Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Drinking, Drugs No Longer an Excuse for Serious Assaults; Police Given Authority to Test Violent Offenders

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Drinking, Drugs No Longer an Excuse for Serious Assaults; Police Given Authority to Test Violent Offenders

Article excerpt

Chris Lees

chris.lees@dailymercury.com.au

New rules

Grievous bodily harm.

Unlawful wounding, which includes glassing.

Serious assault on a public officer including ambulance officers.

BEING drunk or under the influence of drugs will no longer be an excuse for committing serious assaults.

Mackay police now have the authority to breathalyse and drug test anyone who commits a serious assault.

Mackay Demand Policing Unit officer in charge Senior Sergeant Mick Searle said people often tried to fall back on alcohol and drugs as an excuse for their behaviour.

"The legislation now basically puts them (alcohol and drugs) down as causing factors," he said.

"It's about people taking responsibility for themselves. People sit there and they willingly take amounts of alcohol or other substances, which then contribute to their behaviour; well they need to be held responsible for that decision.

"It's not an excuse anymore and if it is found to be a contributing factor then instead of removing some of the seriousness of it, it actually adds to it. …

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