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Queensland Government rejects as RACQ's Paul Turner given ministerial backhander

RACQ wants all drivers - including innocent ones -
blood tested if hospitalised after a car crash.

 RACQ executive general manager Paul Turner says data on the prevalence of drink-driving is "erratic" because blood alcohol testing is not compulsory after injuries in car accidents.

RACQ has called for changes to legislation to make blood testing compulsory for motorists hospitalised after a car crash.

RACQ executive general manager Paul Turner said data on the prevalence of drink-driving was "erratic" because blood alcohol testing isn't compulsory and he claimed if it was introduced, it would bring Queensland in line with NSW, Victoria, the ACT and the Northern Territory where it is mandatory.

Readers of The Courier-Mail have nominated drink-driving as an area of concern in the Traffic Hot Spots: You Drive the Change campaign and called for more random breath testing from Brisbane through to Cairns.

Alcohol and drug driving is the main factor in about 30 per cent of fatal crashes in Queensland, while one in five drivers that die on Australian roads have a blood alcohol content exceeding the legal limit, according to the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland.

A spokeswoman for Police Minister Jack Dempsey said: "It is police policy to breath test drivers after an accident if they are able, and if hospitalised to require a blood test".

Mr Turner said this left blood testing to the discretion of time-poor police officers and he added drunk drivers were capitalising on this by flying under police radar.

"We suspect that motorists who have been involved in a crash who have illegal blood alcohol content are slipping through the net at the moment. There's a loophole there which allows them to because they know testing's not compulsory," Mr Turner said.

"It's not compulsory to do it and police are busy so whether they feel it will have an impact on an investigation, they obviously do do it but they don't have to.

"We understand police can only do what they can. If it is compulsory we think that will definitely help in gathering the information we need around what the blood alcohol limit should be."

RACQ is not in favour of lowering the blood alcohol limit but Mr Turner said data from compulsory blood tests would show the true impact of alcohol on drivers.

A spokesman for Mr Dempsey ruled out a review of the policy, saying it wasn't a current priority for the new government.


Paul Turner
COMMENT: The plan by RACQ official Paul Turner to treat every driver involved in an accident in Queensland as guilty until proven innocent overturns the discretionary nature of breath and blood testing in Queensland since it was introduced in 1968.  Police Minister Jack Dempsey has given a huge backhander to Paul Turner who has taken 44 years to work out that there might be a loophole in the state legislation.  What's your next brilliant idea Paul Turner?