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BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level

The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 08:55 AM
Mr Happy 27 Oct 09 - 09:00 AM
The Villan 27 Oct 09 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Oct 09 - 09:28 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 09 - 09:32 AM
The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 09:33 AM
The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 09:38 AM
theleveller 27 Oct 09 - 09:44 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Oct 09 - 09:51 AM
Mr Happy 27 Oct 09 - 09:55 AM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Oct 09 - 10:16 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM
The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 11:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 09 - 11:22 AM
The Villan 27 Oct 09 - 11:52 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 09 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,TT 27 Oct 09 - 01:31 PM
The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 02:07 PM
gnu 27 Oct 09 - 03:24 PM
The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 03:25 PM
gnu 27 Oct 09 - 03:26 PM
The Sandman 27 Oct 09 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,TT 30 Oct 09 - 01:07 PM
SharonA 30 Oct 09 - 01:40 PM
The Sandman 30 Oct 09 - 03:31 PM
Tootler 30 Oct 09 - 08:07 PM
The Sandman 31 Oct 09 - 07:21 AM
Genie 31 Oct 09 - 05:11 PM
The Sandman 31 Oct 09 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Nov 09 - 08:19 AM
The Sandman 01 Nov 09 - 08:41 AM
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The Sandman 01 Nov 09 - 11:11 AM
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The Sandman 01 Nov 09 - 12:51 PM
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Wesley S 04 Nov 09 - 10:49 PM
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GUEST,Peter Laban 05 Nov 09 - 03:33 AM
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Mr Happy 05 Nov 09 - 11:24 AM
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The Sandman 05 Nov 09 - 05:52 PM
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The Sandman 06 Nov 09 - 09:16 PM
Smokey. 06 Nov 09 - 09:58 PM
Stringsinger 07 Nov 09 - 12:09 PM
The Sandman 08 Nov 09 - 08:57 AM
The Sandman 08 Nov 09 - 09:31 AM
gnu 08 Nov 09 - 09:38 AM
Smokey. 08 Nov 09 - 06:47 PM
Wesley S 08 Nov 09 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 09 Nov 09 - 03:16 AM
Smokey. 09 Nov 09 - 06:35 PM
The Sandman 10 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM
The Sandman 10 Nov 09 - 08:29 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Nov 09 - 08:49 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Nov 09 - 09:31 AM
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Smokey. 10 Nov 09 - 01:28 PM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 10 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM
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Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Nov 09 - 05:21 AM
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Subject: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 08:55 AM

to justify the proposed reduction of the drink drive blood alcohol limit from 80 mg to 50 mg per 100ml,the Sunday Times reports that according to HSE `at least18 driver skilled in crashes beteween 2003 and 2005 had ablood alcohol level of between50 mg and 80 mg`.
this statistic proves nothing.
the same research concludes that 165 drivers were killed with zero alcohol in their system.
does this mean that sober drivers are more dangerous than those between 50 and 80 mg, quite possibly they are, depending on the speed that they[sober and intoxicated] are all driving at.
a few months ago the HSE told us that over the period 1990 __2006 65 per cent of road deaths were unrelated to alcohol.
has anyone ever demonstrated any increase in accidents attributable solely to a blood alcohol of between 50 and 80 mg level.
the proposed reduction[imo] is not about safety,but is possibly about increasing revenue for the[cash strapped] Irish government.
if the Irish government were serious about safety,they would be making more effort to catch people driving well above the permitted speed limits,and people who are driving too fast and too close to other vehicles in unsuitable weather conditions.
where I live in Rural Ireland,there is very little public transport,at night time, and as I walk down to the pub,I am in more danger from speeding sober drivers,than drivers who are between 50 and 80 mg and riving at30 to 35 miles per hour,I therefore oppose this lowering of the alcohol driving level.
rural pubs and rural communities in Ireland are threatened by this latest proposed legislation,which is illogical and statistically unproven as to its benefits.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:00 AM

IMO it'd be best to have a zero level of alcohol for driving, then everyone would know where they stood, instead of the rather vague indicators prevalent at the moment


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:15 AM

Couldn't agree more Mr Happy.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:28 AM

I am in more danger from speeding sober drivers,than drivers who are between 50 and 80 mg and riving at30 to 35 miles per hour,I therefore oppose this lowering of the alcohol driving level.

That's the worst piece of thinking ever Dick. Now throw the drunken arses driving the roads of rural Ireland at speed, and those are more than a few, into the equation. They'd be the ones I'd be worried about. I am all for taking the drink out of the driving altogether but for now lowering the limit will do as a first step.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:32 AM

My recollection was that research had shown that small levels of alcohol improved absolute driving skills.

Do the Times stats indicate the causes of the accidents in which those deaths resulted? If not, the sample is so small as to be statistically insignificant.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:33 AM

the problem with that is that you can be over the limit, without having consumed any alcohol.[medication can do this]
so that is not a good idea.,it is a litle unfair to lose your licence if you have not consumed alcohol ,do you not think?
no[imo],bad driving, carelessness, driving while using a mobile phone and excessive speed is more of a problem.
I had a driver hit the side of my house,she was perfectly sober,but lost contol on a bend cos she was driving far too fast.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:38 AM

PETER, sorry, but you should throw the sober execssive speeding drivers off the road first.
drink impairs judgement,but a driver driving at 35 mph,who is betwen 50 and 80mg[therfore legal]is less of a problem[imo] than a sober driver driving at 60 mph down a country road,the faster the driver is going the greater is the braking distance required.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:44 AM

The problem with zero alcohol levels is when you have had a drink the night before and may still have some residual alcohol in your system. I'm sure most people would know not to drive in the morning after a heavy session, but how long does it take to have nil alcohol in the blood after, say, three or four pints?


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:51 AM

But it is not an either/or question, Dick. Both speeding drivers & drunk drivers constitute a menace. No good saying one lot is 'worse' or 'more dangerous' than the other — both are illegal, & the purpose must be to try & put a stop to both lots.

Richard - I should like to know what 'research' had indicated that an itsy-bitsy bit of alcohol made one drive better, & who commissioned it. Sounds dangerous bollox to me, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 09:55 AM

Alcohol per unit takes one hour to leave the body.

If you'd had a heavy session the previous night, assuming you stopped drinking at, for example, 3 am & you'd drunk 6 pints of beer of, say 4%.

6 pts of beer = 12 units

To be alcohol-free, you'd need to wait 12 hours before contemplating driving, i.e. 3pm the next day.

The maths will vary according to the strength of the alcohol consumed


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 10:16 AM

Richard Bridge said:


My recollection was that research had shown that small levels of alcohol improved absolute driving skills.


First, assuming that your recollection is correct, and assuming that the research was well conducted, what constitutes "small levels of alcohol"? Say 1%?   2%?

Second, with the same assumption, far from all of the additional danger from drinking drivers is the result of deficient "absolute driving skills". Much (if not most) of the danger is from the alcohol-related defective attitudes, emotions, outlook, et cetera. The drinker might have the skills to control a car without being safe at all.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM

Yes Dave, that was another aspect of the research - as I recollect.

Nothing in life is absolutely safe. I also frequently see people who are absolutely ratarsed driving out of the Medway Towns (well, they need both lanes of a dual carriageway at 25mph) and if there is an issue of allocation of scarce resources, it would be a better use of funds to catch them!


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:20 AM

MGM,it is not illegal to be below 80 mg,and that does not constitute drunken driving,it should not be lowered,because there is no statistical evidence to show that it would improve safety by reducing it 30 mg.
people over 80 mg should lose their licence,but someone who is 81,should not get the same severity of sentence,as someone who is 160.
the proposed legislation is just a load of bollocks,and does not take into consideration factors pecuilar to rural Ireland ,that is why it is bad law.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:22 AM

How many people "killed in crashes beteween 2003 and 2005" had zero alcohol levels in their blood?   I suspect the answer would be quite a few. And that wouldn't be because not having had a drink makes people worse drivers, but because alcohol levels are by no means the only cause of accidents.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:52 AM

Of course they are not McGrath.

