there be much more severe penalties for drink drivers caught trying to avoid the tests? Am I wrong, and was there a police car further down Bindubi Street testing people there are well? Why is the site of RBT operations so rare that drink drivers figure it is worth taking the risk driving home drunk?

As for those of you who think it is ok to get behind the wheel when you’re drunk, I can only assume you have never experienced the grief of having a loved one killed by a drink driver. To me, the current punishments handed out to you do not reflect the severity of the crime you are committing.

What’s Your opinion?


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Mysteryman 2:58 pm 06 Aug 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Well can any of you peeps tell me for what reason somebody should legally be aloud to drive with high range blood alcohol level or to molest a chid? There are some thing that are inexcusable and the people that defend them are on the same level.

You seem to have trouble understanding certain foundational principles of our legal system. Let me break it down for you.

Not everybody who gets arrested has broken the law. Police sometimes make mistakes. The law is sometimes ambiguous. These are just two reasons why we allow defendants the right to a defense. That doesn’t mean we allow people to break the law when they feel like it.

Tooks 2:36 pm 06 Aug 12

LegalNut said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Well can any of you peeps tell me for what reason somebody should legally be aloud to drive with high range blood alcohol level or to molest a chid? There are some thing that are inexcusable and the people that defend them are on the same level.

Because we rely on laws to tell us what we can and cannot do and if those laws are not followed to the letter by both the individual and the State, then it leads to all sort of problems. On the one hand, no laws leads to a reckless and lawless state while enforcement of laws that don’t exist creates an arbitrary and inhumane justice system a la Syria.

The fact is that the law provides for a range of protections designe to ensure that those who are caused have actually committed a crime. In some cases this means the guilty get off but that is the price you pay to minimise the number of innocent who end up convicted.

In the case of drink driving, we have already provided a significant number of allowances to the State. For instance, the ability to require a person to undergo an evidentiary test without probable cause or other justification to suspect an offence doesn’t fly in other areas (for instance, murder). Thus, it makes sense that the police must dot every I and cross every T to have valid evidence and if that means a few people get off because the police use a non-gazetted breath analyser or for some other reason, I’m happy to live with that.

Somewhat ironic you call yourself Legalnut then demonstrate your lack of knowledge of the law.

Police don’t have the ability to require a person to undergo an evidentiary test without probable (you study American law?) cause. For an evidentiary test to take place, the driver has to return a positive roadside screening test (the reading of which is not admissible as evidence). A police officer can only take someone into custody (an arrest in effect) for the purpose of an evidentiary screening test after a failed screening test (or refusal/failure to submit to a screening test).

Tooks 2:24 pm 06 Aug 12

HenryBG said :

LegalNut said :

For instance, the ability to require a person to undergo an evidentiary test without probable cause or other justification to suspect an offence doesn’t fly in other areas (for instance, murder).

Precisely.

On the other hand, to echo LSWCHP, some relatives of mine were once raped by a man, so I think the police should conduct roadside stops to catch everybody in possession of a penis who should be locked up on account of their potential to rape people.

It must be a bit sad hitting middle age (and beyond), Henry. Your future is shorter than your past, the kids are soon to fly the coop, you don’t really have much ‘going on’. So you choose to spend countless hours a week writing deliberately inflammatory comments in every other thread, just so people will give you attention. As soon as every other poster here figures what you’re all about, hopefully more people will start ignoring you. It’s a bit sad, because you could probably contribute some interesting comments if you chose to stop this trolling crap.

Regarding the police doing targeted testing outside or near clubs/pubs – it already happens and has done for years. It would be great to see more of it though. Unfortunately, the government not only wants people caught, but they also want lots of screening tests done, hence the focus on big RBT set-ups so they can do as many tests as possible. If the focus moved to more targeted breath testing, then the number of apprehensions would probably increase greatly.

Harvyk1 @ #35
The way it works is pretty simple, the police alleged that you are DUI, now if you accept the fine on the spot you admit guilt on the spot, if you don’t accept the fine on the spot and instead take the matter to court it is then up to the court to determine guilt or innocence. Remember that your not actually guilty of DUI until you either accept the polices fine (and technically your not actually considered guilty until you pay the fine), or a magistrate states you are.

No, that is not how it works at all. Police don’t hand out fines for drink driving. They can give you an immediate licence suspension (90 days) depending on your reading, which magistrates seem to take into account when they’re deciding on a sentence (and they shouldn’t).

