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How many times have you been breathalysed in the past ten years?
Poll ended at Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:43
Never 72%  72%  [ 23 ]
Once 19%  19%  [ 6 ]
Twice 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Three times 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Four times 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Between five and nine times 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Ten or more times 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 32
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 Post subject: Breath Testing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:43 
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The subject of drink-driving is always in the news over the Christmas period, and it's widely felt that the reduction in the number of traffic police has led to an increase recently after many years of decline.

So how often have you been breath-tested in the past ten years?

(For the avoidance of doubt, since the police often carry out "speculative" tests, especially late at night, admitting to being tested does not imply that someone is a potential offender)

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 Post subject: Drink Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 13:21 
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I think the reduction in traffic police on the roads is certainly having a negative effect on the number of people who are willing to drive after having too much to drink.

I drink in a club on a regular basis and would say that 90% of the regulars would not hesitate to jump in their cars after consuming four pints or more.

This is in marked contrast to my experiences when I first passed my test in 1990, it was certainly drummed into me how dangerous drinking and driving was and none of my friends or I would have dreamt of attempting to drive if we had drunk even one pint (we always used to nominate a designated driver for the evening).

The only time it is ever thought of is for the few weeks around the Christmas period when there is a greater police presence on the roads (and we are generally warned when and where the stops will be taking place by the Police Officers who frequent the club).

It fact it has been stated to me on numerous occasions that, as long as they stick to the speed limits, they won't be pulled over and caught for drink driving. Another wonderful benefit of speed cameras.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 15:33 
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Three times, all green lights on the breathalyser and none of which involved any actual bad driving on my part (though I did get producers). One time I got breathalysed they'd actually stopped me for a broken tail light, so that's almost as good as a random test in my book. I very much doubt that any plod has found a driver so drunk that they'd sabotaged one of their own lights. Personally I don't have a big problem with random testing, I just wish they'd been honest enough to say that's what it was instead of trying to find an excuse to link it to the blown bulb. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 23:13 
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Once in the last ten years, quite a few times before that.

That is despite working night shifts and often having to drive as part of the job.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 23:22 
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Gatsobait wrote:
Three times, all green lights on the breathalyser and none of which involved any actual bad driving on my part (though I did get producers). One time I got breathalysed they'd actually stopped me for a broken tail light, so that's almost as good as a random test in my book. I very much doubt that any plod has found a driver so drunk that they'd sabotaged one of their own lights. Personally I don't have a big problem with random testing, I just wish they'd been honest enough to say that's what it was instead of trying to find an excuse to link it to the blown bulb. :roll:

Do you think this might have been something to do with the type of car you were driving?

As we know, the traffic police occasionally exercise their discretion in inappropriate ways. When was the most recent of the three?

The problem with "random testing" (or "unfettered discretion", as it is more correctly called) is that, if there are no controls at all on who is stopped, and when, it can easily become an excuse for irrelevant vendettas rather than a properly targeted safety measure.

In practice, the police can stop whoever they want for a breath test anyway. "Your driving seemed a touch erratic, Sir." The limitation on testing is numbers, not inadequate police powers.

FWIW I have been breathalysed precisely once in my driving career, in December 1989. I had just driven off a pub car park, which I suppose gave them a reasonable excuse, but the test was comfortably negative. I had just acquired a new company lease car which, in its day, may have appeared a bit "flash" and encouraged the copper.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 23:29 
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Used to get pulled about once every week or two on average in my youth. Started with a documents check (HORT1 as I remember) Record was 3 in one week..... :lol: They used to hate filling the forms out in the police station.

In the last 10 years I have been done once. That was a blown tail light. Late at night driving through town you would always see someone pulled over by the side of the road.....never see it now though :?

In the "good old days" (early 80s) I got pulled for a blown brake light. Got the breath test. He was sure he would get a fail. I passed !
Got a summons for the light..There was a mistake on the form so I pleaded not guilty. went to court and got a £10 fine. not endorsable. My first tast of the legal system.....what a wast of public money.... :evil:

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Last edited by Gizmo on Wed Jan 12, 2005 23:31, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 23:30 
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Once - 5th November 2004 having been hit by a police van carrying out a dangerous manouver under the cover of blue lights, I was on a m/c and despite the fact that the front of the van was effectively ripped off I managed to keep control of the bike and stop on my side of the road under control.

