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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 20:29 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
PeterE wrote:
But even with a law that says in effect you can't drink anything immediately before driving, you still have to make an assessment of how long you need to wait after having a drink (or ten drinks) before you can drive again. A lower limit does not make that any simpler. How would the guy you refer to know he was OK to drive on Monday?

With one of the readily available breathalysers http://www.ukbreathalysers.com/

Yes, I know that, as I posted it earlier in the thread. But if the government advice doesn't give you a rough rule of thumb to calculate alcohol metabolisation over time, it certainly doesn't advise getting a personal breathalyser.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 21:47 
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BRAKE were interviewed on the wireless this morning on this subject. The usual hang 'em and flog 'em attitude. Nobody said whether or not the people that are currently under the limit but would be over a new limit would be the ones that are CAUSING (not getting caught up in) crashes. If the punishment at the lower end was £30 and a slap on the wrist, it would not be so bad, but it will be a ban and social stigma for having a social drink with a meal, or not knowing you were over the limit the day after

I will reiterate, that I am not advocating driving while Pi$$ed, but I would like to see some comparison between driving with a small amount of drink in your system and other forms of in car distraction of whatever form.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 22:10 
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adam.L wrote:
I will reiterate, that I am not advocating driving while Pi$$ed, but I would like to see some comparison between driving with a small amount of drink in your system and other forms of in car distraction of whatever form.


Be careful what you wish for. We may end up with people getting two-year bans for scratching their noses while driving :yikes:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 08:58 
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adam.L wrote:
BRAKE were interviewed on the wireless this morning on this subject.
Have you got a Gramophone too? :hehe:

Soz Adam, couldn't resist.
:coat:

:D

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:53 
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Big Tone wrote:
adam.L wrote:
BRAKE were interviewed on the wireless this morning on this subject.
Have you got a Gramophone too? :hehe:

Soz Adam, couldn't resist.
:coat:

:D


Whey do we call broadcast receivers Radio sets yet call data communication kit Wireless Networks :?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:56 
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A fairly dispassionate look mat this in an Independent Editorial today http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-testing-the-limits-2002388.html

He does point out that France has a higher incident of drink related accidents than UK despite already having the 50 limit.

And I do find the statistic that a single unit of alcohol triples your chance of being involved in a fatal RTA quite remarkable and I wonder where the statistics for that come from since there is no way of knowing how many people are having accident free journeys at that level. The entire motoring population could be driving around all the time at 20mg/ml and no one would know.
There was research done some time ago - which, unfortunately, I can't trace - that that level of alcohol decreased reaction times. That was attributed to the relaxing effect and certainly fits in with my own observations.

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Last edited by dcbwhaley on Thu Jun 17, 2010 13:22, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 13:09 
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Another good article on this subject by Steven Glover in today's Daily Mail.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 13:31 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Whey do we call broadcast receivers Radio sets yet call data communication kit Wireless Networks :?
Something historical I shouldn't wonder. A more confusing one for me is why goods moved by a ship is called cargo and goods going by road is a shipment :?

There was an interesting talk on the wireless this afternoon on Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine. Some of the arguments are ridiculous, like different limits for rural areas. How the hec you are going to either define or enforce something like that is beyond me.

I do think that whatever it is, or ends up being, it should at least be nationwide. If they are trying to talk in terms of the affect of alcohol on an 'average' human, a human in the Hebrides is much the same as a human anywhere else isn't it?

If it's about the density of traffic then how about a different limit when I drive back home at 4 in the morning when I'm the only thing on the road? It starts to get very silly if they go down that route I think.

They also bandied about the other statistical emetic about a how a lowering of X% will save 6.25 lives per month or some such nonsense; the same sort of drivel you hear with speed reduction.

Also, and I don't mean to be unkind or unsympathetic to the poor woman who lost her son in a DD accident, but don't they just love use someone in these cases to put forth an argument for zero tolerance.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 13:55 
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PeterE wrote:
Another good article on this subject by Steven Glover in today's Daily Mail.
Good article indeed, nicely put, and mentions what I said and where I am coming from now..

"Many would sit at home instead, tippling tins of cut-price lager or cheap plonk purchased from the local supermarket".


dcbwhaley wrote:
Big Tone wrote:
So I can either blow 20 quid for a night at the pub or buy a four-pack at a total cost of £3.79 and put my feet up at home reading the paper or watching the box. I rest my case...

The case being that you have no taste :D Decent beer is only available in pubs. Not quite true - some of the Belgian bottles are good but they cost as much as pub beer.
Ah, you may have just missed out on Lidl selling Bishops Finger and Spitfire at just £1 each ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 17:00 
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Big Tone wrote:
Ah, you may have just missed out on Lidl selling Bishops Finger and Spitfire at just £1 each ;)


Fortunately I did. I just can't stomach English bottled beer. There is just too much fizz in it - even in the bottle conditioned stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 23:19 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Big Tone wrote:
Ah, you may have just missed out on Lidl selling Bishops Finger and Spitfire at just £1 each ;)

Fortunately I did. I just can't stomach English bottled beer. There is just too much fizz in it - even in the bottle conditioned stuff.