There are many bad drivers who put others at risk.

Drinking is only one part of the problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: prposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 12:42 PM

The point being that, without further information about the circumstances of the accidents a statistic such as "`at least 18 drivers killed in crashes beteween 2003 and 2005 had a blood alcohol level of between 50 mg and 80 mg` does not mean much.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: GUEST,TT
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 01:31 PM

Seems GSS might be in a minority.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1027/drink.html


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 02:07 PM

I wouldnt believe that crap,the survey was probably done in cities,where there is alternative public transport.
no, it would be a bad law, because it will lead to further rural isolation,possibly more rural suicides in isolated communities,where getting out to the pub once a week and socialising,and having two pints just about makes life worth living.
good law takes into account the needs of a community a,bad law such as this does not.
why should we conform to other parts of Europe.,Ireland has a differentsewt of problems than Berlin or Paris.
there is no statistical evidence,that this will make any difference,meanwhile boyracers,mobile phone users, tired drivers,drivers with flu,drivers on drugs,drive around threatening everyone with their molotov cocktail of tiredness carelessness and witlessness.
no ,the irish government just want to be seen to be doing something,and preening themselves on their odour of sanctity,sometimes I think we would be better off with no government


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: gnu
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 03:24 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 03:25 PM

correction to my grammar,better off without any government.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: gnu
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 03:26 PM

Happy is right... except for one thing... cough syrup.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 06:13 PM

happy is wrong ,one pint of beer[3.8 percent] normally takes I hour to leave the body.
Six pints of beer[3.8 percent to 4] would normally take about seven and half hours, very few pubs are open in ireland after 1 30 pm.
I rarely drink six pints generally two or three ,I do not think it unreasonable to be able to drink two pints,[maximum] over two hours and be able to drive home,when there is no alternative public transport.
that is not drunken driving.
I have been breathalysed three times in my life and passed each time,that is because I drink THE lower strength STOUT Beamish[3;8 per cent].MURPHYS IS 4 PER CENT, GUINNESS 4 .2 PERCENT.
I generally leave 20 minutes to 30 minutes,after a drink,before I get in my car.
however Guinness are bringing out a lower strength beer 2 .8 per cent,which is good news [if there are any pubs in rural ireland left to sell it]most of the other alternatives are too sweet or ridiculously expensive[bally gowan etc].
if the Irish government were serious[of course they are a bloody joke,look at the millions wasted on electronic voting machines abd berties bowl and 3o k wasted on a leaflet in the irish language that no one read]they would be ensuring ballygowan was the cheapest drink in the pub,but they are not they are just trying to appear that they are doing something for the people,b#####w ########


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: GUEST,TT
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:07 PM

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1030/drink.html


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: SharonA
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:40 PM

"...at night time, and as I walk down to the pub,I am in more danger from speeding sober drivers, than drivers who are between 50 and 80 mg and [d]riving at 30 to 35 miles per hour."

Soldier, how do you know that the speeding drivers are sober? The answer, of course, is that you don't.


"I rarely drink six pints generally two or three ,I do not think it unreasonable to be able to drink two pints,[maximum] over two hours and be able to drive home, when there is no alternative public transport. That is not drunken driving."

Perhaps not, under the current legal definition of "drunken driving" where you live, but.... Here in the States there is a public-service message that's broadcast frequently on radio, the message of which is "Buzzed driving IS drunk driving." You may not feel as though you are impaired, but that doesn't mean that you are not impaired. The authorities may not have the authority to arrest you, but that doesn't mean that your reaction time isn't slowed down. I can't help but wonder why you've been breathalyzed three times. Could it be because you were obviously impaired in your speech, movements, and/or driving, even though your alcohol level was within the legal limit?

The safest course is to go out and socialize without drinking. If you must consume alcohol to make life "worth living", it's time to take a good, hard look at your life and make some changes for the sake of your own well-being and personal growth.

All this ranting about a "bad law" and all your descriptions of how little you drink and all those questionable statistics sound, to me, like excuses for continuing a course of behavior that you simply don't want to admit is self-destructive. Sorry but I've heard the same litany of cr*p from every drunk driver I've ever known.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:31 PM

I am not a drunken driver,and neither are those people who go out and have two pints over a couple or three hours.
I am not talking about the states ,I am talking about Rural Ireland.
I have been breathalysed three times in 40 years, twice because of random breath testing,and the first time because the policeman,thought my Morris 1000 van was a getaway van in an armed robbery,that tells you a lot about the English Police,on neither occasion had I consumed any alcohol.
on the occasion that someone tried to destruct my house with their car,I do know they were sober ,I called the Garda,result nil alochol.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving leve
From: Tootler
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 08:07 PM

IIRC, Mr Happy is right, it is one hour per unit of alcohol. Even if I am wrong and you are right, Dick, it does no harm to assume that.

Usually if I am likely to be out for two hours or more - typical folk club evening, I will have one pint. If it is likely to be less I will make do with a half and have a soft drink if I want any more liquid.

PS: I loved your mondegreen in your opening post "at least18 driver skilled in crashes beteween 2003 and 2005 had ablood alcohol level of between50 mg and 80 mg"


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:21 AM

yes, and then there are all the people driving while using anti histamines or suffering from flu, or simply tired.,or under the influence of drugs,whose judgement is impaired,logically they should all lose their livenves too
no it is a bad law for rural Ireland,by all means introduce it in major cities[ Dublin Cork].where there is alternative public transport.,and where there is a larger volume of road traffic,and keep the 80 mg limit for evereywhere else.

Sharon A,Exhibits her ignorance,she clearly does not know english and irish law and random breath testing,and assumes I must have been driving in an erreatic fashion to get breathalysed,and casts aspersions on my character and social habits,an ignorant American.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Genie
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:11 PM

I think there should be more use of performance tests to determine, not just how "impaired" the driver is, but how well s/he is functioning at the time s/he is pulled over. And if you are impaired, it should not matter whether it's because of sleep deprivation, cold meds, alcohol, or what.

Not that drinking and driving is good, but a driver who is driving very slowly and carefully through town on the side streets in the wee hours of the AM (not holding up traffic) trying to compensate for having had a couple of beers is probably much less dangerous than someone driving 10 miles over the speed limit on the freeway, too confident because s/he is "sober."

Is there really any evidence that having a blood alcohol level of, say, .04 or .05 significantly contributes to car crashes?    Especially when compared to, say, going 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit -- which is pretty routine on the freeway.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:12 PM

I read an article today that apparently bad driving is in the genes.
according to research done by resarchers in the USA,people with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse in a driving test than people with a different DNA sequence.,
should they be allowed to have a licence?
should we be selecting drivers on the basis of their genetic impairment?
   In Portugal [European state]there is no smoking ban.
so its ok ,for some countries to have their own laws on this ,and yet the Irish government,are desperate to conform on the alcohol law[ ]leaving England and Malta with there own higher alcohol driving levels]         
Finally, why is it suddenly necessary for the irish government to have the same drink alcohol level as all other European states apart from England and Malta.
I believe it is a diversionary tactic by the Irish government to distract the electorate from the really important economic issues
.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 08:19 AM

The Irish Times : Is this really the face of Rural Ireland?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 08:41 AM

dont worry Peter,you soon wont have any pubs left in which to play music.
there has been no statitistical evidence that proves lowering the limit
from 80 to 50,will reduce the number of accidents.
or that sober drivers have less accidents than those between 80 and 50.
I would be happy with a two tier system,so that it was 50 inlarge cities[where there is proper alternative public transport] but 80 everywhere else.
this is just a diversionary tactic by the irish government,to take our minds off economic issues.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:30 AM

Maybe it's time your local publicans, if they're so worried about the social implications, enquire with the local minibus driver about the cost of a sweep of the area to bring in drinkers and safely get them home. It's easily done and some places operate a system like that.

