Alcohol testing positive rate up in Queensland

Queensland alcohol testing rates are up, forcing police to warn that motorists will be hit with even more breath tests in the future. Credit Highway Patrol Images

If you read our blogs regularly, you’ll know there’s been a positive trend overall in recent decades in the rate of people getting caught on the roads failing alcohol testing. However, it’s not all good news, with recent rates in Queensland showing the war on drunk drivers is far from won.

According to a recent Courier Mail article, Queensland Police caught 13,500 people during alcohol testing in the 2021/2022 financial year.

Road Policing Command acting Chief Superintendent Chris Stream said in the article that the rate of drink-drivers caught during the financial year was about 1 in 54. This compared to about 1 in 110 in 2019. Given that the number of alcohol tests carried out on the road were down in 2021/2022, due to COVID-19, the results are even more sobering.

Queensland Police have responded with a simple warning – there will be more alcohol testing on the roads in the near future.

Chief Supt Stream said in the article the number of roadside breath tests would significantly increase, with additional funding from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission going towards thousands of extra hours of road safety overtime.

“This is not from an insidious disease we don’t have the answer to,” he said in the Courier Mail article. “And what we’re asking people is to really think. Or if that person is intoxicated, they’re not thinking rationally; it’s up to all of the other people around them to try and intervene.”

Road accident data in Queensland highlights that the higher number of alcohol testing positives are an indicator of a bigger issue. In 2021, there were 64 road deaths in Queensland where alcohol was a contributing factor. This was a 23 per cent increase compared to the average of the five previous years.

Queensland alcohol testing trouble spots

The worst areas for alcohol testing positives in 2021/2022 include Cairns, Cape York, Cassowary Coast, Gold Coast, Logan and Moreton districts.

Supt Stream said police were now using better intelligence to target drink-drivers. While not exclusively, this includes focusing on problem areas and periods between 6pm and 6am.

“These operations are being conducted in the Cape, on the Gold Coast, in Brisbane, west through to Mount Isa. That is combined with local intelligence about routes, when we know that people might take a risk and drink-drive around licensed premises, entertainment precincts, those types of activities,” said Supt Stream in the article.

Who’s getting caught in Queensland alcohol testing?

The list of high range offenders who were caught by alcohol testing in the last financial year include:

  • A Maryborough woman who returned a reading of .198 per cent.
  • A 65-year-old man who crashed his car with more than four times the legal blood alcohol limit.
  • A motorcyclist who crashed his bike with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.253.
  • A female motorist who was caught by alcohol testing with a BAC of 0.227. It was her second drink driving offense.
  • A male driver who was on a Maccas run when police caught him with a BAC of 0.241.


Queensland alcohol testing rates are up, forcing police to warn that motorists will be hit with even more breath tests in the future. Credit Highway Patrol Images

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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