NSW police breath test two million


More than two million drivers have been random breath tested in NSW in the past four months, with about 8000 arrested as a result, police say.

The crackdown, codenamed Operation Paciullo, was launched in November to coincide with the 30th anniversary of random breath testing in NSW.

Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas on Sunday administered the two millionth RBT to a car on George Street in front of Sydney Town Hall.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr Kaldas said around eight thousand people had been arrested in the operation, which was named after George Paciullo.

Paciullo, who died last year, was a NSW Labor government minister who undertook a personal crusade to introduce random breath testing at a time when the state’s annual road toll was about 1200 a year.

Less than 400 were killed last year, a dramatic drop, although experts say safer cars have also played a major role in the reduction.

Mr Kaldas said the anti-drink driving message was still not reaching many people.

He said in 2012 police breath tested more than four million people, resulting in 21,000 arrests.

‘Thousands of people continue to drink and drive and think they’re going to get away with it,’ he said.

‘There will always be a minority who do not follow the rules, and they’re the ones that have to be dealt with.’

He said random breath testing had made a huge impact on cutting down road accidents since being introduced 30 years ago.

‘I think it would be a hell of a lot worse if we weren’t charging people and not random breath testing,’ he said.

‘We have to accept that it’s having an impact.’