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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:20 
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This is only being proposed (by one 'plonk'er ;) ):

Sky News wrote:
Alcohol Limit For Drivers 'Could Be Slashed'

1:26pm UK, Saturday June 05, 2010
Graham Fitzgerald, Sky News Online


Ministers are considering proposals to slash the alcohol limit for drivers, it has been reported.

A report on driving under the influence of drink and drugs has been submitted to the Department for Transport by academic Sir Peter North.

It was commissioned last December when Labour was in power, but is now being studied by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Sir Peter recommends reducing the drink-drive limit by almost half, from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml to 50mg.

That could be less than a single glass of wine or pint of strong beer.

Those found breaking the law would be hit with an automatic 12-month ban, the paper said.

The Department for Transport declined to comment on the detail of Sir Peter's recommendations.

A spokeswoman said: "We need to tackle drink driving in the most effective way possible to protect law-abiding motorists.

"We are considering Sir Peter's report carefully and will respond in due course."


Sir Peter's Other Proposals

:: Random breath-testing, allowing police to stop motorists with no other aim
:: The right for drivers to demand a second breathalyser test at the police station to be removed [ :o WTF ?!?]
:: Novice drivers to face an alcohol limit of just 20mg
:: A new offence of driving with an illegal substance in the bloodstream at levels deemed impairing.

I think the real problem is those who are several times the current limit - and cameras are sooooo effective in this area :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 13:09 
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The fundamental problem with booze is that it impairs judgment so that anyone having had anything to drink can't always be certain they are *actually* safe to drive. Ditto being tired but not being fully aware of it or being on certain other prescription drugs.

Perhaps the answer with persistent drink drivers isn't a ban but a tag and spike system so they have to drive with a big spike on the wheel and in the door so if anything does happen they get skewered. With lots of cars being so safe these days you really can drive like a total arse with little to fear. And looking at the way a lot of people drive these days it seems to be how the driving culture has changed!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 13:11 
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Changing peoples behaviour to one that is desired, is not usually achieved by ever more restrictive enforcement, but should instead be done by trusting each motorist to act responsibly by acting appropriately, having been given all the facts based on good unbiased research.
We must only ever affect those desired actions with only the required dose, and no more before undesired consequences might result.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 13:34 
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teabelly wrote:
The fundamental problem with booze is that it impairs judgment so that anyone having had anything to drink can't always be certain they are *actually* safe to drive. Ditto being tired but not being fully aware of it or being on certain other prescription drugs.
Drugs & alcohol seem to have such varying effects on individuals, yet we have 'one rule for all'.
To dismiss the '2nd opinion' is totally unfair & unjust.
teabelly wrote:
Perhaps the answer with persistent drink drivers isn't a ban but a tag and spike system so they have to drive with a big spike on the wheel and in the door so if anything does happen they get skewered. With lots of cars being so safe these days you really can drive like a total arse with little to fear. And looking at the way a lot of people drive these days it seems to be how the driving culture has changed!
I do think that when motorists are asked to be less responsible and think less this alteration to some of the motoring culture is inevitable, and sadly as it may increase the KSI's. The balance of awareness of danger to riding/driving attitude (thinking/awareness of concentration when travelling) is altered. Vehicle safety has improved and helps to add to this illusion of safety. Couple this with 'go slower you will be safe false message (for the most part) helps to imply safety when it may not be.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 13:47 
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Is there any evidence to show that drivers who have drunk, but are within the current legal limit, are over-represented in the crash stats?
If not, then why exactly is this being proposed?

I know there is a U-shaped 'alcohol vs risk' curve such as this one that demonstrates something interesting - whatever that something is.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:09 
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The reason for having the one limit for all is to get round how exactly you would judge impairment otherwise. Intoxication is variable but would having some kind of road side test that is not based around a breath test be any better? There is no easy answer to this other than a near zero limit. Plus depending on general driving ability someone nissed pewt could be safer than some sober idiot.

An easy to administer road side blood test or more accurate handheld breathalysers could both solve the problem of faulty equipment. Also someone asking for a second test could find themselves with a higher reading depending on their metabolism.

Has anyone checked the accuracy of these devices and asked for calibration certificates? :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:43 
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John Brignell has a good take on it here

Basically, the Grand Rapids and subsequent German research concluded that 96% of drink-drive accidents involve a BAC of above 0.08%, and, given that drink-drive accidents comprised around 10% of the total, BAC concentrations of under 0.08% would account for, at best, 0.4% of accidents.
Reducing the limit would therefore have no significant effect on accident levels, but would be at great cost to society.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:49 
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Steve wrote:
Is there any evidence to show that drivers who have drunk, but are within the current legal limit, are over-represented in the crash stats?

