BREATH testing units will be installed in licensed premises around Wonthaggi and Inverloch as part of a TAC and Rotary Club initiative to reduce road trauma.
The Inverloch and Wonthaggi rotary clubs have been working with Police, the TAC and licensees to bring the program to the local area.
The Bass Coast Liquor Accord members met on Wednesday to learn more about the program, which is set to be rolled out across the region starting this week.
The TAC is funding Rotary’s distribution of the Breathometer instruments as part of the Community Road Safety Grants Program.
Rotary is inviting 10 to 12 licensed venues to install public breath testing instruments as a service to their customers.
Users pay $2 to check how they’re travelling, and all funds go to Rotary and its community projects.
Victoria Police is aware of the program and supports the installation of the units in licensed premises.
Sergeant Scott Morison from Wonthaggi Police said it was a worthwhile program.
“The TAC has made available some funding for Rotary clubs to approach licensed premises in their areas and get them on board the program,” Sgt Morison said.
“It is a proactive program to reduce drink driving. It doesn’t matter if you’re on .05 or over – you have to be below.
“Drivers can now test themselves to make sure they are OK to drive. It’s also an educational tool teaching people how much or how little they may be able to drink before they are over the limit.
“These instruments give you more than a reading, it shows you when your blood alcohol content will peak and when you could be back at .00 and be able to drive.”
A similar program was rolled out in the Warragul and Drouin area in September last year, with 10 licensed venues and sporting clubs installing a Breathometer.
One of the local Breathometers has already been installed at Wonthaggi’s Capital Nightclub and Saloon Bar.
Phil Hewlett from the Capital said the instrument has been very well received by patrons.
“We have had this for the past month and it gets quite a lot of use. People love it – it’s a great idea,” Hewlett said.
“I have wanted this for a long time and I think it is a great asset for the community.
“If you go and have a casual drink or two with a friend and you’re not sure if you would be over or not, you can blow into it and know exactly how you are going.
“It’s very basic – you just follow the directions, pull the straw out and away you go.”
All the proceeds from the machine go to Rotary and the benefit of the community.
Breathometers are installed and maintained at no cost to participating venues.