Over here at the weekend people drive into ditches, houses, telephone poles, bridges or just forget to take the bends in the road all the time. There's more going on than just fatal accidents. And I don't think it's the non drinkers doing it either.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:11 AM

well I know that nondrinkers do it as well,some are on drugs and the one that hit my house was perfectly sober,as was another one who asked me to pull them out of a ditch.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 11:34 AM

Did a blood test did you?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 12:51 PM

No,but you can smell alcohol,even one drink,when you have had nothing to drink yourself,
and in the case of the first one the Garda did that I overheard the result, nil alcohol. are you not getting a bit aggressive?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 10:04 PM

there has been no statitistical evidence that proves lowering the limit
from 80 to 50,will reduce the number of accidents.


How could there be? They have to do it first, and then count..

I'm all for setting the limit at zero, on the grounds that everyone is affected to their own degree by any fixed quantity over a fixed time. It is impossible to judge the ability to drive on that basis, objectively or subjectively.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Rowan
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:08 AM

Performance tests aren't, automatically, adequate tests. Many years ago I read of various performance tests that had been used (somewhere in the UK, I think) to indicate alcohol-related diminished performance. One involved walking a straight line, a skill unrelated to driving and thus regarded as irrelevant as a test for drivers. Of more interest to me, another involved setting five matches parallel to each other, balanced across the edge of a matchbox so they could be picked up between the fingers without touching the box. The idea was to pick up one between the tips of the thumbs, then the next between the tips of the index fingers and so on until all had been picked up. You were then required to replace each of them across the matchbox, all without dropping any.

As a test of fine motor coordination I figured this'd be a goodie. Trouble is, most sober people can't do it without practising a while. Once I got the hang of it I kept testing myself during sessions to find out when I could be regarded as "drunk"; I walked home routinely irrespective of the result. There were several occasions when I reckoned I was as pissed as a parrot but I could still do the test better than most sober people.

And, just over the last weekend, a young bloke got picked up for speeding, doing 198 kph in a 100 kph area; he had a blood alcohol content of 0.11%. It would appear that his fine motor control was OK but his judgement was seriously impaired and I'm glad I was nowhere near him or the roads he was on.

And the calculations above for metabolic removal of alcohol from the blood are, I suspect, correct only for blokes. The stats used as a public health measure in Oz suggest that, while blokes can deal with a daily consumption of two units of alcohol (although it's better to have a couple of alcohol-free days per week) women are advised that, due to their smaller (on average) body size their recommended alcohol should be half that of blokes. By the same measure, their limit for performance impairment related purposes is regarded (as an advisory recommendation) as half the consumption limit advised for fellas.

Sorry, GSS, if the Oz info is not rural Eire but I suspect it would apply there. I might add that several Oz jurisdictions, when they introduced Proscribed Blood Alcohol limits, started out with 0.08% as the uppermost legal blood alcohol content but all now have 0.05% as the maximum allowable. All the arguments you've used against lowering the PCA were used then but all the evidence (which was so long ago that I can't recall it) indicated that any alcohol detrimentally affected performance but that, for the reasons cited above a zero limit would unfairly penalise nondrinkers whose metabolism retained minute alcohol levels for various reasons.

And the breathalisers still pick up large numbers the day after most Saturdays and public holidays, when most drivers think of themselves as sober.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Genie
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:51 AM

Peter L said, "Over here at the weekend people drive into ditches, houses, telephone poles, bridges or just forget to take the bends in the road all the time. There's more going on than just fatal accidents. And I don't think it's the non drinkers doing it either."

But do they often do that sort of thing after having had one or two beers?

And Good Soldier Schweik is right that totally sober, non-drug-using drivers do that sort of thing sometimes too.

Several years ago in Oregon a cop had pulled off the interstate to help a driver with a disabled vehicle. They were well off of the shoulder, with one car parked between the highway and the other car, and the people standing on the far side of the two cars, when another car left the road and hit them, killing everyone but the driver of the wayward vehicle.
That driver had not been drinking at all. He was a full-time student and working full time on top of that. Sleep deprivation, pure and simple.

There are lots of things that can and do contribute to inattentive or erratic driving or slowed reflexes: emotions (e.g., anger), in-car conversations, looking at scenery, fatigue, sneezing, eating or smoking in the car, fiddling with the CD changer or radio, speeding, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:19 PM

"Sharon A,Exhibits her ignorance,she clearly does not know english and irish law and random breath testing,and assumes I must have been driving in an erreatic fashion to get breathalysed,and casts aspersions on my character and social habits,an ignorant American."

No, Soldier Schweik, I didn't assume; I said I couldn't help but wonder why you were breathalyzed three times. By the way, they have random testing over here in America, too.

True, I am "ignorant" in the literal sense that I don't know you or your character or your social habits or your area's laws. However, I have known a lot of drunks in my time (and I lived with an alcoholic for over 8 years) and I am intimately familiar with the excuses they give for drinking to excess. One of the things they do is to rant about how unfair the drunk-driving laws are, regardless of whether the laws are lax or stringent. Another is to rattle off statistics which may or may not be accurate (and, in many cases, are contradictory to another drunk's statistics!). All I'm saying is that your posts sound just like those drunks to me.

That's my opinion. This forum is here so that people can give their opinions. You don't have to like mine, but I have every right to give it here in this forum which, by the way, is based in the American state in which I reside.

Again, I think you would be wise for you to take a break from being aggressive and defensive, and just think for a moment about your own drinking-behavior and the reasons you feel that drinking in a pub (as opposed to being in a pub with friends but without drinking) makes life "worth living". All the ranting you're doing isn't going to change the laws where you live, so you need to do what you can to live within the law, right? Well, then, what logical reason is there for having anything to drink when you're not at home and need to drive to get there?

I'll say it again: Buzzed driving IS drunk driving. BE SAFE -- stay stone-cold sober from the time you drive away from your home to the time that you arrive back! Once you're back, drink at home!!! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:55 PM

I did not say anything about life being worth living with or without a an alcoholic drink,you invented that.,
what makes my life worth living,is my music and my singing.
neither did I give excuses for drinking to excess, [both my mother and stepfather were alcoholics]however having two pints of beer at 3.8 percent over two to three hours is not drinking to excess.
because of my family background I think a lot about drinking behaviour,including my own.
yes , you are ignorant in the literal sense.
I have explained why I have been breathalysed three times in 40 years,I think that if I was a drunk,I would have lost my licence before now.
you seem to enjoy telling me what to do.
finally, being stone cold sober is no guarantee of being safe,I could be killed by a perfectly sober driver talking on his her /mobile phone,or who falls asleep at the wheel through tiredness,or who just has too much tetesterone,and thinks he is a racing driver.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:36 PM

Some jurisdictions here in the U.S. are thinking of introducing DWD laws - Driving While Distracted - which would encompass, cell phone use, texting, adjusting radio/CD player, drinking non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, etc.

Makes sense to me.

Another thing I'd like to see - police on the scene having the authority to check the cell-phone records of anyone involved in an accident. I mean, if they can breathalyze you, why shouldn't they be able to see if DWD was the cause of the accident?

Although how they could test for driving while knackered I don't know.
An accident would wake you up pretty fast.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:48 PM

Alcohol consumption is undoubtedly only one of many things which cause dangerous driving, but it certainly does, and it is one factor which can fairly easily be minimised with legislation. Setting any 'maximum limit' is nonsensical, as the amount people are affected by however much is 'legal' cannot be universally predicted. Zero tolerance is the only way to be sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:58 PM

having two pints of beer at 3.8 percent over two to three hours is not drinking to excess.

If I did that, GSS, I would probably fall over. No way would I be fit to drive a car.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:08 PM

Soldier Schweik: I did not "invent" your words. I quote from your post of 27 Oct 09 - 02:07 PM:

"...it would be a bad law, because it will lead to further rural isolation,possibly more rural suicides in isolated communities,where getting out to the pub once a week and socialising,and having two pints just about makes life worth living."