Police give you a roadside screening test. If that’s positive, you go back to the station (or the bus) where you do your evidentiary breath analysis. If you return a positive result, you’ll be given a court attendance notice, a summons (a few weeks later), or arrest (if police have grounds to do so).

When you go to court, you can plead guilty and cop the punishment, which may include a fine, disqualification etc.

If you choose to plead not guilty, then the matter will go to hearing, where the police witnesses and any other witnesses (including passengers in your car if you had any) will have to give evidence. The magistrate will make a decision and hand down the sentence (often on the same day, but not always).

A quick word on some of the sentences being handed out by ACT magistrates: I’ve seen people blow over 0.100 and receive non-conviction orders, which is absolutely pathetic. Harsher penalties often aren’t the answer, but I think weekend detention for repeat offenders would be a great start.

/rant

ToastFliesRED 2:20 pm 06 Aug 12

I saw a good setup a few years back now on New Year’s Eve, there was an RBT set up at the Canberra Region Visitors Centre on Northbourne heading South by the time you could see it the only option was to turn left onto Morphett St, where they had a second RBT unit set up. As I was heading home from work going North and completely sober at the time I did a 180 (legally) so I could be pulled over so I could gladly wish the officer a happy new year while blowing 0.000

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:14 pm 06 Aug 12

johnboy said :

targetted is an un-warranted search. The pseudo randomness creates a legal loophole.

Un-warranted in the legal sense? There are other law enforcement functions within Australia that are clearly targetted (and for good reason) without a warrant in sight.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:07 pm 06 Aug 12

I don’t know why we think ‘random’ is a good idea. I’d much prefer to see ‘targeted’.

    johnboy 2:10 pm 06 Aug 12

    targetted is an un-warranted search. The pseudo randomness creates a legal loophole.

Felix the Cat 1:40 pm 06 Aug 12

Evil_Kitten said :

Those big regular operations aren’t the only ones around town. Just because you don’t see random ones in the suburbs (and why would you if you don’t live in that suburb) doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

I got breathalised at my local high school at about 5pm a few months ago.

And more recently at the end of the Tuggeranong Parkway where it becomes Drakeford Drive at about midnight on a SUNDAY in the freezing cold. It was just a lone cop car with 2 officers. I had come from the northside was literally the only car on the road. I think they were grateful for a customer lol

So it’s not always the ‘expected’ 3am, major road out of Civic, on a Saturday night. To those saying it’s predictable and easy to avoid the known spots, there’s no way in hell I’d risk it! In all the years I’ve been driving, mine have pretty much all been random times and places like above!

I understand the “randomness” of these breath test locations but the idea of the game is to stop drink driving so wouldn’t it be better to set up where and when you are likely to catch and stop the most offenders? Midnight on Sunday at North Cooma you are unlikely to catch any drink drivers. Friday or Saturday night around the corner from the local pub/club there would likely be more drunks driving than sober people. Plenty of pubs/clubs to set up near so it can still be “random”, doesn’t have to be the same one every time.

HenryBG 1:38 pm 06 Aug 12

KeenGolfer said :

Rubbish. The average person is severely affected at 0.15 and is all over the road. That’s not from plucking figures out of the air but from experience with many drivers from accidents and drivers being stopped for drink driving. 0.15 is enough for many to run off the road and crash.

What’s that got to do with stopping drivers who are driving safely, within all the rules of the road, and testing them on the off chance they might have a BAC which exceeds whichever arbitrary level has been set?

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:11 pm 06 Aug 12

There are plenty of people who drink and rive but get home in one piece. Drinking and driving does not mean you will have an accident, it is just one of many risk factors that has to be managed.

In some respects it’s like speeding. There are plenty of people who speed and yet never have a problem. But it is still a risk factor.

The law has to be set at some point, though, and for drink driving I don’t think it is unreasonable.

harvyk1 12:54 pm 06 Aug 12

KeenGolfer said :

harvyk1 said :

Also it should be pointed out, that when you do drink drive, unless you are very high range (eg 0.2 / 0.3 or more) you probably are still able to control the car in normal circumstances, eg starting / stopping / steering the car. .

Rubbish. The average person is severely affected at 0.15 and is all over the road. That’s not from plucking figures out of the air but from experience with many drivers from accidents and drivers being stopped for drink driving. 0.15 is enough for many to run off the road and crash.

You didn’t read what I said, the benchmark was simply starting / stopping / steering the car, and ultimately getting to your destination in one piece, not doing it well.

