Police seek help to locate youth service’s missing breathalyser

Byron Bay Underage Drink and Drug Initiative BUDDI team leader Nicqui Yazdi
Byron Bay Underage Drink and Drug Initiative BUDDI team leader Nicqui Yazdi Jay Cronan

ALCOHOL conscious thieves have stolen a breathalyser worth more than $4000 from the Byron Youth Service marquee at Bluesfest.

Byron Bay Underage Drink and Drug Initiative BUDDI team leader Nicqui Yazdi said the Alcolizer machine, which was organised by Bluesfest, was stolen from a marquee at the festival's southern entrance on Monday night.

"It was quite a heavy machine, personally I can't lift it up and off the stand myself," she said.

"One person could lift it off the stand but it is going to be a bit of a thing to lug if you had to carry it too far".

"Being that it was after the stall closed, one would also assume that it was after the closure of the Bluesfest grounds for the night."

Byron Youth Service has conducted breath testing at Bluesfest for the past five years, at Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival, Ms Yazdi said, without any machines being stolen.

Ms Yazdi said somebody must have seen something.

"Those marquees are a fundraiser for Byron Youth Service, we do breathalysing and a phone charge service and this year we raised $8400."

"You can't lock those marquees up, so, once the grounds are closed, you have to rely on the fact you have got good security."

"Even if it was a camper, to get in there and get it out, without security or someone seeing it would have been difficult."

Over the five day festival Ms Yazdi said hundreds of people used the Alcolizer, with most returning negative blood alcohol readings.

"Those people who were driving and did get positive readings were advised to go back into the festival and have some water and eat, then come back and get retested."

Ms Yazdi said she was hopeful of locating the Alcolizer, which was supplied by the Bluesfest through Breathalyser Sales and Service, after word spread on social media about the theft.

"My sister lives in Brisbane and she was telling me that it was being shared around all the crime Facebook pages around Brisbane last night."

Anyone with information on the theft of the machine is urged to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  alcohol byron youth service police

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