I'm not "telling" you what to do; just giving my advice and my opinion. Take it or leave it.

All this talk by you and others about all the other factors that lead to dangerous driving is beside the point. The point, I thought, was the "proposed reduction of the drink drive blood alcohol limit from 80 mg to 50 mg per 100ml", to quote you again. To me, the look-at-what-all-the-other-drivers-are-doing-wrong talk is just so much childish whining. Wahh, wahhh, wahhhhh. Sheesh -- man up, already, and put the pacifier away!

It's true that being stone-cold sober is no guarantee of being safe from those other drivers, but it will increase your chances of not killing someone else! Likewise, the logic of the lawmakers seems to be that lowering the blood-alcohol limit may increase every drinker's chances of not killing him/herself and/or someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:48 PM

"...being stone cold sober is no guarantee of being safe,I could be killed by a perfectly sober driver talking on [his/her mobile] phone,or who falls asleep at the wheel through tiredness,or who just has too much [testosterone],and thinks he is a racing driver."

But being stone-cold sober does mean that you will have a faster reaction time when trying to avoid an accident with another driver who is doing one or more of those things.

Have you ever had anyone videotape you after you've had your "two pints of beer at 3.8 percent" over the course of two hours? Y'know -- recording your steadiness on your feet, your reaction time to a surprise such as someone jumping in front of you, your ability to get in a car and get the key in the ignition switch, etc.? Anyone ever tape your driving when you've had that much to drink, and show you the tape? If not, then how do you know you're OK to drive? Once your judgment has been clouded by the alcohol, you are by definition NOT the best judge of your fitness to operate a coupla tons of motor vehicle safely.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:00 AM

sorry, there is a misunderstanding, my remark about life worth living, was not applying to myself,[although I agree,I should have phrased it better,]it was a reference to isolated dwellers,,whose main social activity might be once a week in a local pub.
I do not fall into that category   I can walk to my local pub[it is about one mile], and frequently do, weather permitting.
however there will not be many pubs left in rural ireland to walk to soon,they seem to be closing rapidly.
yes, but faster reactions are no use, when you are going 70 100 mph. the faster the speed the greater the braking distance required [check Rowans post].
sorry, but a driver going 30 to 35 mph[imo]having consumed two pints lets say in two and a half or three hours,is less dangerous than a driver going 65 70 80 mph plus who is perfectly sober and breaking the speed limit.
can you provide statistics otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 11:25 AM

A few points here, just for discussion.

1. Although I would not be pleased at having to give up the two pints I drink over a three hour period, when driving myself to a folk session, I have only THAT selfish basis for wishing to see the limit unchanged. This being the case I would not raise ANY objections if it were reduced.

2. Zero alcohol legislation immediately criminalises anyone who drives a motor vehicle. Nobody can guarantee to be alcohol free, even teetotallers. Certain processes within the human metabolism will, from time to time make every one of us test positive for alcohol, and you can't tell for sure that it WASN'T the remains of a nip of brandy.

3. Nobody has, to my knowledge, bothered to apply statistical analysis to the following question:-

In what percentage of the accidents involving drivers who were over the proposed NEW limit were those accidents caused by the other, alcohol free, party? Given that there were only eighteen, that should not be difficult to answer, but my guess is that the question was never asked. One whiff of alcohol = instantly guilty.

All of these are to my mind worth discussion, when deciding on the necessity for a change.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 12:16 PM

GSS: Okay, sorry I misunderstood what you meant to say about "isolated dwellers" not applying to you personally.

Agreed that the faster the speed, the greater the braking distance required to come to a full stop or to the same lowered speed. I disagree with your assertion that this is a reason why "faster reactions are no use." On the contrary -- the faster a person can put his foot on the brake, the sooner he can use the brake to stop the car! :-)

You say "a driver going 30 to 35 mph[imo]having consumed two pints lets say in two and a half or three hours,is less dangerous than a driver going 65 70 80 mph plus who is perfectly sober and breaking the speed limit. can you provide statistics otherwise." I don't see any point in trying to provide them to you, since in your initial post you poo-pooed the statistic provided by your Sunday Times by saying, "This statistic proves nothing." Also, although you've made that assertion about dangerousness several times in this thread, you haven't provided a reference for it and, in fact, this last time you've admitted it's just your opinion, not a statistic.

In the US, on limited-access highways, driving 65-80 mph is the norm, and millions of drivers do it safely every day without killing themselves or anyone else. However, if a drunk driver were to be on one of those roads doing 30-35 mph, he would be posing an extreme danger to himself and the other drivers. In fact, limited-access highways in the US typically have minimum speed-limits of 40 mph for the sake of safety (except in emergency conditions such as fog, heavy rain, or snow).

So your assertion is dependent on some very specific conditions. If a driver is speeding down a rural (two-lane?) road at 65-80 mph (when the posted speed limit is what?), then of course he should be pulled over whether he's drunk or sober. But a drunk driver traveling at 30-35 mph should be pulled over as well. Both drivers are dangers to themselves and others, and in my opinion I don't think one is "more" dangerous than the other. A car that hits you at 35 mph can kill you just as dead as one traveling at 80 mph; your body may be smeared over fewer feet of the road at 35 mph, but you wouldn't care because you'd be dead either way.

According to this site -- http://www.alcoholissues.co.uk/drinking-driving.html -- "after two pints of strong lager... a driver would be over the legal limit [of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood]." "The 80mg figure translates into a total of four units of alcohol for men, and three units for women. By way of an example, ...one pint of beer, at 5% ABV, contains 2.8 units." So your two pints makes you legally drunk under your present law. Your assertion that you're OK to drive after your two pints is not supported by that website's statement. Are you going to poo-poo that statistic too?

Also, if you're having two pints of beer and walking home, how steady are you on your feet? How likely are you to weave at the wrong time and step in front of an oncoming car??? Doesn't sound like a safe habit to me.

Like I said before, take a good look at your own behavior... and stay sober when you go out!


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:28 PM

but I am not talking about drunk drivers,I am talking about drivers,who are under the 80 mg limit.
I would suggest you look at your own behaviour,have you thought of standing for President of the USA,you seem to like telling people what to do.
the speed limit in IRELAND,was 63 MPH,I believe its now 70,I never drive faster than 60mph,and am punctillious in observing speed limits,I have never been fined for speeding.I am a very careful driver.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:09 PM

"Not talking about drunk drivers" because you are thinking that any drinker who is under the 80 mg limit is not drunk??? Granted that he's not legally drunk under your present law, but he will be if the proposed law passes. But come on, now, stop splitting hairs -- a driver who drinks is a drunk driver. I'll say it once again: buzzed driving IS drunk driving. Do you understand what "buzzed" means???? It means "drunk but under the blood-alcohol level that would cause one to be prosecuted as being legally drunk."

Here we go again with the "you seem to like telling people what to do" bullcrap. I already said that you can take or leave the advice I'm giving (and that I'm free to give in a discussion forum). If you didn't want to hear what people have to say to you on this subject, why did you start this thread and repeatedly ask people what they think?

And what's up with your description of the speed at which you drive? You're the one who brought up the subject of speeding drivers, and now you're acting as if I'm accusing you of speeding. Why so defensive???


