Dozing drink driver’s fast food folly

Alcohol testing has helped save lives on our roads, but clearly we’ve still got a long way to go. Credit Highway Patrol Images

We’ve highlighted before in our posts the extraordinary improvements that have made in Australia since roadside alcohol testing was introduced. Across all states and territories, many hundreds of lives have been saved due to the introduction of breath testing. However, we still clearly have a way to go.

An example of this recently occurred in Adelaide, when an allegedly drunk driver crashed through a fence before dozing off in a fast food drive through. As reported on various media outlets, including ABC News, the male driver was eventually alcohol tested and returned a reading nearly five times over the legal limit.

Adelaide police will allege that the driver had been travelling on Port Wakefield Road when he suddenly decided he wanted an early morning snack. He turned off the road, drove over a verge, ploughed through a barbed wire fence and into the fast food drive through, before falling asleep.

When police arrived they strongly suspected the driver was intoxicated. Alcohol testing was carried out and the reading was 0.230 blood alcohol level.

Due to the high range drink driving offence, the driver’s car has been impounded for 28 days. In addition, he was handed a one-year on-the-spot loss of licence and faces a court case soon.

He’ll also have to rely on his mates and food delivery services for his fast food feasts for the next 12 months!

You can refuse alcohol testing but…

While the above driver’s behaviour can only be described as reckless, at least he was willing and able to provide a breath test. In a case in NSW, a female driver refused to undergo alcohol testing 20 times, before she was arrested and forcibly removed from her car.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the incident started when police noticed a car swerving across double lines north of Lismore. Not believing the driver’s excuse that she was simply swerving potholes, the police decided to conduct alcohol testing.

After providing a positive result and being told by the driver that she had been drinking, the police asked the driver to do a follow-up test. However, she refused. In fact, she was asked 20 times, according to the officers, and refused every time, even after the police explained that they would need to arrest her.

Finally, with the driver refusing to undertake the follow-up test and failing when asked to get out of her car, police forcibly removed her. She was taken to Nimbin Police Station, where a breath analysis was completed. Her blood alcohol level was 0.190, almost four times over the legal limit.

Given the high range drink driving offence and her refusal to comply with police orders, the female driver was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order. She also lost her licence, received a significant fine and will need to install and use an alcohol interlock device when she does get her licence back.

The key messages from these two incidents are hopefully clear. Firstly, you should never drink and drive – you’re putting yourself and others at significant risk. Secondly, you should never refuse alcohol testing or disobey police orders.

The consequences can certainly be severe.


Alcohol testing has helped save lives on our roads, but clearly we’ve still got a long way to go. Credit Highway Patrol Images

Alcohol testing has helped save lives on our roads, but clearly we’ve still got a long way to go.

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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