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Drink Driving - Zero Limit

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Drink Driving - Zero Limit

Old 6th Dec 2014, 19:54
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Drink Driving - Zero Limit

What with the Christmas season upon us the police here in Scotland have started their annual drink driving deterrence campaign. With the recent change in the law we now effectively have a zero limit. It's not without its critics, some argue that it will do nothing to deter the persistent offenders who really don't care whether there is a limit or not. Personally I think a Zero limit is a good idea - it sends a clear message that can't really be mistaken.

But I was wondering what approaches we have elsewhere - am I correct in thinking that there is a zero limit in Australia, no doubt some states in the USA, not sure about the rest of Europe? So what are your drink driving rules, do they work and what do you think of a zero limit? What's the general public few of the offender who drinks and drives in your country? In Scotland approx 20 deaths each year are attributed to drink driving - if the recent change in our law reduces this then it has my vote. Here's to a safe Christmas to all on the roads.

Tom
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 19:57
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In many Australian states it is a zero limit for Learner and Probationary drivers, and all commercial (bus, taxi & HGV) drivers.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:12
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In Scotland approx 20 deaths each year are attributed to drink driving
Let's keep the record straight. In Scotland approx twenty deaths a year are drink RELATED accidents. There you can have a drunk killed by a sober driver. I have seen one.

I'll agree with you, however, that there is a good case for a zero limit, as in Norway. It won't stop those who think, especially in the wilderness, that they can get away with it.

It won't stop the drunks staggering out of a pub and flagging down what they think is a taxi.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:20
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Whilst I agree with lowering the limit, having it at zero is IMO a step too far and could lead to a lot of problems.

If the limit is zero with no leeway, one slice of a Christmas cake that had a bit of brandy in it would effectively be enough of a reason to ban someone should they be breathalysed and what about mouthwashes that have alcohol in them?
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:27
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Whilst I agree with lowering the limit, having it at zero is IMO a step too far and could lead to a lot of problems.

If the limit is zero with no leeway, one slice of a Christmas cake that had a bit of brandy in it would effectively be enough of a reason to ban someone should they be breathalysed and what about mouthwashes that have alcohol in them?
I agree, zero limit is insane, they might as well ban drinking all together.

If one cannot drive properly after having one normal beer or a glass of wine, they should not be driving period.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:35
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If one cannot drive properly after having one normal beer or a glass of wine, they should not be driving period.

True. Or say, a bottle of white with a large lunch.

Note the emphasis on lunch. Lunch time in Spain, the guardians of law and order are likely to be sitting on the next table with their jeep (etc) parked outside.

Drinking in the evening, bad news and foolish.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:37
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In Scotland approx 20 deaths each year are attributed to drink driving

Question: how many premature deaths a year in Scotland are alcohol-related anyway ?
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:39
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Hear what your saying farest, I was citing the comments of the chief sheriff (Glasgow I think) from the news report on the BBC. Here's a excerpt below:

Police and road safety campaigners have said an average of 20 people die on Scotland's roads each year as a result of collisions involving people who were driving while over the legal alcohol limit.

A further 90 were seriously injured and 340 slightly injured as a result of drink-driving related collisions last year.
BBC News - Scotland cuts drink-drive alcohol limit

Putting the stats to one side however, I do think it is a good move. This time of year in the pre Christmas run up I always look back at the road safety displays we used to put at the camp gate/guardroom. A good visual reminder, albeit a bit mixed message what with all the pre Christmas round robins

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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:40
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Originally Posted by OFSO View Post
In Scotland approx 20 deaths each year are attributed to drink driving

Question: how many premature deaths a year in Scotland are alcohol-related anyway ?

Sadly too many OFSO.

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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:46
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Well, I thought, I could always look it up:

In 2013, there were 1,100 alcohol-related deaths on the basis of the current definition (details available via Alcohol Related Deaths - the Coverage of the Statistics section); an increase of 20 (2%) compared with 1,080 in 2012, and the second lowest annual total since 1997.

The number of alcohol-related deaths was relatively stable, at roughly 600 per year, during the 1980s. It then rose rapidly during the 1990s and early 2000s, to around 1,500 per year in the mid-2000s. The figure of 1,546 in 2006 was the largest so far recorded: since then, the trend appears to be downwards.

The 1,100 alcohol-related deaths in 2013 consisted of 741 male deaths and 359 female deaths. Over the years since 1979, there have been roughly twice as many male deaths as female deaths, with the two figures tending to rise and fall together (although there have been some exceptions, as the ratio has been as low as 1.4:1 and as high as 2.4:1).

