Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Police; Road Safety

    What you blow is what you go - New laws take effect from midnight

    11/09/2019 12:00 PM
    • Blood Alcohol Content Bill 2019 becomes law from midnight
    • New law part of McGowan Government's approach to making WA roads safer 

    Police will no longer use a time consuming formula to calculate a drink driver's blood alcohol content, under new laws to take effect from midnight.


    Under the change, the roadside evidentiary reading will be the one used at their court appearance.


    The new practice replaces a complicated back calculation procedure, where a person's legal blood alcohol content is calculated according to the time of their last drink.


    It allowed some drink drivers to manipulate the system with misinformation to escape higher penalties or avoid being charged at all.


    The 1974 law meant police were using a time consuming formula in order to come up with a reading that would be the basis of any charge.


    The move is part of the McGowan Government's wider approach to making Western Australian roads safer and deterring unsafe driving behaviour.


    The removal of the blood alcohol content back calculation process from WA's breath testing regime brings Western Australia in line with other Australian jurisdictions.


    Comments attributed to Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:


    "It's a sad reflection on the former government that WA is the last State in Australia to remove the back calculation practice.


    "They failed to abolish this outdated practice, despite the evidence and recommendation to do so.


    "This amendment to the law now brings Western Australia in line with the rest of the country.


    "It means what you blow is what you go. The reading you blow roadside will be the one used at your court appearance.


    "It's simple, it takes all the confusion away and it's a clear message that alcohol and driving don't mix.


    "The safest thing to do if you're drinking, is to make other plans to get home."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900