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:28 PM

By the way, in the U.S., one does not "stand" for President; one "runs" for President.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 07:55 PM

a driver who drinks but is below the limit is not a drunk driver,a drunk driver is one who is over the limit.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:43 PM

I repeat: if I had two pints in two hours and drove home, I would be a drunk driver, whether or not I was over the legal limit. That is a fact. I would be drunk, and I would be driving. That is what a drunk driver is. The people you kill don't care much whether it was legal or not, they are still dead either way. I don't drink much, so it affects me more than it does a 'regular drinker'. I'm also on medication for hypertension which seems to double the effect of alcohol on me. There are no excuses; anyone who needs alcohol to the point of risking lives is an alcoholic, and shouldn't even have a licence to drive.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:07 PM

I have my own private reasons for feeling strongly about this, but I recommend, Dick, that you put your views to a few people who have had relatives and children killed or injured by drunk drivers, and see what sort of reaction you get. The Law is supposed to be for everyone's benefit, not just a few selfish boozers.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 08:46 AM

Smokey,your response is illogical,I do understand that if you have private reasons for feeling as you do,you feel strongly about it.but if you can put your emotional involvement aside:
any person who loses a realative through any kind of dangerous driving,whether the driver is sober or not has aright to feel upset.
   the responsibilty lies with the Irish government,it is their duty as they are supposed to represent every person in Irish society,to ensure there is proper public transport available to everyone before they bring in a law like this.,
if it isnt they should bring in a two teir system,so that in major cites the level can be 50mg but elsewhere it remains the same.
DANGEROUS DRIVING and deaths by car accidents involve both sober drugged tired and intoxicated people,there is no statistical evidence to justify this reduction.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 01:11 PM

"a driver who drinks but is below the limit is not a drunk driver,a drunk driver is one who is over the limit."

No, Schweik, you are wrong, for several reasons:

- First of all, you said yourself that "you can be over the limit, without having consumed any alcohol [medication can do this]". Therefore, someone whose blood-alcohol level is over the legal limit for driving but who has not consumed alcohol is not "drunk", although his/her ability to drive is definitely affected by that blood-alcohol level. He or she would be "driving under the influence (DUI)" of a medication or whatever else had caused his/her blood-alcohol level to rise.

- Secondly, anyone who consumes any amount of alcohol is intoxicated because he/she has ingested a toxic substance that affects his/her brain chemistry AND is considered "drunk" because that toxic substance is alcohol. The level of drunkenness changes with the level of alcohol in his/her system, but the only non-drunk person is a sober person (i.e. a person who has not consumed any alcohol).

- Thirdly, you are confusing the term "drunk" with the term "legally intoxicated". (Either that, or you are intentionally being a prat!) Governments set laws to determine the level of intoxication at which they will prosecute a person for Driving Under the Influence; anyone below that level is still intoxicated, even though he/she cannot legally be prosecuted for driving at that blood-alcohol level. Governments can and do change their laws to lower the level of intoxication at which they will prosecute a driver, but that does not change the fact that anyone who consumes any amount of alcohol is going to be affected by it in a way that reduces his/her ability to drive safely.

Governments do represent all of the people they govern, BUT they have a mandate to fulfill the promises on which they were elected to office by the majority of the voters and to act responsibly in the interests of the safety and civility of their region, even when some of their constituents want them to do something irresponsible (such as raising the legal limit for DUI!).

Schweik, you keep claiming that there is no statistical evidence that justifies the lowering of the legal limit, but only because you keep ignoring the evidence that is there. When a statistic is presented to you, you insist that it "proves nothing" because you don't want to believe it. When someone posts a logical comment, you say it is illogical. When someone points out a flaw in your logic, you either ignore the comment or complain that the poster is ignorant. It seems that you do not want to listen to anyone but yourself, and that you've opened this discussion for the sole purpose of shooting down anyone who disagrees with you.

Unfortunately for you, what you have actually done here is to make yourself look awfully foolish.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 01:27 PM

Why would anyone oppose a reduction in the legal limit unless they wanted to continue drinking and driving?

Why take the chance anyway? Keep the taxi drivers employed and call one the next time you've been drinking and need to get home. In America we use the term "designated driver" for someone who doesn't drink and is responsible for driving folks home at the end of the evening. Is this a common practice in Ireland?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 05:57 PM

ha ha,there are no taxi drivers available here,you really dont know what its like here in rural ireland,you spout off, without knowing the circumstances.
there are not enough people living here to make it worth their while,sure there are taxi drivers ibn Cork city and Bandon,and even Skibbereen,but they make more money at the nightclubs in Skibbereen,you cant get them to come out here ,take a taxi,ha ha hahaha.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM

there is no statistical evidence to justify this reduction.

Of course there isn't, they haven't done it yet. There is quite probably evidence from other countries that have taken similar measures though - I suggest you have a look in Google if you are interested enough.

As far as I know though, and this is based solely on many years of personal experimentation and admittedly unscientific observation, the more one drinks, the more drunk one gets. It's by no means unreasonable, therefore, to assume that consuming less alcohol will, on average, improve the standard of driving.

Accidents caused by factors unrelated to the consumption of alcohol are completely irrelevant to your argument; those statistics aren't going to change significantly just because they lower the alcohol limit.

To expect the Irish government to start laying on public transport just to help people get more plastered is, I'm afraid, just too bizarre for my poor little illogical mind to comprehend. Perhaps you should write to your local MP on the matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 07:25 PM

It also occurs to me that if they bring in this proposed reduction, a certain proportion of drinkers will, in preference to drinking less, stay in in order to drink more. This will reduce the overall numbers of cars on the road, and consequently the overall number of accidents from all causes.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 07:33 PM

Not sure where "out here" might be in rural Ireland, but here's a website for folks to see what IS going on with the taxi industry in Ireland: http://www.taxi.ie/

Also, check out this article in the Mayo News: http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7974&Itemid=26
This article says the following about the proponents of the new legal limit (including several statistics):

FOR Noel Gibbons, the road safety officer for Mayo County Council, the proposal to reduce the blood alcohol limit (BAL) from 80mg to 50mg is a no brainer. He feels if it can save one life it should be introduced and that should outweigh any counter-argument.
Since becoming road safety officer, Noel has been to the forefront in the battle to reduce the number of deaths and accidents on our roads and he strongly welcomes the proposal by Minister Dempsey. He pointed out that the BAL for all EU countries bar Ireland, the UK and Malta was 50mg or lower and the number of road deaths in those countries has reduced since its introduction.

"Anything that will reduce the number of people killed on the roads has to be supported. If you look at the best practice used in other countries there has been a huge reduction in the number of fatalities as a result of reducing the drink driving limit. Naturally those countries had the same debate we are having when the reduced limits were introduced but they are now reaping the benefits with the reduction in deaths on the roads.

"The whole point of reducing the limit is to save lives and that should be the priority in all cases. When the random breath testing was introduced it was opposed but we are able to see the number of lives saved and this will be a follow-on from that," he said.
The common argument for opposing the reduction of the alcohol limit is the it will have a detrimental affect on rural Ireland and rural businesses. However, Mr Gibbons believes that this argument needed to be brought up on a different forum and another person who believes this argument does not wash is Susan Gray, founder of Public Against Road Carnage (PARC) - a road safety advocacy group based in Inishowen, Co Donegal who promote responsible driving. She told The Mayo News that her association was 100 per cent behind Minister Dempsey's proposal and would be very disappointed if he backed down.

"We should bring this in now and this time next year there will be people alive who would not be if it is not reduced," she said. "When you get behind the wheel you need all your concentration and if you have drink on you the chances of being involved in a collision are a lot higher. This silly argument about people living in rural Ireland being isolated and not getting to the pub is a load of codswallop. I live in a rural part of Ireland, you can't get anymore rural than Inishowen, and we make alternative arrangements about getting home from the pub, it's that simple. Most of the electorate want this lower limit and support it except for a few with a load voice. It is a sad state of affairs if it does not go through and I hope people back Minister Dempsey."

Mr Gibbons revealed that a recent survey showed that 87 per cent of Irish people consider drink driving as a shameful act. However he feels that for the number of deaths to continue to fall the attitude amongst certain drivers that one pint will do no harm has to change.
"I believe people will accept this change but they need to realise that there is no safe limit with drink driving. If you have a drink you cannot drive. Even at a quarter of the current legal limit, your vision is affected. There's a huge percentage of fatalities every year where alcohol is in the system of people involved in those fatal collisions. Lowering the drink driving limit will reduce that risk."

Ms Gray believes that there is a culture of drink driving in the country but feels reducing the limit will go a long way in changing that culture.