In 2013, there were 164 alcohol-related deaths of people who were 30-44 and 472 deaths of people aged 45-59. These were both slight increases compared to 2012 while the 359 deaths of 60-74 year olds was a further decrease in the total for that age group. The number of deaths in those age groups were each at their lowest or second lowest level for more than a decade. There were 95 deaths of people aged 75 and over, 12 fewer than in 2012, which had been the highest number since 2003. The number of deaths in the under 30 age group was 10 in 2013, the lowest number since 1996. Deaths in this age group have fluctuated between 10 and 19 over the last decade. The 45-59 age-group has had the largest number of alcohol-related deaths in almost every year since 1979.

As against this the figure of 20 driving/alcohol-related deaths p.a. looks so small as to indicate that per mile driven you are safer drinking and driving than just drinking.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:56
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But if you can do something about lives lost through drink driving then do it.

Measures to reduce alcohol abuse are also in play, there is no magic bullet to all of societies' social ills. Anyway let's try to keep it on drink driving.

Tom

Edited - found some stats on limits on BBC site

What is the legal limit elsewhere in Europe?

(All figures per 100ml of blood)

Zero - Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia (drivers with less than three years experience), Germany (less than two years experience or aged under 21)
20mg - Estonia, Poland, Sweden, Cyprus (south), Ireland (learner drivers only), Latvia (less than two years experience), Lithuania (less than two years experience), Greece (less than two years experience), Luxembourg (less than two years experience and professional drivers), France (bus drivers only)
24mg - Slovenia
30mg - Germany (for those involved in an accident)
40mg - Lithuania
50mg - Scotland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (if not involved in an accident), Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus (north)
80mg - England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Malta
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30329743

Last edited by TomJoad; 6th Dec 2014 at 21:22.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 20:56
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In Scotland approx 20 deaths each year are attributed to drink driving
I can't help but wonder how many of these accidents would have occurred anyone with the same tragic consequences. It seems that whenever alcohol is identified as a factor in an accident it often becomes the over-riding cause, masking some of the real underlying issues. IMHO there is a general lack of basic driving skills and ability which rarely features as a factor and never seems to merit the attention I should deserve. Reducing the drink driving limit will not address it and risks creating further problems with banned drivers continuing to get behind the wheel.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 21:14
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Blood alcohol concentration limit for driving a car in Oz is 0.05% (50mg/100ml)
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 21:19
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TWT that's the limit being introduced here in Scotland, being dropped from 80mg/100ml.

What's the social attitude to drink driving in Aus?

Tom
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 21:28
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No-one I know even thinks of having a couple at the pub and driving.But there's still plenty of people that do it.Random breath testing has been in force for 25-30 years here depending on where you live,so plenty of time to adjust attitudes.

I have frequently walked 5 or 6ks home from a night out when cabs were scarce,just something you need to factor in.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 21:58
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Is the aversion to drink-driving because of the risk of being caught - and the severity of the resultant penalty (loss of licence, increased insurance cost possible loss of employment)?

I read this week of a female caught driving when several times over the limit - and stopped and caught again (well over the limit) one week later.

Having searched for this case (and failed to find it), it seems that such incidents are not that unusual as there are quite a few such reports.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 22:05
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I think the hope is that it will get to the stage where it becomes socially unacceptable, if indeed it is not already there. The old phrase "one for the road" being consigned to history.

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Old 6th Dec 2014, 22:21
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Where a strict zero limit might be a problem.


Ketones from following a low-carb diet could trigger the breathalyzer
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 22:22
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Is the aversion to drink-driving because of the risk of being caught - and the severity of the resultant penalty (loss of licence, increased insurance cost possible loss of employment)?
All of the above.

In my case,I also think about the nightmare scenario whereby I wake up in hospital with (maybe) all my limbs,and am told a whole family was killed in a collision they had with my car.Not worth it.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 22:37
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So I am returning home to Scotland from England and get breathalysed on the M6 near Carlisle. I pass the test and carry on driving home. Just north of Gretna I get breathalysed again and fail because of the lower limit in Scotland.

Of course I have a full UK driving licence and it gets endorsed by the Scottish Courts so I can't drive here.......but can I still drive in England as I haven't committed any offence there?

I can't find the answer anywhere but logic tells me my UK licence has been withdrawn. I hasten to add that I don't drink and drive so the above scenario is hypothetical but of course it is possible.
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