Offering voluntary breath testing at a range of events in Byron Shire throughout December 2016 elicited the surprise result that older folk blow a consistently higher Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) than young people.
‘40% of 60-69 year old patrons recorded BAC’s over 0.1 compared to only 8% of youth at Schoolies,’ stated the report by Steer.
Free testing was provided at the schoolies hub in Byron Bay and both Byron and Mullumbimby chamber of commerce events among others.
The report highlighted that ‘regional areas are disadvantaged by a lack of safe transport options. This results in many young people, particularly males, making unsafe transport choices. In the 5 years from 2005-2010 there were 1,367 reported crashes in Byron Shire involving 17-20 year olds.’
The if you are drinking, don’t drive message of the Plan B campaign doesn’t appear to have engaged its intended audience with 90 percent of people intending to drive having been drinking. 65 percent of volunteers taking the test had no idea what their BAC would be while 55 percent of people on green p-plates were over their legal limit.
‘A recurrent theme in breath testing stories is ‘surprise’. Many patrons are surprised how different their estimated and actual BAC’s are,’ stated the report. It further highlighted that having volunteers on site to discuss options with people taking the test is more likely to result in a safe outcome for the individual.
Ranking number one in the state for alcohol related crashes there are an average of seven fatal crashes in the command each year in the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command.