Pre-testing won't stop drink driving, police say

THE Queensland Police Service doesn't offer pre-drive breath tests on request - and never will.

Pre-testing machines are available in bigger cities and at some licensed premises, but not in Gladstone.

Senior Sergeant Royce Devlin has been patrolling the streets of Gladstone for 17 years.

He said every now and again people did come in to the station requesting to be breathalysed.

"There's a few, but we turn them away," he said. "It's not a service we provide."

Sen Sgt Devlin said if the police were to offer to do breath tests, they would open themselves up to a series of legal ramifications.

"The issue is if you come in and you want to be breath-tested, you blow under 0.05, but then you might go outside, scull a beer and later on get pulled over and say 'oh but I went under'. That is not an excuse," he said.

"Depending on how much they've consumed, sculling six beers might take an hour to go through the system and by that stage you're over.

"If this were the case we'd be seen as giving people permission to drive."

Sgt Devlin said even if pre-testing was available, he didn't think it would do much to deter drink-drivers.

"Generally people make plans beforehand," he said.

"And if they haven't, the fact that there's a breathalyser there at a pub isn't going to deter them."

On average, police at the Gladstone station deal with 300 drink-drivers on the road every year; that equates to one per day.

"Friday to Sunday nights are obviously peak times," Sgt Devlin said. "But we've got enough units to deal with what's going on."

Liquor related crime numbers for the Gladstone division since 2001

  •  2001: 46
  •  2002: 57
  •  2003: 58
  •  2004: 33
  •  2005: 46
  •  2006: 50
  •  2007: 65
  •  2008: 81
  •  2009: 49
  •  2010: 40
  •  2011: 45
  •  2012: 84
  •  2013: 96
  •  2014: 70
  •  2015: 11 (so far)

YOUR SAY: What are your thoughts on drink-driving? We want to know your views. Let Rosie know by contacting her on 4970 3027 or rosie.obrien@gladstoneobserver.com.au.



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