The Borkenstein study does suggest an increase in accident risk of between 0 and 50% for alcohol levels between 50mg and 80mg - but of course a 50% increase in a very negligible risk for any individual journey still results in a very negligible risk. There is also the issue of to what extent a change in the law would actually change people's behaviour, especially if the law is not intensively enforced.

The point was made when the original breathalyser law was brought in that if you want to set a single, black-and-white standard enforced on a strict liability basis (which has great advantages in terms of clarity and public understanding), and resulting in an automatic severe punishment, then fairness and equity demand that it should be set at a level at which there is reasonable confidence that most drivers are impaired to some extent.

There is a very good post on this subject here on Al Jahom's blog.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 16:27 
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From memory, that would bring us in line with Europe. We have actually 'enjoyed' a higher legal limit but the point which slaps me in the face is this, from you teabelly.

teabelly wrote:
...depending on general driving ability someone nissed pewt could be safer than some sober idiot. :twisted:

And that's the truth!

But, just like speed and speeding, I can be very much safer at a high speed than some fool going much slower and under a posted sign limit.

Again, none of these measures are properly addressing safety! All that is being done is to identify an aspect of driving, demonise it, and then sell it to the punters. This paranoia, and that is what it is, has become rife in today's society.

I speed, therefore I kill
I drink, therefore I kill
My yogurt is a day, or a week, past its sell by date, therefore it's inedible
My parents slapped me once, therefore it’s child abuse
You can’t eat lard, it’ll kill you
You must eat five a day, you must do everything Government tells you because they are good and always right...

If little Johnny fell into the canal and drowned, the one next to my local pub, I would expect a full scale investigation followed by barriers preventing anyone within ten feet of it ever again.

Er, maybe Johnny had what used to be known as an accident! Maybe his parents were morons and they should have supervised! Maybe, just maybe, it was just a freak event that didn’t need a million pound investigation for which the rest of us have to pay the price!

STOP trying to sanitise and disinfect my life to the lowest common denominating moron. STOP telling me speed kills when you have no evidence whatsoever to level at me that I am, or have ever been, a threat because of the way I drive. And STOP wasting my tax pounds on bu11sh1t!

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 17:09 
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Steve is, as usual, thinking along the same lines as me, and beat me to the punch. I would absolutely support this measure if it was shown that a significant proportion of KSIs could be attributed to drivers who were intoxicated but within the current legal drink drve limits. From what has been said, this is not the case, so this could just represent another incarnaion of the flawed "speeding motorists are causing accidents so we must lower the speed limit" (un)thinking.

As for removing the evidential second breath test, it would make it impossible for the courts to impose anything other than the minimum sentence on the basis of intoxication level, unless the police started carrying around great big Lion Intoximeters in their cars!! I get tHe feeling the author doesn't really have much of a clue! It's strangely familiar.

Yes, the second test will be different from the first, in either direction, but the same can be said for the current system of blood/urine option for marginal 'blows'; since the favoured choice, from a suspect's point of view, depends on time since the last drink, if it's recent then urine will be lower, if longer then blood could be on the way down, but urine on the way up. It's not an ideal way to quantify intoxication, but it's what we have.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 17:24 
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Big Tone wrote:
From memory, that would bring us in line with Europe.

It would, but most major European countries have graduated penalties, with just a fine and points applying for levels below 80mg, and in some cases above that too (although that may have been tightened up in recent years).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 18:40 
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PeterE wrote:
Big Tone wrote:
From memory, that would bring us in line with Europe.

It would, but most major European countries have graduated penalties, with just a fine and points applying for levels below 80mg, and in some cases above that too (although that may have been tightened up in recent years).
Ah thanks Peter. :) I use my head more than a Net search because I can access it quicker and I trust it more on the whole. :roll:

That link you had there Steve, of the graph, looks nice and ostensibly accurate. But where exactly did the survey, evidence and statistics come from? I guess it never materialised, (surprise, surprise - I shouldn’t wonder). And dear Paul no doubt :) .

When I used to drink a lot, my tolerance went through the roof! I'm way past that horrible blip now, in a sad part of my past life, but I can tell you a bottle of 13% wine back then wouldn't even touch the surface. Contrast that with when I was younger, say 30 years old, and I wouldn't even have been able to pick the phone up the next morning to say to my manager at work I have a, (fake), cold.

But, just like speed, how do you govern roads and weed out the bad drivers before they become killers and somewhere like BRAKE ride on the back of the notion that Speed always Kills?

I still honestly don't know what I would do if I had the power or influence in Government to make changes :?

I know the answer lies in education and training, and I know I would not get the funding I would want for more traf pol etc. So although I know it's not, never has been, about speed kills - I'm not sure what I would do if I were in government given the constraints and political agenda which goes with that position?