"When mandatory testing came in it did reduce the drink driving a lot and if we bring a lower limit that will be another step in the right direction in saving lives. That is what it is all about, nobody should be dying on our roads unnecessarily."

...Most experts suggest that it will take a pint of average strength (four per cent) beer or cider at least two hours to leave your blood stream when you stop drinking, while a 250ml glass of 15 per cent wine will take four hours.

According to safedriving.ie, an average person drinking on a typical Saturday night may at midnight have 200 mg per 100 ml of blood in their system - 2.5 times the current drink driving limit. If the person stops drinking at midnight there will still be 90 mg in their system at 7.30am and they will still be over the limit, and may only be under the current limit by 10.30am.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 08:16 PM

Another statistic from a different article: http://www.build.ie/national_news.asp?newsid=101472

IMO Former President, Dr. Declan Bedford said: "Drink driving is still a serious issue in Ireland. Research in Ireland has shown that where a blood alcohol concentration was available, one in two fatally injured drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of 50mg or higher."


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 09:32 PM

Interesting stuff, SA - thank you.

they should bring in a two teir system,so that in major cites the level can be 50mg but elsewhere it remains the same.

Call me cynical, but wouldn't people just go where they could drink more? In their cars, perhaps, as it would be further away?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 10:49 PM

OK - so there aren't any taxis. How about the rest of it? Or is the thought of NOT drinking for one night out of the question? If so - that's a whole other discussion.


"In America we use the term "designated driver" for someone who doesn't drink and is responsible for driving folks home at the end of the evening. Is this a common practice in Ireland?"


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 10:58 PM

It certainly is in the UK Wesley, but of course there has to be a co-operating group of like-minded individuals in order to initiate such an arrangement, and that isn't always possible to achieve, for one reason or another.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 03:33 AM

ha ha,there are no taxi drivers available here,you really dont know what its like here in rural ireland,you spout off, without knowing the circumstances.
there are not enough people living here to make it worth their while,sure there are taxi drivers ibn Cork city and Bandon,and even Skibbereen,but they make more money at the nightclubs in Skibbereen,you cant get them to come out here ,take a taxi,ha ha hahaha.


In the West of Clare, as well as many other places quite remote, there's a virtual fleet of minibusses and taxis that drive people around. Groups going to cinema, theatre, nightclubs, discos and whatnot in Ennis, people going out in Lahinch, teenagers going out, drinkers going anywhere and back.

'There are no taxis here' may hold true for Ballydehob, although I doubt it, it is certainly not representative for the whole of rural Ireland.

The whole talk of 'the breakdown of the social fabric of rural Ireland' is a load of bull spread by The Vintners Federation of Ireland and politicians like Jackie Healy Rae (a pub owner himself).


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Genie
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 11:17 AM

In general, I think "zero tolerance" laws and policies are like using a sledgehammer to swat the wasp on someone's face.    It is not the person who had a small glass of champagne to toast the bride and groom at a wedding or the person who has one glass of wine with dinner who poses a threat to traffic safety - especially if they then drive home on city streets at speeds of 25-35 mph.   

I guess if you want to bring back prohibition, I can understand the push to lower the legal alcohol limit to 0.0, but it's unrealistic to expect or demand that anyone who consumes even a small glass of wine will (or should) pay exorbitant fees for taxis, etc.    Other serious impediments to driving may be harder to detect or prove after the fact, but there's something unjust about singling out one relatively minor factor because it's easy to measure, while letting more serious things slide because they are not.   

I think the same should apply to cell phone use. I see no reason why police forces should allocate resources to scoping out cell-phone-holding drivers instead of focusing on more serious infractions (tailgating, speeding, blocking intersections, etc.).

Of course, if an accident happens, any contributing factors should be taken into account in determining who should be ticketed, etc.   But if the driver is obeying all the traffic laws and driving in a normal, cautious manner, arresting him or her for not having a zero percent alcohol level accomplishes little beyond generating revenue and possibly wreaking havoc on the life of the arrested driver.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 11:24 AM

Surely it's not absolutely necessary to have an alcoholic drink when you go to the pub?

Me & the gang take turns driving if we're going distance, so whoever's turn it is has soft drinks or tea/coffee etc


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 11:25 AM

.........or if not working next day, stay over, sleep in car, tent etc


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 12:32 PM

I'd be interested to learn exactly what medication can put an illegal amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, as was suggested earlier. I know some cough remedies and mouth-washes contain small amounts of alcohol, but I've never known anyone actually drink them in pints.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 02:50 PM

You're welcome, Smokey! You ask: "I'd be interested to learn exactly what medication can put an illegal amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, as was suggested earlier. I know some cough remedies and mouth-washes contain small amounts of alcohol, but I've never known anyone actually drink them in pints."

It's not "suggested", Smokey; it's a fact. Check out these articles, for starters, that give some information on the subject:

"DRUGS THAT RAISE BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS": http://www.healthcentral.com/static/pp/pdf_guides/alcohol-02.pdf

"Common Over-The-Counter Drugs In DUI/DWI/OUI/OWI Cases":
http://drunkdrivingdefense.com/general/non-prescription-medication-alcohol.htm

"Illegal or Prescription Drug DUI":
http://www.criminaldefenseattorneytampa.com/PracticeAreas/DrivingUndertheInfluenceDUI/IllegalorPrescriptionDrugDUI.aspx

"DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MEDICATION":
http://www.bayareaduidefense.com/docs/dui_medication.shtml

"DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION:
http://www.floridaduilawyerblog.com/driving_under_the_influence_of/

"DUI AND SLEEP MEDICATIONS":
http://www.floridaduilawyerblog.com/2009/10/dui_and_sleep_medications.html


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:20 PM

Thanks again Sharon, but I didn't mean drugs which enhance the effect of alcohol when combined with it, or deliver it to the bloodstream more efficiently - That, I understand. Likewise drugs which might mimic the effect of alcohol.

I was actually referring to this statement made by Dick:

the problem with that is that you can be over the limit, without having consumed any alcohol.[medication can do this]
so that is not a good idea.,it is a litle unfair to lose your licence if you have not consumed alcohol ,do you not think?


I don't see how, if no alcohol has actually been consumed, an illegal amount can be detected in either breath or blood to secure a conviction.

Sorry for any misunderstanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:51 PM

Smokey: Ah! I get it. You're right; I had misunderstood you.

You're also right that Schweik's statement sounds bogus. Yeah, I'd love to see him post some statistics to support that!

It should be noted, though, that one can be charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) when one is under the influence of medications that obviously undermine one's ability to drive. As stated in the articles I posted, a blood test or urine test would detect the presence of said medications. This is not to say that the presence of a medication in the bloodstream would necessarily be detected because of a blood-alcohol level above .08 mg.

I disagree with Schweik's assertion that it would be unfair to lose one's license because of a DUI conviction for having driven under the influence of a medication without having consumed alcohol. If a person uses such poor judgment as to drive when his faculties are noticably impaired by a medication's side effects, then obviously he needs to be taken out of the driver's seat for his own safety and the safety of others.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:52 PM

if the limit is zero this can be the case,in an earlier discussion[a year ago?] on a similiar subject,someone from[I think it was Norway ]mentioned this happening.
if my memory is correct the person was a teetotaller but was over the zero limit,due to medication.,if you are that bothered check it out.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM

But you weren't referring to a zero limit, Dick, you were referring to lowering the level from 80 to 50 mg when you said that.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:34 PM

Was the Norwegian teetotaller(?) actually convicted for drunk driving? It's rather difficult to check with so little information to go on.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 08:22 AM

but others were referring to the zero limit.
anyway the law is going to go through,so I cant waste any more time on this now ,sorry


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 06:24 PM

They were indeed Dick - I apologise for my unnecessary pedantry and I hope you aren't unduly inconvenienced by the legislation.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 06:26 PM

but others were referring to the zero limit.

