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Is it time to make drink driving zero tolerance?

With the introduction today of a new lower alcohol tolerance  in Scotland now making it different to England, is it time to just make drink driving zero tolerance?

1 in 7 deaths on the road are attributable to drink driving.

So what does the reduction in the driving limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, actually mean to you?

People process alcohol at different rates, based on age, gender and weight.  As it is difficult to be scientific about how an individual processes alcohol due to people’s different physiologies and metabolisms, does this just add  confusion to motorists about how much they can drink and be safe to drive within the legal limits?

Might we just as well go for an outright ban?

Is it time to make drink driving zero tolerance?

873 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views on this?

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Lesley
10th Jan 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
A friend of mine lives in Holland, he got caught for drunk driving. He had his license taken away [not sure for how long]. Now he has it back, he has had to have a device fitted to his car, at his expense, which he has to blow into before the car will start. If it reads positive then the engine will not turn over and the car will not start. If he is on a long journey, he has to take breaks, switch off the engine, then restart after blowing into the device.
Archiebald
30th Dec 2014
2
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I think we need to cut the levels down and use technology to do this and also make penalties far tougher for drink driving. A lot of people get badly hurt and worse through drink/drugs driving.
Pappy
29th Dec 2014
2
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Be careful what you wish for. In fact, what we should be talking about are levels of impairment. At what level of impairment is it no longer acceptable to drive? Please don't say any level, because a whole variety of factors can create impairment, including over the counter medicines, stress, illness and tiredness. So you can't just have a zero level for alcohol because alcohol causes impairment. The breath test is a quick and easy way of testing alcohol content, but it's not a measure of impairment.

Tests for drug impairment are becoming more sophisticated, but are also more complicated. Many people forget, however, that the law doesn't differentiate between legal and illegal drugs in relation to driving while impaired. So drive under the influence of any drug or medicine to the extent that your ability is impaired and you are equally guilty.

My over-arching point is this. The law in relation to drink driving has to be based on levels of impairment, and the decision in Scotland and many other countries is that significant impairment can be present in levels below 80. Hence the reduction; but unless we are arguing for zero impairment in driving ability then we cannot argue for zero levels of alcohol in isolation.
donperignon
21st Dec 2014
2
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Why is it called Black Friday, when a lot of people will end up in the Red
rudgy
21st Dec 2014
1
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I agree with evelyn52 .
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evelyn52
20th Dec 2014
1
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Quite simple if you have a drink do not drive otherwise if caught doing so your driving licence should be taken away for life after all if the worst happens you are responsible end of story.
Wilf
21st Dec 2014
1
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Totally agree evelyn!
andbrown01
17th Dec 2014
3
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Peter
8th Dec 2014
2
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Zero tolerance sounds great but is not always practical. I was away at a party this weekend and in the morning a friend gave me a home breathalyser test as I was planning to drive home. I was shocked to discover that I was still over the limit and thankfully was able to postpone my drive until lunchtime even though I felt as though I was fine to drive. Everyone has a different metabolism so how do you know when you are clear - especially the morning after a party?
lindz64
13th Dec 2014
2
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What a brilliant idea Wilf !! Surely in this day and age with technology as it is, this shouldn't be too much of a problem?
Wilf
15th Dec 2014
4
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I agree Lindz64. If we can send men to the moon 45 years ago surely we can design a car that wont start till you test negative for alcohol!
Wilf
8th Dec 2014
3
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Maybe the car doesn't start until there is no alcohol at all that would stop people drinking!
Dougie
7th Dec 2014
2
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People who drink alcohol should never drive if the have taken even a small drink. It is too dangerous.
Archiebald
7th Dec 2014
4
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Totally agree Dougie. They should ban all mobile calls in cars as well its just as dangerous
Peter
8th Dec 2014
2
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I think that mobile calls in the car are fine as long as you're on a hands free device. What will the nanny state ban next - eating sweets or having a slurp of water at the wheel?
Wilf
8th Dec 2014
5
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Yes but even if you are hands free many people don't concentrate properly as they are too wrapped up in their conversations!
Peter
8th Dec 2014
2
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Oh come on Wilf ... are you saying that we should ban talking to other passengers in the car as well as this could also be distracting!?
Whataboytjie
7th Dec 2014
1
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The problem appears to be the punishment for the crime, rather than deterrent effects as has been promulgated in law.
When the severity of a sentence makes such a drastic impact on a persons life, this same person or perpetrator will think again on whether the real risk of getting caught is worthwhile taking.

