VIC Legit Keen On Testing ‘Breathalyser Boom Gates’ To Curb Drink Driving

New South Wales might currently be leading the race for Australia’s biggest nanny state, what with your tight lockout laws and Mike Bairds running buckwild all over the joint and whatnot. But Victoria is very quietly making a real crack at it when it comes to not trusting people with the whole drinking and driving thing.
The state already has some of the stiffest penalties for drink driving offences in the country, including now-mandatory Interlock periods for all drink driving offenders, regardless of their blood-alcohol levels.
Officials in charge of curbing the number of drink driving-related offences and road deaths are already thinking about a radical plan that would see the legal limit in Victoria lowered to .02. But another wild new proposal would even prevent people from getting on the road in the first place.
Victoria’s Transport Accidents Commission is considering a wild trial of a device known as an Alco-Gate, which is essentially a boom gate fitted with a breathalyser.
The gate would be fitted to the entrance of car parks at pubs, and would only open to let a car out if the driver recorded a breath test of below .05.
The gates would be manned with personnel, potentially even police, who would be on hand to assist people with alternative transport arrangements should they blow over the limit, and also to… y’know… move that pesky car out of the way. There’s a legal grey area hanging over whether they would actually face a drink driving charge should they blow over the limit, but given the car would not be on a public road at the time of the test that feels unlikely.
The gates are already in place and have been a reported success in Sweden, where they are fitted to ferry ports for offloading cars.

The TAC’s Samantha Buckis explained the proposal thusly:

“When people get off the port at the ferry [in Sweden] they go through boom gates that they have to breathe into to check their BAC levels, and if they’re OK to go they get sent through the boom gates.”

“We’ll start off with one venue initially, just to see if it works in our context.”

“It seems to be quite successful. It’s been very much a deterrence approach, so hoping that people don’t drink and drive. But they have also been able to intercept people who have [been over the limit] and prevent them from getting out onto the road which is fantastic, preventing road trauma.”

“We’re still figuring out the logistics [for how it would work in Victoria], it will probably depend on the venue and what other transport options are available. It’s likely to be manned, even if it’s not policed, with people who could assist with moving cars out of the way.”
Any potential trial of the technology would not take place until 2018.
Also the gates quite obviously have no way of dealing with anyone who chooses to simply, y’know, park on the street outside the pub. Or indeed for any venue which doesn’t actually have its own car park (ie every joint within 30km of the CBD).
Still, this really gives new meaning to the term “lock in at the pub.”
Source: ABC News.