New global positioning breath-testing devices are being introduced in Queensland to help police “map” drink-driving offences.
Police Minister Judy Spence says the 1600 alcolmeters, set to replace all others in use by March 2009, will geographically record the location of every breath test – both positive and negative.
And their introduction will serve a dual purpose, equipping patrol cars with a GPS.
“Police will then compare this map of breath tests to the locations of alcohol-related crashes,” she says.
“If police see that certain areas have alcohol-related crashes but there has been no breath-testing they will be able to make sure RBTs occur in those areas.
“The main purpose of RBTs are to get drink-drivers off the roads and also to act as a deterrent – to send a message to drivers that they can get tested anywhere, anytime. By working with precise information police will be able to get the deterrent message where it is most needed.”
The new devices – Lion Alcolmeter SD 400 – cost $1168 each and have been developed specifically for the Queensland Police Service.
The GPS function will allow police to record exact traffic crash locations, especially in remote areas. It will also enable police to give accurate location directions to emergency services such as helicopter rescue missions or the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Police have received more than 1080 of the devices so far. They are already being used by the State Traffic Task Force and the North Coast Region and will be gradually deployed around the rest of the state in coming months.
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