Provided that you don’t have something like a roo jump out in front of you, or a car fail to stop at a stop sign etc, you most likely will get home, and there in is the danger, because when you’ve gotten home it diminishes the “drink drive = YOU WILL DIE” messages as your obviously an above average driver who is able to handle their grog and still drive.

DrKoresh 12:41 pm 06 Aug 12

HenryBG said :

snoopydoc said :

(SNIP a whole lot of particularly ineffectual assertions)

(SNIP- entire post can be summarised thus; “I don’t like what you have to say so I’m going to pretend you didn’t say it. P.S I’m an idiot”)

Cuts both ways, dear Henry.

KeenGolfer 12:25 pm 06 Aug 12

harvyk1 said :

Also it should be pointed out, that when you do drink drive, unless you are very high range (eg 0.2 / 0.3 or more) you probably are still able to control the car in normal circumstances, eg starting / stopping / steering the car. .

Rubbish. The average person is severely affected at 0.15 and is all over the road. That’s not from plucking figures out of the air but from experience with many drivers from accidents and drivers being stopped for drink driving. 0.15 is enough for many to run off the road and crash.

LegalNut 12:10 pm 06 Aug 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

LegalNut said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Jethro said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Well can any of you peeps tell me for what reason somebody should legally be aloud to drive with high range blood alcohol level or to molest a chid? There are some thing that are inexcusable and the people that defend them are on the same level.

So you are essentially arguing that people get locked up without trial?

I can’t see any problems with that…..

Why should you have the chance to defend your self when caught by the police with high range? What’s in dispute?

Was the breathalyser working properly and properly calibrated? Was the breathalyser accepted at law to be suitably accurate for the purpose? Did the police officer properly administer the test to ensure it was accurate? Was the person administering the test actually authorised to do so? Are there extenuating circumstances which the law recognises as a legitimate defence to the alleged conduct?

There are so many things that can realistically and properly be in dispute. I understand that you don’t think that those things should matter but if all of those ducks aren’t in a row, how can we say that we actually know that a person does have an unlawful blood alcohol content.

Well I guess when you put it like that, but how realistic is it that all those things would happen?

The correct question is “How likely is any one of those things or a similar thing to happen?” The answer would appear to be about as often as someone gets off a charge or a light sentence. Maybe the protections are too strong but I’d rather the guilty get off than the innocent be convicted.

harvyk1 10:03 am 06 Aug 12

HenryBG said :

1. By this definition, drink-driving is currently legal. Well done for proving my point for me.

2. What is *my* limit? If there are various limits that apply to various people, why is an arbitrary limit that takes no account of my circumstances applicable to me?

3. There is no Truth to the assertion that 0.05 is safe while 0.06 is unsafe, so threatening to lock people up is a complete injustice.

4. The fact that such a large proportion of drivers treat the legal blood ethanol level limit with contempt is worrying. The fact that you clearly (a) think that’s okay, and (b) hold the same opinion is also very worrying.

5. Somebody can driving with a BAC above any arbitrary limit that might be applicable and drive perfectly within all the normal bounds expected of as licensed driver. Therefore the BAC is no indication of their ability to drive properly and safely.

6. There is nothing intrinsically unethical about breaching an arbitrary law invented by wowsers and control freaks.

7. It is a plain fact that most people can drive perfectly safely with a BAC higher than any of the arbitrary limits that might be applicable to them.

It’s true, most people can easily drive with a BAC well above 0.05, and your right It’s an arbitrary number which they have picked which represents at this level, anyone who holds a full license can still control a car, and more importantly still control a car in an emergency, and sure enough there are people out there who have greater car control abilities at 0.1 than others who have not been drinking. But at 0.05 it represents that everyone who is licensed is guaranteed to still have the basic ability to drive. This is why people who are inexperienced (such as L and P platters) and drivers of heavy vehicles have a reduced BAC limit. To reflect that the driver, or the vehicle requires a greater level of concentration and control.

Also it should be pointed out, that when you do drink drive, unless you are very high range (eg 0.2 / 0.3 or more) you probably are still able to control the car in normal circumstances, eg starting / stopping / steering the car. What alcohol takes away is the ability to make the right decision in abnormal circumstances, eg if a roo jumps out in front or a car, or another driver fails to give way, how you would react once you have a BAC above 0 becomes anyones guess, and unfortuantly the only way to test it is by actually being placed into that situation. Don’t mistake the fact that you where able to get the car home even after you’ve drank half the pub as anything other than luck. Had something went wrong on the drive home, there was a higher than average chance you’d make the wrong decision, or take too long to notice \ make the right decision.

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