I couldn’t do it! But that’s because I am honest and I would be honest about road safety if I were the Secretary for Transport and so, therefore, I would fail.

It's a very hard nettle to grasp IMO, (for anyone), and a fine balance between freedom and a licence to murder...

(That mud hut in Namibia is really starting to look good) :D

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The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe Speed.
You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


Last edited by Big Tone on Sun Jun 06, 2010 18:57, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 18:57 
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Perhaps the old pre breatherlyser tests were more accurate then? (getting someone to walk on the white line). Just like speed limits this is a fixed limit assumption thing, that doesn't take into account that different people react differently to higher speeds or higher qauntities of alcohol and some people can drive safer than others regardless of how high or low that limit is set at. ( I personally wouldn't drive after having more than 1 1/2 pints but feel that having a lower limit, might jepordise me more the morning after having a night out with my mates (not driving), than the present limit.
As for Europe, I was once told that although some countries have a zero limit, you would only get breathalised if involved in an accident, which in some ways puts the onus on people who do drink, drinking within what they know/feel to be their limits and driving as safe as possible thereafter (although there could still be the idiot who ploughs into you).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 19:07 
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graball wrote:
As for Europe, I was once told that although some countries have a zero limit, you would only get breathalised if involved in an accident, which in some ways puts the onus on people who do drink, drinking within what they know/feel to be their limits and driving as safe as possible thereafter (although there could still be the idiot who ploughs into you).
Yes grabs, but that's where it falls down, as I'm sure you agree, (maybe, I hope ;) )...

A seasoned drinker who is fractionally over the limit gets, in your words, ploughed into by an idiot whom is sober.

Although the idiot is at fault the breath test will put the 'drunk' at fault I'm sure.

I highlight the word 'drunk' because I have never understood how you can be a fraction under the legal limit and "be on your way sir" no points, no fine, no ban yet be fractionally over and

Well you can guess the rest...

This is where Peter is absolutely spot on with his previous post about the continent way. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 21:52 
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graball wrote:
Perhaps the old pre breatherlyser tests were more accurate then? (getting someone to walk on the white line)..


The reason that we want to prevent people from driving after drinking is that it impairs their ability to drive safely. Instead of testing a cause (blood alcohol level) which is not simply related to the effect (impaired driving ability) we should test the effect directly. Which is what the old tests - walking the white line, touching your nose, dismissing the Leith Police - did very well. It would be quite easy to modernise that system with a simple driving simulator.

Trying to judge someone's ability to drive safely from there blood alcohol is like trying to measure the flow of a river by measuring the local rainfall. It can be done but it is different for every location.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 22:52 
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Can't argue with that dcb. Good post and fair analogy I would say.

Don't get, never have, why you do the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on SS, but that's for you to know I guess. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 23:03 
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Quote:
Trying to judge someone's ability to drive safely from there blood alcohol is like trying to measure the flow of a river by measuring the local rainfall. It can be done but it is different for every location.


Could you not also say the same about judging ones ability to drive safely, by whever or not they have exceeded an ever diminishing speed limit, though?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 23:06 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Trying to judge someone's ability to drive safely from there blood alcohol is like trying to measure the flow of a river by measuring the local rainfall. It can be done but it is different for every location.

But it can be done on a population basis and, if it is established that most drivers are significantly impaired with a blood-alcohol level above X, then the hardship to those who are not impaired is vastly outweighed by the overall benefit to society.

In the days before 1967 when the police did need to carry out "field impairment tests" this was very time-consuming and it could be very difficult to secure convictions.

On the other hand, reducing the threshold to a point below which no driver can be said to be impaired would be heavy-handed and counter-productive.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 23:15 
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graball wrote:
Quote:
Trying to judge someone's ability to drive safely from there blood alcohol is like trying to measure the flow of a river by measuring the local rainfall. It can be done but it is different for every location.

Could you not also say the same about judging ones ability to drive safely, by whever or not they have exceeded an ever diminishing speed limit, though?
Of course Graball :) and maybe dcb is singing from the same hymn sheet as us.... or not. :?

What persona are we going to see next dcb? I don't think you have ever declared your credentials, when it come to speed kills, other than you are getting off the 'road scene' so it does not concern you anymore I think :scratchchin:

I don't use a shotgun but the danger is that I might be asked for my opinion on shooting, along with thousands of others whom don't shoot, and that will be the winning vote based on ignorance. :roll:

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 07:47 
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Big Tone wrote:
Don't get, never have, why you do the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on SS, but that's for you to know I guess. :)


Because I don't have an agenda and I try to consider every problem on its merits without preconceptions.

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