Mandatory Alcohol Screening in Australia

Impaired or intoxicated driving is a serious offence in Australia. When a person consumes alcohol, it travels to different body parts and can affect normal functions. For example, a high dose of alcohol can impair vision, hearing, speech, balance, reasoning, coordination, and reaction time. Likewise, it causes the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to increase. In particular, the BAC indicates the degree of intoxication or impairment. Therefore, driving with a BAC of more than 0.00% can increase the risk of accidents. Consequently, Australia now enforces stricter road safety regulations. Police officers would regularly conduct a roadside mandatory alcohol screening test on drivers to prevent intoxicated driving.

Australia imposes a general alcohol limit for driving at 0.05% BAC. It equals 0.05g of alcohol for every 100ml of blood or 210L of breath. However, a person with a learner’s permit or under an interlock program has zero alcohol limit. A driver exceeding their legal limit can face penalties and charges. Moreover, police officers would inspect the road constantly for signs of impaired driving. Police officers can then ask you to pull over and perform sobriety tests if they believe you are driving intoxicated. A mandatory alcohol screening test is part of the sobriety tests officers provide. Officers would need you to blow into a breathalyser device that can detect alcohol and determine your BAC level. To help prevent trouble with the law, drivers nowadays would use a personal breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia to monitor their BAC. 

Mandatory Alcohol Screening: Australia

Roadside alcohol screening takes a sample breath through a breathalyser and measures the BAC. The portable breath testing device processes the breath and displays the results instantly. Most likely, recent alcohol intake will register a BAC level. With stricter laws, many now ask: Can you refuse an alcohol screening in Australia? An individual cannot refuse a roadside breath test procedure in most circumstances. Refusing a mandatory alcohol screening is a severe offence. Likewise, giving an insufficient breath sample so the breathalyser cannot do a reading is also not taken lightly. Consequently, you can be charged with refusing to undergo a breath analysis after three failed attempts at a breathalyser. 

A personal screening device from Breathalysers Australia can efficiently estimate your BAC. Drivers can use a personal breathalyser to monitor their alcohol level and prevent it from reaching the legal limit. These devices can help individuals moderate their consumption and remain safe while driving. Likewise, it can also help people avoid legal troubles in case of a mandatory alcohol screening test. 


Mandatory Alcohol Screening Process

Mandatory alcohol screening tests are vital to keeping the roads safe and hazard-free. It can help minimise impaired driving and reduce car crashes and collisions. It is important to note that a roadside alcohol test can be given randomly or through suspicion. For example, police will conduct a compulsory breath test procedure if you are swerving, tailgating, or suddenly accelerating. Moreover, you must comply with the reasonable directions of a police officer when giving a breath test. In general, alcohol screening procedures are as follows:

  • The driver performs a breath test through a breathalyser. The device will show “No Alcohol” or 0.00 if alcohol is not detected. However, if alcohol is detected, the driver is asked to go to the police station for confirmation. 
  • Police request the driver to give a complete or evidential breath analysis. 
  • If the breath analysis results are over the prescribed limit, the person can be arrested or summoned to court. 

Drink Driving Penalties

Due to the gravity of the consequences, drink driving is a serious offence with heavy penalties. Additionally, law enforcers can perform mandatory alcohol screening right after a road accident. The test can also be through oral fluid if a breath test is unavailable. Moreover, the penalties will depend on the amount of alcohol in the system. If the driver exceeds the alcohol limit, the penalties can range from demerit points, fines, and license suspension or disqualification. Furthermore, the penalty for a high-range offence includes an alcohol interlock program for the first or subsequent violations. Self-breath tests with a personal breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia can drastically decrease the likelihood of acquiring these penalties. 

Refusing a mandatory alcohol screening in Australia is also considered a serious offence. Submitting to a routine breath test is necessary whether you have consumed alcohol or not. However, the penalties for breath test refusal vary according to which State or Territory you are in. Likewise, the sanctions are the same for a high-range offence, including maximum fines, imprisonment, and lengthy disqualification periods. Additionally, failing to stop the vehicle for a breath test may result in maximum fines and up to 12 months imprisonment. These penalties apply to first-time convictions. On the other hand, the penalties for the second and subsequent violations in the last five years can be:

  • A fine up to $5,500
  • Imprisonment for up to 2 years
  • Automatic disqualification of 3 years 


Mandatory Alcohol Screening: Accuracy of Breathalysers 

A police breathalyser is a non-invasive method to detect alcohol presence. The mandatory alcohol screening devices employ fuel cell sensor technology to determine the alcohol level accurately. The sensors would produce an electrochemical reaction when it comes in contact with alcohol. First, the oxidisation process generates small electrical currents based on the volume of alcohol in the breath. Then, the device converts the number of currents produced into the BAC. Moreover, fuel cell sensors of police breathalysers are sensitive to ethanol only. Therefore, they do not react with other substances in the breath like acetone, reducing the likelihood of false-positive results. It is worth noting that most of the personal breathalysers you can purchase on Breathalysers Australia also feature fuel cell breathalysers. 

Breathalysers Australia: Know Your Limits

Knowing how your body reacts to alcohol is essential for avoiding severe impairments. For instance, each alcoholic beverage contains a specific alcohol level. If you are the type to get intoxicated quickly, you may want to check the label first. Moreover, you can monitor your BAC level with a personal breathalyser after consuming alcohol. The BACtrack breathalysers have one-touch operations, allowing you to self-check your BAC with just a press of a button. The device can process the breath sample and display your BAC results within 10 to 15 seconds. Therefore, you can easily and regularly check your BAC to avoid drink driving violations from mandatory alcohol screening. 

A mandatory alcohol screening in Australia aims to reduce road accidents. The best way to avoid road mishaps or legal trouble is to limit your alcohol consumption. Breathalysers Australia offers a wide array of alcohol testers suitable for personal or workplace use. BACtrack has a range of alcohol testers with a variety of different features. For example, the BACtrack Mobile Pro, C6 Keychain and C8 Smartphone can connect wirelessly to a mobile phone via Bluetooth. Furthermore, the BACtrack companion app features ZeroLine technology, which can quickly estimate how long your BAC will return to 0.00%. Without a doubt, you can make better, well-informed decisions with a personal breathalyser.