What Information is Required During a Random Breath Test in Australia?

November 16, 2023    Traffic lawyers Perth
What Information is Required During a Random Breath Test in Australia?

Back when random breath testing did not exist, all the drivers in Australia were told to opt for the breath test based on specific circumstances.

The police officials would tell the drivers to take the breath test when they thought the driver had committed an offence.

They might also request the driver to do so if they believed the driver had consumed alcohol according to how they were driving the vehicle or had been involved in an accident. Under such circumstances, the Australian police will make sure the driver goes through a breath test.

In today’s world, police officers in Australia can also conduct random breath tests on all the drivers who have been involved in an accident. However, just in case anyone comes under the radar concerning breath tests, associating with traffic lawyers in Perth and seeking legal guidance would be the first thing to do.

Brief History of the Random Breath Test [RBT]

In Australia, RBT, or just random breath testing, was introduced way back in 1985. Based on this policy, a person driving an automobile on a public road, trying to drive a vehicle, or sitting in the driver’s seat will be requested to opt for the RBT.

Police officers in Australia will request or signal the driver to halt their vehicle so they can undergo the breath test quickly.

Random Breath Testing: How Does it Work?

Random breath testing is conducted with the help of a device, which is called the “breathalyser”. To get the breath testing done, the driver must blow right into the breathalyser.

This particular device has a digital screen, which will show whether or not the driver’s breath contains an alcohol level, which is much higher than agreed for driving. One will not be convicted of drunk driving if they fail this test.

But he/she might have to go through another test at the mobile station or the police station where a different and more accurate RBT device will be used. Motorists will be stopped randomly by the police officers to conduct the breath test.

When is a Breath Analysis Conducted?

A breath analysis will be conducted when the outcome is positive. The highway patrol officers are responsible for conducting the RBT. The device utilised for conducting the RBT will only offer an indication to the police. The driver will be brought to the police station for a breath examination.

When he/she gets arrested after failing the breath test, the analysis will be conducted within two hours from the time the person got arrested.

Information Drivers Should Provide During RBT

When police officers stop one’s vehicle because they wish to conduct a breath test, they have to provide a bit of information during that process. Here, the only document one can provide is their driver’s license.

It’s because the driver’s license contains an individual’s address and full name. Individuals who refuse to provide the required documents or information will get charged for flouting or defying the directions of the police officers.

What Happens When One Refuses a Breath Test?

When it’s about refusing a breath test, it can come with severe consequences. When one has been given a legal requirement to offer a sample of their breath, they should do so.

The punishment for refusing a breath test is getting charged for not cooperating with the police officials in conducting the test. This particular offence is pretty similar when it comes to drunk driving. It will lead to fines, jail time, loss of license and many other things.

Taking a Blood Test After RBT: Is It Possible?

When an individual takes a breath test, he/she might have to opt for the blood test. The police will inform him/her when they can get their blood tested after the RBT is completed. But before providing the blood sample, drivers should go through the breath analysis as well.

After the blood test, the blood sample collected will be separated into three different parts, which are:

  • One part of the sample is given to the driver
  • The second part is provided to the analyst
  • The third part is kept in the form of a control

One can get their blood sample analysed independently. Until the blood gets analysed by the analyst, it will not be viewed as evidence. Traffic offence lawyers always tell their clients that the blood sample does not stand out as an excellent option compared to a breathalyser.

It’s primarily because the readings are much higher, and it can be utilised as evidence if it’s needed. If the driver did not drink in the last hour, right before opting for the testing, the blood sample will display a low reading.

It’s primarily because of the elapsed time between the blood sample test and the analysis of the breathalyser.

The Penalties for Refusing the Breath Test

The refusal of a breath test in Australia is viewed as an offence, and there are certain penalties one might get. The penalty for refusing the breath test is different in all Australian territories.

But the maximum penalty one can get for refusing random breath testing is imprisonment. In one Australian state, he/she will be fined $1100 for refusing the breath test. The license will not get suspended automatically, but the court has the power to do so if they want to.

In other states in Australia, such as Queensland, if a driver refuses to opt for the breathing test, he/she will be imprisoned for 6 years and also have to pay a fine of $4000.

The experienced traffic lawyers in Perth have also said that states like South Australia will take a fine of $1600 when the driver refuses to take the breath test. Some of the states offer the harshest penalties for refusing a breath test, where he/she will be fined $4500.

Wrapping Up

Random breath testing is something that occurs on all the highways in Australia. They are conducted by professional highway police officers. If the results come out positive, he/she will be brought to the police station to get their breath analysed.

Otherwise, speaking with the Traffic Lawyers Perth can help greatly as they are experts in such matters, and can help with the entire legal process if anyone gets charged with drunk driving.

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