Dick, at the time you'd made your post about being "over the limit without having consumed any alcohol" (27 Oct 2009 09:33 AM), you started your post by saying "the problem with that is..." without clarifying which "that" you were referring to -- Mr Happy's suggestion of a zero limit (seconded by Villan and Peter Laban) or Richard Bridge's assertion that "small levels of alcohol improved absolute driving skills", or your own opening post about the proposed reduction of the limit to 50 mg. It was impossible to tell, at 9:33, WHICH "limit" you were talking about! If you would, please take the time to write a little more clearly, so as to avoid confusing those who read your posts. Your readers will thank you!

Glad to hear that the law is going to go through, even if you are not happy about it. It will be very interesting to see how much (or how little) the new law affects the rural areas of Ireland. In your post of 27 Oct 2009 02:07 PM, you expressed concern that "it will lead to further rural isolation, possibly more rural suicides in isolated communities"; we shall see whether the suicide rate rises, but I have my doubts.

What concerns me is the attitude expressed here, by you and others, that drinking and driving is no big deal as long as one's blood-alcohol level is below the legal limit. That is some seriously dangerous thinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 06:57 PM

I'd foolishly assumed Dick was referring to his own post, for some reason..

I agree with your last point, Sharon. The problem is, it doesn't take much alcohol at all to produce seriously dangerous thinking. At a guess, it was a 'regular drinker' who suggested the 80mg limit in the first place. I'll be glad when they reduce the level in the UK. I think the level should probably be something like 5mg, to be practical. We wouldn't want to go upsetting Norwegian teetotallers..


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 09:16 PM

carry on, reduce the limit to zero.
we will then see whether people stop killing others on the road.
I dont think so,we will still see people tailgating, driving far too fast for the road conditions etc etc etc,what will you do then.
why not ban motor vehicles?but before that happens can we have a proper train system,thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 09:58 PM

No-one said it would prevent all the unrelated accidents - there are many road safety issues which need to be addressed, but they can only be addressed one at a time, and alcohol is one of the biggest factors as far as I'm aware. It isn't as though all the other factors are being ignored, after all.

I agree that public transport these days leaves a lot to be desired and the other problem is that there are too many cars on the road. Personally I think raising the driving age to about 25 would have a large effect on overall safety.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 12:09 PM

The rationale for defending alcohol as being not important in drunk driving accidents is as specious as it can get.

The logical fallacy here of course is that claiming that there are other things that are worse.
This doesn't minimize the detriment of alcohol use in driving.

The solution is simple. Don't drink and drive. Futzing with the drink level is like deciding how much explosive material to put into a bomb.

Drink and driving is playing with fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 08:57 AM

article in sunday times today.TD MAKES HIS PINT IN DRIVING TEST.From The Sunday Times
November 8, 2009
TD makes his pint in driving test
Mark Tighe

    *



Mattie McGrath became an international laughing stock when he suggested that a pint could improve the performance of some nervous drivers.

However, a test on one of his Fianna Fail colleagues concluded that his responses on a driving simulator improved after consuming two pints of beer. Bobby Aylward, a TD for Carlow-Kilkenny, said his better reaction times with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 52mg, which is to be outlawed by Noel Dempsey, the transport minister, showed that "a social drink has no adverse reaction on rural people driving home".

Aylward is among the Fianna Fail backbenchers lobbying for a removal of the "two strikes and you're out" rule in the new Road Traffic Bill for those caught with a BAC between 50mg and 80mg.

Dempsey bowed to pressure to bring the penalty for first offenders down to three points, but his backbenchers say they did not know the punishment for a second offence in the 50mg-80mg range was a one-year ban from driving. "If a person is caught in that range again their penalty points should amalgamate as they do for speeding," said Aylward. "I don't think a ban for a second offence is fair."
Related Links

    * Aylward: My one for the road that said it all

"It has to be an amalgamation [of points]," said McGrath. "The fat lady hasn't sung yet. The bill was rushed through."
   Here is another point,Coffee is a stimulant,it can be very useful in keeping people awake whilst driving, however I find if I drink too much of it,my driving deteriorates.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 09:31 AM

having now read the article in full,the new breathalysers cannot[for various reasons] be introduced till 2011.
if people dont like Irish driving and Irish Law,there is nothing to stop them moving elsewhere.
I am happy to stay here,and when the new law comes in 2011,I will conform to the new limits.I wonder how many pubs[in rural Ireland] will be left after 2011,apparantly 1000 pubs have closed in the last three years
I have been driving for 40 years ,I have never been involved in an accident caused by my drinking or anyone elses .
I did once report to the police a drunken driver who was driving all over the road,but this was not someone who had had two pints in two hours ,but someone who was weaving across the road from one side to the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: gnu
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 09:38 AM

Sorry... this is only a test. ?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 06:47 PM

Dick, just because one driver managed to drive ok after two pints on one occasion doesn't mean it's safe to assume everyone can do it anytime. The law has to be such that it can apply to anyone, anytime. Two pints will affect a teetotaller significantly more than it would an alcoholic, for example. I think that point has already been adequately covered, but for a person to be unaffected by two pints, they would have to have previously built up quite a strong resistance to the effect of alcohol. If they actually need that amount to adjust their reactions etc. to a 'normal' level, they are probably alcoholics, or at least well on the way to being so, depending on one's definition.

Stringsinger is absolutely right: 'Don't drink and drive'. It's a crying shame we even need a law to enforce what should be no more than basic common sense.

If your own driving suffers when you drink coffee, then my advice would be not to do it, even if it's only for your own sake.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 07:14 PM

"I wonder how many pubs[in rural Ireland] will be left after 2011,apparantly 1000 pubs have closed in the last three years"

If the new laws are the cause of it then maybe those pubs need to close. If they count on customers being able to drink to excess and then drive afterward I won't shead a tear at their passing.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 03:16 AM

Another thing that is rarely mentioned in the debate about the loss of rural pubs is the fact a lot of them are closing because their owners are retiring. Most rural pubs are small and have never been a full income raising business, they often were an extra, an aside to having a farm, working for eircom, having a grocery business (that side went belly up with EU regulations) or running a funeral home.

Children of the retiring owners with full time jobs and don't feel like entering a commitment that will tie them up for the night or weekend.

Ofcourse big urban pubs buying up licences, at some point for €100K-180K made for a nice pension fund for retiring owners. Most,probably all, rural pubs closing in the West Clare area that I know of followed the scenario of selling the licence for major money.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 06:35 PM

Interesting point, PL, I didn't realise that. In a way, it's a great shame - the end of an era, even. The smaller, outlying pubs are disappearing in the UK too, faster than in Ireland I think, but that seems to be more to do with prices, regulations, and of course the smoking ban, being the last twist of the knife. All of which seems to be suiting the brewers and distillers, who are selling more booze than ever. If people are going to be irresponsible with alcohol though, I'd rather they did it at home than inflict it on the rest of us. Unfortunately that could lead to, or exacerbate, another set of problems of a more personal/domestic than social nature. In principle I don't believe in banning anything, but alcohol should be treated with a great deal more respect than we are generally conditioned to give it.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM

the new equipment will cost an estimated 800,thousand euros.
meanwhile unemployment benefit for a single person has been cut from 200 a week to 100.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:29 AM

If your own driving suffers when you drink coffee, then my advice would be not to do it, even if it's only for your own sake.[quote]
no,it keeps me awake, and keepsme alive and others
I said if I drink too much of it my driving deteriorates,therfore I treat it with respect,as I do alcohol, ALCOHOL two pints max in two hours,and then I leave it at least half an hour [switching to water] before I drive.
I welcome GUINNESS Introducing a 2.8 per cent beer.
800 thousand euros,on something whose necessity has not been statistically proven,not quite as daft as the millions wasted on electronic voting machines,but pretty stupid in these economically straitened times,meanwhile raw sewage is pumped into Schull harbour,quite frankly I would prefer that 800 thousand euros be spent on a sewage treatment plant for Schull.
more people drinking at home will result possibly in more domestic violence.
when the man is absent, the partners have a break from each other, why dont they divorce you ask?
religious pressure .


