Drink Driving vs. Failed to Conduct Breath Analysis test: The two should not be confused.
Drink driving is a traffic offence which says in accordance with Road Traffic Act, a driver commits an offence if he or she drives a vehicle under the influence of (BAC) blood alcohol concentration. The level of alcohol which makes an offence varies among the types of licence. Learner’s permit and probationary licence holders commit an offence if blood alcohol concentration level is more than zero when driving and for normal licence holders 0.05 and higher.
Failed to conduct breath analysis test is different from drink driving. When conducting breath test you have to blow into a breath apparatus (breathalyzer) to get a sufficient breath sample in order to detect alcohol in your breath. This is a tricky one, you have to blow into the breathalyzer a little bit longer than you thought you should to get a sufficient sample otherwise in the event of insufficient sample the machine could not detect your blood alcohol concentration appropriately. Sometimes in the middle of blowing you are unable to blow anymore because you are out of breath and you require taking a breath instead of blowing into it. In this case police charges you with refuse to submit breath analysis test, which is liable to a minimum penalty of $ 700 fine and disqualification from driving for the period of minimum 12 months. If you can blow according to the instructions given by the police and get sufficient sample of breath, your penalty may be , in the case of your BAC 0.05 -0.08 a fine of up to $ 700 without any disqualification, much less than that of refuse to submit breath test.
This is the problem normally associated with those newly arrived refugees who could not speak English and do not follow police’s instructions when conducting breath test. Therefore, the result is no alternative a refuse to submit breath test. These people go to court and plead guilty without being aware of the difference between drink driving and refuse to submit breath test. Instead in most cases they thought they commit drink driving.
One lawyer once argued that these people do not understand English and could not follow police’s instructions when conducting breath test. So it is the police’s responsibility to make sure these people understand the instructions with the aid of the interpreter. They have the right to have interpreter. Australian government had endorsed a policy called Access and Equity Strategy which makes sure that all individual has equal access to government's services without any barriers. Access and Equity Strategy says:
· All Australians can access its programs and services with equal ease; and
· All Australians receive a fair share of the resources delivered through Commonwealth programs.
The concept of access implies that all who are entitled to a public service should face no barriers that make their situation inequitable to others so entitled. Equity implies that all who are entitled to government provision should be equally likely to receive it.
Therefore, drink driving and failed to conduct breath analysis test should not be confused. Keep blowing until you are advised to stop would be the best option. So keep blowing and blowing….