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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 2583..


Wednesday, 18 November 1998

___________________________

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

MOTOR TRAFFIC (ALCOHOL AND DRUGS) (AMENDMENT) BILL 1998

MR HARGREAVES (10.31): I present the Motor Traffic (Alcohol and Drugs) (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HARGREAVES: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, section 10A was inserted into the Act in the early 1980s at a time when the random breath testing (RBT) process was introduced. It required police to issue a certificate to all drivers, whether they tested positive or negative. Since that time the Act has been amended to include provisions governing the taking of more scientifically accurate testing back at the police station. Currently, police only issue a section 10A certificate when a test at the roadside returns positive and the driver is to be taken to the police station for further testing.

The certificate is a simple form containing the following details: Date, time and location of the test; result of the test, whether it is positive or negative, but not the reading; the name of the police officer involved; and particulars of the driver, only when a positive test is returned or the driver refuses to undergo a roadside test. When the driver arrives at the police station a series of forms are completed to ensure proper record keeping of proceedings. A computer printout of the blood alcohol test is filed and given to the driver and, indeed, the courts require significant information when addressing a charge. Even when a charge is uncontested and the brief is handed up, the magistrate requires a significant amount of proof that the offence actually occurred. The section 10A certificate adds no additional value to the amount of evidence provided to the court.

The information compiled at the police station includes: The alcotest printout; summons/voluntary agreement to attend court; the statement of the informant or the operator report; a brief statement of facts to the court; the Australian Federal Police RBT statistics sheet; the AFP RBT vehicle record. In addition to this information, the officer's notebook entry is provided to the court if requested, and the communications centre report of an alleged offender being brought to the station is also available.


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