Man blew 0.258% before even heading out to clubs

A YOUNG man intercepted by police before heading off for a night out was more than five times the legal limit - before he had even started drinking at pubs and clubs.

Queensland police and Griffith University have partnered with the help of federal funding from the National Drug Strategy Funding Committee to survey and breath test people as they start their night out in the Brisbane's CBD.

Police and researchers from Griffith University say they are surprised by early results of the preloading project "Smart Start".

Griffith University, Associate Professor Grant Devilly said he was surprised by some of the initial observations that showed younger people were wildly inaccurate when it came to estimating how heavily alcohol consumption effects their blood alcohol concentration.

"A quick survey conducted at train stations, taxi ranks and near popular venues includes the chance for patrons to undertake a voluntary breath test after estimating what their reading may be," Professor Devilly said.

"The reception has been extremely positive with many very keen to contribute and compare how intoxicated they feel with an accurate breath test."

Officer in Charge Fortitude Valley Station, Senior Sergeant Corey Allen said while police often get to talk to people when they are in crisis, or after an incident, the chance for front line police to engage people in such positive terms was a real opportunity.

"I was pleasantly surprised to speak to many young people heading out who had a plan for the night, or had a friend who was the designated driver.

"There were a couple of people who had to be diverted but if that stops them becoming a victim later in the night then it is well worth the effort," Senior Sergeant Allen said.

"Police conducted interventions during the first nights of engagement when people were more intoxicated than they first thought.

"One young man registered a reading of 0.258% at 9.00pm as he got out of a taxi ready to start his night out.

"He thought he would be about 0.07% and was stunned by the high reading.

"We provided him with water and diverted him from the premises to get some food and rethink his choices,' Senior Sergeant Allen said.

The results from the research engagement will help guide strategies into the future.

Patrons are asked about a range of factors including consumption of energy drinks with alcohol, preloading drugs and their previous involvement in alcohol related incidents.

This is the first time front line police and researchers have worked together to engage people around preloading.

The message is a simple one - "don't fill up before you go out".

The project continues each Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in the City and Valley between 9pm and midnight for the next few months


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