To withdraw a driving licence, when one can still go out and keep on driving without not too much fear of getting caught by an overstretched police force is probable worth taking another chance.
On the other hand a custodial sentence to-day can be likened to a Butlins holiday camp.

Neither of which seem to be a suitable punishment for maiming or killing a person, while under the influence of drink or drugs, even reckless driving when sober is just as dangerous.

Back to basics then, is it a punishment or in to-days parlance leniency and rehabilitation, seems to me it is the latter, and if I'm correct in my thinking, thereby could lie the core of the problem.

Offcourse this needs not be limited to just drink driving, but can be applied across the full broad spectrum of offences and other offending of our civilised community at large...!!!!

Don't look at the problem and it effect, rather look at the precipitation...hope there are some members of parliament on this forum.....if so take heed, and do something about it...!!!!!
Wilf
5th Dec 2014
3
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Probably but what if you had say 1 small drink at lunch and then went out at 8pm...you would still have a tiny bit of alcohol in your blood. Think it would be difficult for individuals to be totally zero on alcohol. Mind you if there were severe enough sentences and the guidelines were clear maybe it would be enforceable
Rob60
8th Dec 2014
1
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I agree wilf, the only way zero tolerance could work is if people had the facility to self test before getting behind the wheel the morning after a few drinks!
Wilf
8th Dec 2014
2
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Yes I agree. Not sure how it works in places like Sweden. Also if drivers faced an instant ban if they tested for any drink at all that would soon cut down on drinking and driving!
Archiebald
8th Dec 2014
2
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Rob60, I think that is coming we already have the technology. the only issue is what if someone has just had mouthwash or something that has alcohol in it. the car will not start!
Rob60
8th Dec 2014
2
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Good point, Archibald. You'd only need one sober person in the car to breath into the tube if it was used to engage the engine - they wouldn't necessarily need to drive it! 😀 I wonder if they could accurately detect alcohol in the sweat on your hands - thus being able to detect through the hands on the steering wheel...

Filing my patent, now! 😉
Rob60
8th Dec 2014
3
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Saying this, don't the French have to carry two self breathalisers in their cars by law?

I think this is a great idea, if they are stopped and claim they were in any doubt over whether they were above the limit, questions can be asked as to why they didn't use their own breathaliser before taking other citizens lives into their hands.
Lolipop58
5th Dec 2014
3
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If they set up a checkpoint outside the Houses of Parliament and breathalysed all the MPs as they came out you would find out why we will not see zero in this country.
lindz64
13th Dec 2014
1
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Very true Lolipop58. The very fact that they voted against the H of P refreshments bill being cut says it all. One MP even said he wasn't prepared to drink 'cheap champagne'. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment x
Archiebald
5th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
Taking it down to 50 is a great idea...should be zero. Any nutters who do drink and drive should be immediately jailed. they endanger everyone. Think its been zero in Sweden for years
SovereignInventory
5th Dec 2014
4
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Unfortunately, whatever the limit, it will not stop the ignorant nutters who will still try and drive no matter how much they have had to drink. What about the 'people' with drugs in their system?
Rob60
8th Dec 2014
1
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Even prescribed drugs can make you a danger behind the wheel. More needs to be done to highlight this.
Pinochio1948
5th Dec 2014
3
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It should be down to zero, there should not be any limit to calculate how much you have consumed.
yahsue
5th Dec 2014
3
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It's now lowered to 50mg here in Scotland and should be UK wide. It was a good decision to do this - basically zero tolerance but allows for any slight reading due to medication or traces from mouthwash!
JaneyW
5th Dec 2014
5
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Zero tolerance would take away all the guesswork and stop drivers' excuses. Simples!
normy
5th Dec 2014
4
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No units Drive and Don't drink !!!
Baxi
5th Dec 2014
4
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It's best and safest just to not drink and drive. It's so complicated to work out whether you're over the limit or not. How strong is the wine? What quantity are you drinking? Nowadays if you buy a glass of wine in a pub it's the size of a bucket! One unit is more the size of a thimble in comparison.
Jo Kingham
5th Dec 2014
6
Thanks for voting!
I think it's got to be hasn't it? I know drink effects me in different ways at different times. Sometimes just one sherry makes me woopsie!! Having said that, making it a zero limit wont stop the idiots who get behind the wheel drunk.
Baxi
5th Dec 2014
4
Thanks for voting!
I so agree Jo - a little Rose in the sun can make you feel quite tipsy and then sometimes when you have wine with food you don't feel it at all!
ronnieboy
5th Dec 2014
3
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good morning my friends, the weekend starts here,once again thanks for all the cartoons, poems and pictures you send, getting into the christmas spirit, out shopping to-day, take care.

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