Random Breath Testing in Australia

  • Ross Homel
Part of the Research in Criminology book series (RESEARCH CRIM.)


Random breath testing (RBT) may be viewed as a particularly vivid, yet simple application of the classical doctrine of deterrence, since it is in essence a law which enables police to administer a screening breath test even when they have no reason to believe that the driver has been drinking. Although details of operation vary between the states of Australia, RBT always involves arbitrarily selected checkpoints, usually on main roads, which are varied from day to day and from week to week and are not announced publicly prior to the RBT operation. In principle, testing can be carried out on any day of the week and at any time of day or night, but in practice RBT is concentrated in the evening hours, especially on weekends, when driving after drinking is most likely to occur. Motorists passing a checkpoint are pulled over for a breath test in a more or less haphazard manner, and in principle any driver of a car, motorcycle, or truck can be asked to take a test, regardless of age, sex, or manner of driving.


Breath Test Civil Liberty Road Safety Deterrent Effect South Wale 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross Homel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Behavioural SciencesMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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