Det Insp BlackmanThere would be community outrage if police were off the beat and forced to “babysit” people by giving them over-the-counter breath tests, according to Orana Local Area Command’s crime manager Rod Blackman.
It came yesterday in response to a P-Plater who was refused a breath test at the Narromine Police Station before he drove on Sunday, after celebrating his birthday on Saturday night.
The 18-year-old told the Daily Liberal he drank two schooners of beer, one long-neck of Toohey’s Extra Dry, a six-pack of beer, three pre-mixed drinks, a couple of shots and some homebrew rum in a five-hour period.
“ … We rang the police station in Narromine (on Sunday) to ask if they could please give us a breath test so we could see if we could drive back (to Dubbo).”
He and three other drivers were refused a breath test by police at the Narromine station and by staff at the Narromine Hospital.
“We checked all the pubs as well but they didn’t have a breath-test machine,” he said.
So the group of teens waited a few more hours before driving back to Dubbo about midday.
But Detective Inspector Blackman said it was the responsibility of the driver to ensure they complied with blood alcohol limits.
“As indicated by Mr Hartley (NSW Police traffic services commander) it is not our policy or practice to perform breath tests for any other reason than testing drivers on the road,” he said.
“Never is this more important or obvious than that of a driver whose legal blood alcohol limit is zero.”
“Alcohol absorption and elimination rates are very well publicised and part of the learner/provisional driver curriculum.”
Detective Inspector Blackman said the mathematics was simple but the principal “even easier”.
“If in doubt, don’t drive.
“The community would be outraged, and rightly so, if police officers were diverted from their core business to babysit people by conducting extraneous breath tests on people who won’t take responsibility for their own actions.”
Assistant commissioner John Hartley said police roadside devices were only a screening device and the scientific device, the breath analysis instrument, was the only sure way to determine the exact level at the time.
So there could potentially be legal ramifications for police if they were to offer a preliminary test to drivers that returned an incorrect reading, or if the reading changed.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.