Should breathalysers be installed in all new cars?

EDITORIAL: This is getting beyond a joke.

I have sat through plenty of traffic call-over days in the courts in Hervey Bay and Maryborough over the past couple of years, and I don't remember seeing so many people plead guilty to high-range drink-driving offences on one day.

High-range offences are defined as anything more than having a blood alcohol content of 0.150, or three times the legal alcohol limit.

Last week in Hervey Bay, there were four such pleas, along with another couple who were well over double the limit, without quite getting to the high-range mark.

Then in the early hours of Sunday morning, a man was allegedly caught speeding at 110kmh in a 60 zone, while more than triple the legal alcohol limit.

The Chronicle publishes the names of drink-drivers in our courts for a valid reason - it is in the hope that the fear of having their name in the paper for friends, family and workmates to see might be enough to keep a potential drink-driver from getting behind the wheel.

I feel for some of the people who get caught and see their names published, especially those who find themselves just over the limit the morning after having a few drinks.

But drink-driving is an offence that can and has killed people.

I can't help but wonder how much it would cost for car manufacturers to install a breath testing application as standard equipment in all new cars sold in Australia - or whether any government would consider it a worthwhile policy to consider introducing.



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