In the defence of the investigating officer both the police driver and myself were both breathalised. One very ashen faced Police Driver. He wasn't half getting a ribbing from his 7 on duty passengers.

the end result was that the Van needed recovery as it wasn't roadworthy and I was able to ride home on the bike, ah well thats BMW for you

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 23:57 
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In Australia you can be pulled over for a random test anywhere and any time, they do not need an excuse!

We have "booze" busses out regulary and they might test 100's of drivers in a session.

I think it's great and encourage it happen even more. I have never blown over the limit, even though I like the odd drop of red, and I just wish there were more people being caught. I still see lots of people driving over the limit and getting away with it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 00:56 
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PeterE wrote:
Do you think this might have been something to do with the type of car you were driving?
More likely the time of year. Christmas/New Year party season on two occasions IIRC, so I'm sure they were testing anyone they stopped for any reason.

PeterE wrote:
As we know, the traffic police occasionally exercise their discretion in inappropriate ways. When was the most recent of the three?
1996 when I got rid of my last wreck.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 00:58 
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Gatsobait wrote:
PeterE wrote:
As we know, the traffic police occasionally exercise their discretion in inappropriate ways. When was the most recent of the three?

1996 when I got rid of my last wreck.

So none in the past 8 years when the rate of drink-driving offences is supposed to have increased?

Hmm....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 20:56 
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Never :) Never stop checked either :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 00:23 
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PeterE wrote:
So none in the past 8 years when the rate of drink-driving offences is supposed to have increased?

Hmm....
Nope. But in fairness I think I'm far less of an obvious pull than I was. In 97 I stopped driving dodgy looking old wrecks and began to drive well maintained company cars. Now I'm back in a private car again, though I'm more alert to things like bulbs (check virtually every journey). Besides, there's no bloody police round here to tug me these days. :x

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:27 
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Certainley not been breath tested since my teens.

Cannot remember the last time i was stopped, this may have something to do with the cars i drive. Their is a certain amount of discrimination against drivers of older vehicles, is which proberly correct.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:30 
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Quote:
So none in the past 8 years when the rate of drink-driving offences is supposed to have increased?



They caught over twice the number in my area this xmas, 2003 being 90, 2004 being 200.

However they had more officers out, completing random testing.

Is it that drink drivers are increasing :?:

Or more the case that it is only the detection that increased in my area this year :?:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 09:55 
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I haven't been tested during the entire speedcam era. Last tested in '92 on my way back from a night out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 15:34 
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bmwk12 wrote:
Certainley not been breath tested since my teens.

Cannot remember the last time i was stopped, this may have something to do with the cars i drive. Their is a certain amount of discrimination against drivers of older vehicles, is which proberly correct.


Oh realy?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 08:54 
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interesting soundbite on R4 this morning some MP was debating the 24 hour drinking legislation changes and claimed alcahol was a factor in about half of all injury road accidents.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 08:56 
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diy wrote:
interesting soundbite on R4 this morning some MP was debating the 24 hour drinking legislation changes and claimed alcahol was a factor in about half of all injury road accidents.

I think this is along the lines of "at least 50% of drivers involved in injury road accidents have consumed alcohol within the past 24 hours."

By this logic, toast and coffee are similarly dangerous :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:09 
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PeterE wrote:
By this logic, toast and coffee are similarly dangerous :?


Or that breathing oxygen is similarly as deadly.... :roll:

No, of course not. There is no comparison between toast/coffee and the identifiable detrimental effect that alcohol has on ones ability to drive a car.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:12 
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Rigpig wrote:
PeterE wrote:
By this logic, toast and coffee are similarly dangerous :?

Or that breathing oxygen is similarly as deadly.... :roll:

No, of course not. There is no comparison between toast/coffee and the identifiable detrimental effect that alcohol has on ones ability to drive a car.

No, the point is that saying "50% of drivers involved in injury accidents have consumed alcohol within the past 24 hours" is a highly tendentious and misleading statement, as in a large majority of cases any impairment resulting from the alcohol will have long since worn off.

So you might as well say "50% of drivers involved in injury accidents have consumed coffee within the past 24 hours".

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Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


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