This is getting a bit off-topic, but (as a fellow member of CAMRA) I have no problem with good condition in bottle-conditioned beers and indeed actively seek it out. I've had too many, generally from micro-breweries, where you open the bottle and just end up with a glassful of flat dishwater :yuck:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 15:17 
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Interesting editorial from SPIKED.

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/ ... icle/9012/

Its just the sort of article I would have written if my writing skills were anything better than non-existant! :(

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 21:45 
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BBC News Magazine Here
Quote:
Why not ban all drink-driving?
Hands handing over car keys in a pub
By Jon Kelly
BBC News Magazine

A government report recommends cutting the blood-alcohol limit for drivers, but critics say this risks confusing motorists about how much they can drink. Might we just as well go for an outright ban?

Barely 40 years ago, driving after drinking alcohol was a common occurrence. Today, it is socially unacceptable to all but a tiny minority.
But as the families of those who continue to die on Britain's roads will attest, the problem has hardly disappeared.

BEREAVED MOTHER'S VIEW
Christine Matkin with her son Sam (photo) - Christine Matkin's son Sam, 22, was killed by drunk motorist driving wrong way on dual carriageway

"My son was declared dead at the scene, but the other guy was cut out with minor injuries. He was three times over the limit, but the limit has got to be zero when driving.
"Alcohol affects people differently, but so long as people are allowed to drink, there is an excuse. Our thoughts are: for the sake of a £10 taxi fare, just because the guy didn't want to pay out, our son would still be alive."
As told to Vanessa Barford
It is an issue legal expert Sir Peter North has been charged with tackling.

In a report commissioned by ministers, he calls for a reduction in the driving limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, bringing the UK into line with most EU countries. It's a decision so far only devolved to Northern Ireland, which intends to make the same cut.

It's a move supported by a wide range of groups from across British civil society: the Association of Chief Police Officers, the British Medical Association and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Even many drivers' groups back the reduction, with the RAC offering its support and the AA saying that two-thirds of its members are behind it.

Advocates argue it will send a clear signal that alcohol and the road do not mix. The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts) estimates it could save 65 lives a year, as Switzerland noted a drop in alcohol-related road deaths after it reduced the limit to 50mg from 80mg:
Swiss alcohol-related road deaths

But the proposal has attracted two sets of critics - on the one hand, those who say any reduction would be a draconian crackdown on hitherto law-abiding motorists, and on the other, supporters of zero tolerance who want drinking and driving banned outright.

They may appear to have very little in common. But both sets of sceptics agree on one point: a 50mg limit would lack the unambiguous clarity of an outright ban.

A 2005 study by Professor Richard Allsop of University College London divided the UK's drivers into three groups: the overwhelming majority who do not drink and drive at all; the 1% who drive well over the limit regardless of the law; and about 2% who drive after drinking, but seek to stay within the limit.
Motorist in left-hand drive car with beer
Some drink drivers will never reform, experts say (posed by model)

The key question for all sides is how those in the latter category might respond to any changes - and both supporters of zero tolerance and opponents of any reduction believe the halfway house of 50mg would simply confuse them.

Road safety campaign group Brake believes any partial reduction should only be a stepping stone to a limit of 20mg - as close to an absolute ban as possible, it believes, without penalising those with trace elements of alcohol in their bloodstream from, say, using mouthwash or nibbling on chocolate liqueurs.

Campaigns officer Ellen Booth warns even a 50mg limit would encourage misapprehensions about a certain alcohol limit - such as a small glass of wine or a half-pint of beer - being safe to imbibe before driving when, in fact, no such standard can be calculated given people's different physiologies and metabolisms.

"There's no way to calculate what's a safe limit - as it stands, basically people have to guess," she says.

"The Department of Transport's Think campaign tells people not to drink and drive at all, but the law says otherwise. There shouldn't be any room for confusion."

Conversely, Nigel Humphries of the Association of British Drivers opposes any reduction, arguing that this would remove any incentive to stay within the law for the small number of drivers who try to drink within the limit.

"We think this would harden attitudes - people don't take notice of daft laws," he says. "You've got to have legislation that is sensible.

"Simply fiddling with the limit confuses what should be a clear message: don't drink and drive."
Police officer with breathalyser in 1967
The limit's introduction in 1967 led to a drop in alcohol-related road deaths

Mr Humphries argues the drop in drink-related road deaths has far more to do with tough enforcement and hard-hitting road safety campaigns than the actual legal limit.

Indeed, there is little doubt that drink-driving deaths have fallen sharply since the 80mg limit was introduced in 1967. In 2008, the most recent year for which figures are available, 430 people were killed in road accidents involving illegal alcohol levels in Britain, up from 410 in 2007.

But according to the Department of Transport, the figure is still down by two-thirds on the 1970s, despite a large increase in the number of cars.

In international terms, the statistics are more ambiguous.

