Festival goers offered free breath tests

The Ballina Prawn Festival mascot at the Plan B Alcohol Breath Testing Hub at the weekend’s event.

The Ballina Prawn Festival mascot at the Plan B Alcohol Breath Testing Hub at the weekend’s event.

Visitors to the weekend’s Ballina Prawn Festival were able to submit themselves to a free breath test before driving home as part of a program to encourage patrons to have a ‘plan B’, in place of driving under the influence.

More than 250 people visited the Plan B Alcohol Breath Testing Hub, run by Ballina Shire Council, STEER (Youth Safe Transport Project, Voluntary Breath Testing) and the Roads and Maritime Service.

Council’s Road Safety Officer Ms Helen Carpenter said that the Hub was a great success with lots of people visiting to learn about their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

“Most people were curious about their BAC, with some having never had a breath test before,” Ms Carpenter said.

“Some young men came in curious to check their BAC after a big Friday night, while another couple had a discussion about who was driving, and even a father came in to demonstrate responsible behaviour to his two young sons.

“We asked people to guess their BAC before measuring their actual BAC and quite a few people were surprised to find their levels were higher than they thought, so it was a good way for people to learn more about the effect of alcohol on themselves as an individual, Ms Carpenter said.”

Alcohol affects people in different ways. Two people who drink the same amount can have different BAC’s. This is caused by factors such as size and weight, gender, liver and general health, and the amount of food recently eaten.

STEER Project Coordinator Phil Preston said it was important for people to know their own bodies and the way that alcohol affected them.

“Two ladies came in who had been drinking the same amount all day and one was surprised to have had a BAC way over that of her friend”, Mr Preston said Ms Carpenter said it was also encouraging to see that most people who were drinking on the day already had a Plan B in place.

“The most popular Plan B’s were to walk home or have a designated driver,” she said.

“It was fantastic to see parents modelling responsible drinking and driving behaviour to younger children and teenagers, and the Hub was visited by several learner and P plate drivers to experience breath testing.”

The message ‘don’t drink and drive’ is certainly relevant as we head into the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Remember – zero BAC applies to all Learner, Provisional 1, and Provisional 2 drivers and riders. Under 0.05 applies to most other licences.

Comments are closed.

© 2003 - 2022 Ballina.info - All Rights Reserved
Designed and maintained by eMedia Worx