Police spend $1.5m on breath-test machines

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 June, 1995, 12:00am

POLICE are to spend $1.5 million on breathalysers required by new drink-driving laws.

Fifty machines are being purchased and will be in use within about six months.

In addition to the breathalysers, five machines providing a printout of the results will also be acquired, according to Off Beat, the force's official newspaper.

The portable units will be distributed to traffic officers, Emergency Units and shared among districts and divisions, it says.

Powers were given to police this month to stop drivers on the road and test them for alcohol intake.

The amendment to the Road Traffic Ordinance makes it an offence to drive with a blood alcohol level of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Uniformed police are authorised to require a person to provide a breath, urine or blood specimen.

Under the new laws, breath and urine tests can be taken at police stations or hospitals, while a blood test can only be taken at a hospital by a doctor.

Off Beat also said that traffic headquarters had drawn up guidelines on enforcing the new laws.

'A drink-driving procedure manual will serve as a guideline for traffic officers and a new chapter on drink-driving will be added to Police General Orders,' it says.