The World Heath Organization estimated in 2008 that the proportion of UK road deaths attributable to alcohol was 17% - higher than Sweden on 16%, Germany on 12% and the Czech republic on 3.4%, but lower than France on 27%, the Irish Republic on 37% and Estonia on 48%. Overall, the European Commission says UK road deaths are relatively low at 43 per million inhabitants compared with 54 per million in Germany, 67 per million in France and 98 per million in Estonia.
Alcohol road deaths

Robert Gifford, executive director of Pacts, is a strong supporter of the 50mg limit, arguing that it sends a clear message without punishing those who consume only a very moderate amount of alcohol.

He says a landmark study conducted in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during the 1960s suggested the likelihood of involvement in an accident becomes greater at this point.

"We know that the probability of being involved in an accident increases after 50mg - you're not just stating an abstract level. Of course this is only part of the solution - you have to accompany it with enforcement and advertising."

He also cites a 1998 study by the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which suggested that between 50mg and 80mg, drivers were 2-2.5% more likely to be involved in a collision than those who had not touched alcohol at all, and six times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

Whether the coalition government follows Sir Peter's advice, of course, remains to be seen.

When the review was launched in December 2009, shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said the Conservatives had "yet to be convinced of the case for an across-the-board reduction in the drink-driving limit".

The Liberal Democrats, however, support a reduction to 50mg.

All sides may be unlikely to find common ground soon. But they will surely each concur that a single death on the road due to drink-driving is one too many.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 22:05 
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All the usual canards in that article.

"Why don't they ban drink-driving altogether"?

Because:

(a) there is no evidence whatsoever that low levels of alcohol cause any impairment
(b) it would also mean banning driving for a very long time after drinking any alcohol, thus imposing back-door Prohibition on all drivers

"The Grand Rapids study showed an upturn in accident risk above 50mg"

Yes, it did, but there was a much bigger upturn above 100mg. And a 20% or even 50% increase in a negligible risk is still negligible.

As said earlier in the thread, if you want to have a single black-and-white standard, and impose severe penalties above that level, equity demands it is set at a level above which there is no doubt that most drivers are significantly impaired.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 00:44 
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A zero limit would also deny drivers the safe use of many mouthwashes, medicines, untreated fruit juices, etc. etc..

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:12 
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RobinXe wrote:
A zero limit would also deny drivers the safe use of many mouthwashes, medicines, untreated fruit juices, etc. etc..



It would also cause problems for anybody with a candida infection....

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 17:31 
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Another good article on the subject in today's Sunday Telegraph by Simon Heffer.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 19:35 
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The North Report can be downloaded for your perusal (all 285 pages of it) here:

http://northreview.independent.gov.uk/docs/NorthReview-Report.pdf

One paragraph that struck my eye was this:

Quote:
3.41. Review of the literature highlighted that there was only limited evidence on the pattern of drink driving in England and Wales (as measured by BAC levels among the driving population). There was also a lack of UK evidence on how reducing the legal limit might change drink driving behaviour and the associated risk of casualties, particularly among those drinking above the current 80 mg/100 ml BAC limit. Consequently, unknown parameters had to be calibrated or estimated from the international literature – mainly from Europe and Australia. The model estimates the casualty savings which could be expected in the first year following implementation of a lower limit and for each year up to six years after implementation.

Which suggests there is a considerable amount of conjecture in the conclusions, given that patterns of alcohol consumption and use of licensed premises differ substantially between countries.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:25 
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PeterE wrote:
The North Report can be downloaded for your perusal (all 285 pages of it) here:

http://northreview.independent.gov.uk/docs/NorthReview-Report.pdf

One paragraph that struck my eye was this:

Quote:
3.41. Review of the literature highlighted that there was only limited evidence on the pattern of drink driving in England and Wales (as measured by BAC levels among the driving population). There was also a lack of UK evidence on how reducing the legal limit might change drink driving behaviour and the associated risk of casualties, particularly among those drinking above the current 80 mg/100 ml BAC limit. Consequently, unknown parameters had to be calibrated or estimated from the international literature – mainly from Europe and Australia. The model estimates the casualty savings which could be expected in the first year following implementation of a lower limit and for each year up to six years after implementation.

Which suggests there is a considerable amount of conjecture in the conclusions, given that patterns of alcohol consumption and use of licensed premises differ substantially between countries.


All you guys in the UK should make sure that you bring this to the attention of your local MP especially if he is on the Government side. You should also point out to your MP that the Australian figures are to be treated with EXTREME caution as in most States Random Breath Testing was intoduced at the same time as .05 (50 mg by your nomenclature).

I would suggest that Claire sends a formal comment to all Coalition MPs - I am sure that can be done by email in bulk.

As far as I am concerned the Australian "Research" organisations are totally and grossly incompetent and/or deliberately mis-leading.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:37 
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MFL wrote:
I would suggest that Claire sends a formal comment to all Coalition MPs - I am sure that can be done by email in bulk.

I think to be fair this issue is outside the official remit of the Safe Speed campaign.

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