Booze-testing boom gates to be trialled in Victorian car parks

Krystal Johnson and AAP

Boom gates fitted with devices to test drivers' blood alcohol levels will be trialled in Victoria in a bid to curb the state's drink-driving road toll.

The Swedish-style "alco-gates" will force Victorian motorists to pass breath tests before they are able to exit the carpark of some licensed venues across the state.

In 2013, Sweden ran a pilot project to introduce a fast-moving automated ‘Alco Gate’ at the Port of Gothenburg. Photo: European Transport Council

The hi-tech alcohol detection units will be placed at the exit of some carparks and drivers will have to provide a breath sample. They are only allowed to leave if their reading is under the 0.05 limit.

If the panel picks up a high reading the boom gates won't open and motorists would have to 'sober up' or find an alternative way home.

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Victoria's Transport Accident Commission has secured funding in this year’s budget for the devices based on similar gates used in Sweden.

The new technology is to be installed for trials next year and local councils will be assessing suitable carparks or community venues for the gates.

If the panel picks up a high reading the boom gates won't open and motorists would have to 'sober up' or find an alternative way home. Photo: European Transport Council

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan has backed the trial and told News Corp it will help people make more informed decisions.

"[It] is aimed at helping people make more informed decisions before getting in the car and driving home," Mr Donnellan said.

The TAC’s road safety manager Samantha Cockfield claims the initiative will be a way to target people who feel okay to drive, but aren't.

“To get to a time that nobody will be killed or seriously injured on our roads, what we’d be relying on is ­asking for perfect human ­behaviour,” she told the publisher.

The initiative will be a way to target people who feel okay to drive, but aren't.Photo: AAP

Victorian Premiere Andrew Daniels is introducing the initiative as part of the $1 billion Towards Zero strategy alongside another plan to reduced fatigue on the roads.

The Andrews government has funded $850,000 in creating the world's first fatigue test which links fatigue to an individual's pupil movement.

A driver who has been awake for 17 hours has the same level of impairment as a driver who has a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 per cent, and 10 per cent of road deaths involve fatigue.

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