Alex Sunderland in his car last week. His father Dennis has called for breath-testing devices to be more available.A call to make breath tests available to the community has been knocked back by NSW Roads Minister David Borger.
Nanjing Night Net

The call came from Dennis Sunderland, the father of one of four P-platers refused a breath test the day after an 18th birthday in Narromine.

The boys tried the police station, pubs and the hospital but were unsuccessful.

A spokesperson for Mr Borger said a preliminary breath-testing device could be inaccurate and blood-alcohol limits could rise for up to two hours after consuming alcohol.

“I thought I was doing the right thing telling them to call the police to get a breath test to see if they could drive,” Mr Sunderland said.

“Then when they couldn’t get one I told them to wait a few hours.”

Mr Sunderland said he thought breath tests should be made available to the public, “not necessarily at the police station”, but somewhere people could access them.

Narromine barman Mark Johnson backed Mr Sunderland’s call for a breath-test service as a safety measure.

“There could be something at a community centre or something where you put money into a machine,” he said.

“These boys were trying to do the responsible thing.

“A lot of the time people don’t know if they are still over the limit the next day unless they are breath tested.”

But a spokesperson for Mr Borger said there were issues with offering a preliminary breath test to the public.

“Measuring your blood-alcohol level with an Australian Standards approved breath-testing device can be inaccurate,” the spokesperson said.

“A person’s blood-alcohol limit will rise for up to two hours after drinking so the safest option is to find an alternative way home.”

NSW Police traffic services commander, assistant commissioner John Hartley said earlier this week 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 of alcohol in somebody’s system.

The spokesperson for Mr Borger said the answer was making alternative arrangements for travelling.

“Alcohol is a factor in approximately one in five fatal crashes,” she said.

“The chances of having a crash at a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 is double that of a zero blood-alcohol concentration.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.