Do Australian Police Check People with A Breathalyzer in the Morning?

by Dan Christie October 22, 2015

Do Australian Police Check People with A Breathalyzer in the Morning?

Alcoholic beverages are as commonplace in social gatherings, big or small, as coffee cups are on any household breakfast table. When there's good food and good conversation, the atmosphere simply won't be complete without bottles of ice cold beer, glasses of wine, or shots of the preferred liquor of the night. A drink can complement the food, inspire people to sit and catch up with each other, and cause people to loosen up just enough to get into spirited discussions or livelier interactions.

Tossing down a drink or two — or more — is generally acceptable if you're of a responsible age and mindset for drinking. But regardless of your being legally allowed to drink, you always need to be mindful about your level of intoxication especially if you're planning on driving. In Australia, the legal limit is set at 0.05 blood alcohol concentration or BAC. For learners and probationary license holders, it is strictly 0.00.

Are things different in the morning?

If you've had quite a lot to drink at a party or other event that stretched on into the wee hours, you might think that once you wake up in the morning, the alcohol has left your body. In truth, most habitual drinkers will know the feeling of a hangover, and will immediately tell you that the alcohol surely hasn't left their body yet, if they're suffering from a splitting headache as they groggily get ready for work or an appointment the next day.

But despite this unpleasant feeling, many believe that they are already capable of driving in the morning — and this is something that law enforcers are urgently seeking to make Australian citizens avoid. It takes a healthy liver about an hour to metabolise one standard drink. But if you've consumed countless drinks throughout the night and only caught a couple hours of sleep or rest before driving, then the alcohol in your blood is highly likely to still be above the limit, and you're putting your own life, and the lives of other motorists, at risk if you proceed to drive.

Police can check motorists' alcohol levels

Police officers are tasked with enforcing drink driving laws to prevent motoring accidents, and one method they employ is the random breath testing, wherein they use an instrument like a Breathalyzer.

You may think that the police only use a Breathalyser to carry out their random breath testing at night, when there are more suspected drink drivers on the streets. But you need to know that the random breath tests can be conducted on streets and public places at any time of day. This means that police do check people's alcohol limits in the morning using a Breathalyzer.

Keep in mind that the penalties for drink driving apply whether you are found to be driving beyond legal limits at night or in the morning, and one such penalty you can get is a minimum year's ban.

While celebrating occasions and bonding with friends and family over drinks is enjoyable, there's simply no reason to risk your life and the lives of others by insisting on driving while under the influence. The best decision is still to hold off on driving until your alcohol levels are completely down.

Dan Christie
Dan Christie


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