The Victorian Government is legit mulling over a new boom gate idea to lock drunk peoples’ cars inside venue carparks, in a bid to stop them from driving home.
The proposal basically involves the use of a giant contraption called an ‘alco-gate’ which only opens up once the driver has blown into a breathalyser thingy and returned a reading of below .05.
So the upshot for any drunk wannabe drivers is:
And there’ll be guards – or possibly even police – on hand to help the Barney Gumbles of the world make alternative transport arrangements.
As the ABC points out, the gates are already a reported success in Sweden, where they’re fitted to ferry ports for offloading cars, however there’s a legal grey area surrounding the question of whether Aussie drunk-blowers would actually face charges for trying to drive their cars home (even though they haven’t technically hit the road yet).
Nevertheless, Victoria’s Transport Accidents Commission is considering trialling the new technology at some of the state’s pubs and clubs. As road safety project coordinator Samantha Buckis explains:
“When people get off the port at the ferry [in Sweden] they go through boom gates that they have to breathe into to check their BAC levels, and if they’re OK to go they get sent through the boom gates.”
“We’ll start off with one venue initially, just to see if it works in our context.”
“It seems to be quite successful. It’s been very much a deterrence approach, so hoping that people don’t drink and drive. But they have also been able to intercept people who have [been over the limit] and prevent them from getting out onto the road which is fantastic, preventing road trauma.”
“We’re still figuring out the logistics [for how it would work in Victoria], it will probably depend on the venue and what other transport options are available. It’s likely to be manned, even if it’s not policed, with people who could assist with moving cars out of the way.”
It sounds like a bit of a shark net solution i.e. even though it will probably stop a lot of drunk drivers from getting out there and potentially hurting people, others will just swim around the barrier by, say, parking on the street.
Anyway, even if the TAC has its way, the trials won’t happen til at least 2018.
Meanwhile, the NSW Government is continuing to lock *everyone outside of venues* in a bid to curb violence, business, art, culture and fun of any kind. So, comparatively, team VIC’s new harebrained scheme is perfectly reasonable (in the sense that it targets – ya know – offenders).