Minister for the Capital Territory Michael Hodgman had two small bottles of beer and a glass of white wine at lunch before he was tasked with personally inspecting and approving breathalyzers for use in Canberra.
Mr Hodgman blew 0.04, when he personally inspected the machines before their reintroduction.
They had been pulled from circulation after the Federal Court has rejected the territory's breathalyser legislation in July, holding the minister had not properly approved the machines. A new amendment required the minister's personal inspection.
Mr Hodgman volunteered to blow into the Breathalyser 1000 and 900 machines. The first recorded a reading of 0.04, while the second showed his blood alcohol content in the range between 0.03 and 0.04.
It was the amount he expected, he said.
But while Canberra's driving limit remained at 0.08 grams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood, New South Wales dropped their limit to 0.05, which would eventually be adopted around the country.
The move received a lukewarm reception from the Australian Hotels Association but was supported by the Australian Medical Association, which also sought a reduction in television and radio advertising of alcoholic drinks.