Judges escape random breath testing measures

The Victorian government has backed down on an election promise to allow judges to be randomly breath tested.

The Victorian government has backed away from a plan to give the chief justice, chief judge and the chief magistrate the power to randomly breath-test the judiciary.

According The Australian, the state government is now saying that the measures are unnecessary and unreasonable.

The Judicial Commission of Victoria Bill 2015 tabled in Parliament in December, didn’t spell out the specific powers that allowed the random breath testing but did mention ‘broad measures’.  Attorney-General Martin Pakula said breath testing would come under the banner of medical examinations.

The Australian reported that he told 3AW on Wednesday that random breath tests were ‘unnecessary and unreasonable’ for judges.

The opposition has labelled the election promise as a media stunt.

“With this latest policy U-turn, following so many bizarre wrong-turns and whacky frolics, it's clear that what the Andrews government now needs more than anything else is a designated driver who can steer a steady and responsible course for Victoria,” shadow attorney-general John Pesutto said in a statement.

The promise was also made to test MPs, but it is unclear whether or not this will go ahead, the government saying the decision rests on speaker Telmo Languiller and Legislative Council president Bruce Atkinson.

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