The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Australia: Brisbane Council distributes breathalysers to staff

Brisbane City Council has purchased 18,000 disposable personal breathalysers for staff to undertake voluntary testing after lunch or the morning after a heavy night of drinking.

Irwandy Tan, CEO of Andatech, says the amount spent on disposable units, which may have been up to $50,000, could have been better spent on wall-mounted and personal breathalysers to provide a long-term solution.

Andatech has the largest number of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, workplaces and hospitality venues.

Tan says Brisbane City Council and any other workplace/venue can install a wall-mounted breathalyser to determine accurate readings of employees’ BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) to three decimal places.

“While many workplaces conduct random alcohol and drug testing, providing a voluntary system where employees can check themselves at any time, allows employees to be responsible for their actions, which is a good thing.”

The other suggestion from Irwandy Tan is that for the same amount of money, Brisbane City Council could have purchased around 160 personal breathalysers that employees could take with them to lunches and meetings so they could test themselves before they return to work.

“For the Council’s investment, I believe a better option would have been a mix of wall mounted units and hand-held personal breathalysers that come with removable mouthpieces,” he says.

“Once the units have been purchased, the only other cost is calibration of the fuel cell technology to ensure ongoing accuracy and the purchase of more mouthpieces.

“The other concern with having 18,000 disposable units is that they will all end up in landfill.”