No plan to RBT patrons in clubs
LOCAL venues breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed reports of a plan to introduce random breath testing into Queensland pubs and clubs were a sham.
Attorney General Yvette D'Ath was reported in the media on Friday as having said breathalysing patrons at pubs and clubs could help police build the case for a prosecution.
Licensed venues and the hospitality industry reacted with furious condemnation, and a clarification was issued on the same day.
"There is no plan to random breath test drinkers and there never has been," Ms D'Ath's statement said.
A spokesman for the Attorney-General told the Daily the media reports were "wrong".
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The hospitality industry had been in shock at the proposal, which appears to have damaged the Government's reputation even if it was false. At a presentation to the Coolum Surf Life Saving Club on Friday, Clubs Queensland Chief Executive Doug Flockhart said he was pleased the Government "saw reason", because having "fun police" at venues was inappropriate.
"It's about people's right to enjoy themselves," he said.
Breath testing inside licensed venues would be an invasion of patrons' privacy, agreed Coolum Beach Surf Life Saving Supporters Club president John Ellingsen.
He said his club had no incidents of alcohol-related violence in the past year, which he attributed to the club's "high standards".
"In a small community like Coolum everybody knows that if they step out of line their membership would be suspended," he said.
Senior Constable Mark Readman, of the Sunshine Coast Crime Prevention Unit, said police had used breathalysers at clubs and pubs for years as part of educational program Drink Rite and conducted regular street patrols near licensed clubs.