Breath test changes begin

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter

New laws around calculating blood alcohol content are in place as of last Wednesday night, bringing WA into line with other Australian jurisdictions.

Police will no longer use a time-consuming formula to calculate a drink-driver’s blood alcohol content. Instead, drink-drivers will be charged based on their reading in the roadside breath test.

The new Blood Alcohol Content Bill 2019 sees the replacement of a complicated back calculation procedure in which a person’s legal blood alcohol content was calculated according to the time of their last drink.

Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said the new law took the confusion away.

“The reading you blow roadside will be the one used at your court appearance,” Ms Roberts said.

“It means what you blow is what you go.

“It’s simple and is a clear message that alcohol and driving don’t mix.”

The blood alcohol content limit is still 0.05. The first breath test will be the preliminary test.

If the driver records a reading over 0.05, they will be required to complete a second evidentiary test 15 minutes later, and the reading on that test will be the one used to fine and-or charge the driver.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails