ACT News

New laws to allow Canberra police to breath test without permission on private property

The ACT government has closed a loophole that may have allowed some drink drivers to evade prosecution.

Police within the ACT will now have the power, under certain circumstances, to enter private property without permission to test someone suspected of driving with drugs or alcohol in their system.

New laws mean ACT drivers suspected of driving over the limit can be breath-tested on private property.
New laws mean ACT drivers suspected of driving over the limit can be breath-tested on private property.  

Amendments to the the Road Transport Legislation Act will mean drivers will longer be able to "avoid sanction for their dangerous and criminal behaviour by refusing to allow police officers to enter premises to undertake the necessary testing", Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury said.

"The act ... clarifies uncertainty about the power of police officers who require entry to a private property to conduct an alcohol or drug screening test," Mr Rattenbury said.

"The community rightly expects that they will be detected and removed from our roads and not be allowed to hide to avoid punishment."

The amendments also mean drivers can now choose to have traffic and parking infringement notices delivered by email, rather than receiving it on the spot or in the post.

Motorists can also declare online they were not the driver at the time of an offence.

The new laws were designed to streamline the infringement process for ACT drivers, Mr Rattenbury said.