Any Driver May Be Stopped By The Police For A Random Breath Test

Any driver may be stopped by the police for a random breath test at any time during the day or night, regardless of whether or not the police have any suspicions that the driver has been intoxicated. Police may also conduct random breath testing at fixed checkpoints or during mobile patrols.

To determine the level of alcohol in their blood, the driver must blow into a device called a breathalyser. This device displays a digital reading on the screen. Drivers can continue on their way if the test result is negative, meaning no alcohol was detected. Upon receiving a positive breath test result, the driver will be asked to provide another breath sample for a more accurate analysis at the police station or mobile station.

In Queensland, the legal limit for most drivers is 0.05% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but some drivers are required to have a zero BAC at all times, including:

  • Learner drivers
  • Provisional or probationary drivers
  • Those operating particular vehicles, such as trucks, buses, taxis, limousines, or vehicles transporting hazardous materials

Drivers who are found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit face serious penalties, including:

  • A fine
  • Licence suspension or cancellation
  • Disqualification from driving for a period of time
  • A requirement to complete a driver education program
  • A requirement to install an alcohol interlock device
  • Imprisonment for severe offences

Depending on the driver’s BAC level, license type, and previous offenses, the penalties for drinking and driving are determined. Subsequent offenses may result in increased penalties.

In Queensland, a driver with a BAC of 0.05 to less than 0.10 will face the following penalties:

First offenceSecond offence within five years
Licence disqualification for 1 to 9 monthsLicence disqualification for 6 months to 5 years
Fine of up to $2,167 or imprisonment of up to three monthsFine of up to $4,334 or imprisonment of up to six months
If a driver is caught with a BAC of 0.15 or more in Queensland, they will face the following penalties: 
First offenceSecond offence within five years
Licence disqualification for at least six monthsLicence disqualification for at least 12 months

The maximum penalty for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is 18 months imprisonment or a fine of 120 penalty units ($19,826.40), or both.

When a driver fails to provide a breath sample when requested by the police, they may also be charged with refusing to undergo a breath test. Refusal to undergo a breath test carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison or 120 penalty units ($19,826.40) in fines.

It has been shown that random breath testing is an effective method of preventing and detecting drink driving and reducing road crashes and fatalities.

If you have been charged with drink driving or wish to dispute the charge, you should seek legal advice. You may have significant consequences for your life and livelihood.