Random Breath Tests (RBTs) (Alcohol And Drug) NSW
Random breath tests (RBTs) are an important tool law enforcement agencies use in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, to combat alcohol and drug-impaired driving. Conducted without prior warning, RBTs aim to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel while under the influence and ensure safer roads for everyone.
This article provides an overview of alcohol and drug random breath tests in NSW, along with examples of offences and the corresponding penalties.
Alcohol RBTs involve testing drivers’ breath for the presence of alcohol. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for different driver categories are as follows:
a. General Drivers: The BAC limit for general drivers is 0.05, meaning they must have a BAC below 0.05 when operating a vehicle.
b. Novice Drivers: Learner, provisional, and probationary licence holders are subject to a zero BAC limit. They must have no detectable alcohol in their system while driving.
a. Exceeding the Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA): This charge applies when a driver’s BAC exceeds the legal limit.
In addition to alcohol, NSW police also conduct drug random breath tests to detect the presence of illicit substances in drivers’ systems. Drug RBTs typically involve a saliva swab to test for common drugs, such as cannabis, amphetamines, methamphetamine, and MDMA (ecstasy).
a. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: This charge applies when a driver operates a vehicle while drug-impaired.
The penalties for alcohol and drug-related driving offences in NSW are designed to discourage impaired driving and protect road users. Some common penalties include: