What are my rights if the Police ask me to take a breathalyser test?
I live in the Northern Territory and was recently pulled over for a breathalyser test.
When I asked why they pulled me over the Police told me to shut-up or they would lock me up for four hours.
Can they do this – even though I had done nothing wrong?
Practically speaking, the answer is yes.
In 2014, the Northern Territory passed the new laws, which allow police to arrest someone who has committed, or is suspected of having committed a summary offence and hold them for up to four hours without charging them.
Summary offences are often minor crimes that can cover a wide range of behaviours, including using obscenities, or making too much noise.
So you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that if the Police detain you they will have a reason that falls within the definition of summary offence.
Thankfully, the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) is challenging the Northern Territory’s paperless arrest police powers in the High Court.