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:49 AM

There are lots of ways in which people can be in less than perfect nick for driving. Too tired, too fat, too stressed, bad cold, lost, row with wife or hubby, distracted by kids, lighting a fag, fiddling with a CD, unwrapping a Werther's Original. We're only human. But booze is in the category of things we have total control of. You don't have to drink, you don't have to use your phone, you don't have to try to drink coffee at the wheel, you don't have to play the harmonica whilst driving. We inveterate boozers can't complain if the limit is brought down. Personally, I think a zero limit would be too repressive. It's two in the afternoon now the night after I had a few pints. Am I alcohol-free yet? God knows. Probably. I think I might be too scared ever to get in my car.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 09:31 AM

The bottom line is this.

No matter where the limit is placed, the inveterate drink driver will continue on his course to self immolation, and of course, being a jolly, gregarious sort of chap, he will probably take a few others with him.

Limits only work on those who already have sufficient sense of responsibility to control their actions without legal constraint.

Limits, in point of fact, serve only one purpose, and that is to punish those who have already offended.

What is needed is to fit all cars with the Breath Alcohol Immobiliser, which prevents the engine starting unless the driver can blow "clear", and can also be pre-set to demand random tests to catch anybody who does his boozing on the fly. As I understand it, the machine could render drink driving extinct, for a comparatively small cost.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 10:29 AM

I suppose the machine could tell who was blowing into it as well. I can imagine a little booth at the exit of pub car-parks with teetotallers offering a car mobiliser service for a couple of quid a puff.
Part of the rationale for setting limits is to keep the issue to the fore in the minds of the public. That and some hard-hitting education and proper punishments for offenders. The idea is to change people's minds about drink-driving. Repressive, intrusive measures will never do that - they just make people more resourceful at getting round them and make them hate the authorities all the more.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 12:34 PM

good idea, Don.
but the government wouldnt like it because they would be deprived of revenue.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 01:28 PM

I said if I drink too much of it my driving deteriorates,therfore I treat it with respect,as I do alcohol, ALCOHOL two pints max in two hours,and then I leave it at least half an hour [switching to water] before I drive.

With respect, Dick, this isn't actually about you, it's about everyone who drives and/or drinks. No-one is accusing you of anything personally, but whatever rules we have need to be applicable to anyone, anywhere, any time. Just because you have been lucky or careful so far doesn't mean you are infallible or invincible, and it certainly doesn't mean everyone else is.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:53 PM

"...when the man is absent, the partners have a break from each other..."

Holy cannoli. There are some truly inane excuses for drinking and driving posted on this thread, but this one tops the list. What kind of a "break" does the woman in this partnership get when she's stuck at home while her man takes the car out to go drinking? ...when her man comes home boozed up and ready to fight with her? ...when her man doesn't come home because he's been arrested for drinking-and-driving or, worse, when he has an accident with the car and gets himself and/or someone else killed?

Good grief, Schweik. You're scraping the bottom of the barrel of excuses this time.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:11 PM

""I suppose the machine could tell who was blowing into it as well. I can imagine a little booth at the exit of pub car-parks with teetotallers offering a car mobiliser service for a couple of quid a puff.""

Yes Steve. As it happens the manufacturers state that the machine, properly programmed, can indeed tell who the driver is. I don't profess to know how, but this IS the claim they make.

In any case the random tests would soon expose any cheats, and let's face it, if a sober person travels in the car to pass the tests, he/she would logically insist on saving his/her life by driving the darn thing.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:14 PM

""good idea, Don.
but the government wouldnt like it because they would be deprived of revenue.
""

Not MY idea Dick.

Much cleverer folk than I have already fitted it to some cars, and it WORKS!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:18 PM

""...when the man is absent, the partners have a break from each other..."""

I'm telling you Ossifer, itsh my wife. She drove me to drink, and thatsh why I am driving myshelf in the shame direcshun.....HIC!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 08:45 PM

"Put your coat on Elsie, I fancy a couple of pints."

"Oh, that's nice, we haven't been out for a while."

"No, you're not coming, I'm turning the heating off."


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 06:55 AM

Sharon,Isaid.quote
when the man is absent, the partners have a break from each other, why dont they divorce you ask?
religious pressure .
I never said it was an excuse for drink driving,what I said was drinking at home is likely to increase domestic violence.
when there are no pubs left,drinkers will drink at home,if people cant get to the pub without losing their licence,and there are no taxis or public transport,and the weather is too bad to walk they will stay at homne and drink, possibly increasing domestic violence,that is not a reason for people to drink drive and be over the limit,but it is a possible social problem,which is an indirect result of lowering the limit.
if there was more public transport or taxis in rural areas,people would not have to drink at home,they would be able to go to the pub drink and have an alternative form of transport to get home.
the irish government are spending 800 thousand on introducing a law that has not been proven effectively with statistics,meanwhile all sorts of social services and social welfare payments are being cut.
as DonT mentioned it WOULD not be   necessary ,if more car manufacturers fitted these devices,
In the same way cars can be manufactured that dont go faster than the official speed limit,That would cut down a lot of accidents.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 02:46 PM

""In the same way cars can be manufactured that dont go faster than the official speed limit,That would cut down a lot of accidents.""

Don't tag that one onto my comment Dick. It was piloted a long time ago, and that pilot showed speed limiters on private cars tend to increase accidents.

Apparently, there is research showing that the ability to accelerate sharply is a positive, as many more accidents are avoided by acceleration out of trouble, than by braking.

When drivers brake (except in nose to tail situations, where braking is trhe only option), they tend to still have the accident, but at a reduced speed.

That is why speed limiters fitted to high performance cars today operate at 155mph, and not 70mph.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:03 PM

as DonT mentioned it WOULD not be necessary ,if more car manufacturers fitted these devices

No, DonT said that what is needed is to fit ALL cars with the Breath Alcohol Immobiliser. Even if such a thing could be done, it would take years to do, plus the years of legal entanglements which would result from the fact that people wouldn't want the devices on their cars. I'm not convinced that the devices couldn't be tampered with, anyway (what can be programmed can be deprogrammed or reprogrammed, and what can be attached can be removed or at least disarmed).

Meanwhile, Ireland wants to address its drinking-and-driving problems NOW. Seems like lowering the limit is the best short-term solution... and, perhaps, an ideal long-term solution as well, because it will persuade many people to change their habit of drinking and driving. In my opinion, this is better than fitting all cars with a device that forces compliance, which would only increase resentment rather than induce social responsibility. I think the ultimate aim should be to change the mindset of society toward more responsible behavior, and I don't think that those immobilizing devices achieve that goal.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:20 PM

if there was more public transport or taxis in rural areas,people would not have to drink at home,they would be able to go to the pub [to] drink and have an alternative form of transport to get home.

This assumes that people "have to drink" somewhere. Another alternative is to refrain from drinking. No one HAS to drink except the alcoholic who is addicted to it.

Besides, the no-public-transport argument is "a load of codswallop", according to Susan Gray, founder of Public Against Road Carnage (PARC) in the article I quoted earlier in this thread. Remember that Ms Gray said, "I live in a rural part of Ireland, you can't get anymore rural than Inishowen, and we make alternative arrangements about getting home from the pub, it's that simple."

So there you go. It can be done and it is BEING done already.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 04:12 PM

I live in rural Ireland and my experience is completely different from Ms Gray.
everyone that has an occasional drink,or has even one periodically or even a pint a day ,because they feel like it is an alocholic now,ms gray must be one too,since she goes to the pub and makes alternative arrangements,
however [as founder of parc] I hardly consider her to be someone who is viewing the situation with impartiality, any more than I consider Healy Rae to be impartial
Sharon,stop digging.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 04:56 PM

everyone that has an occasional drink,or has even one periodically or even a pint a day ,because they feel like it is an alocholic now,ms gray must be one too,since she goes to the pub and makes alternative arrangements,

Oh, brother. You know that's not what I said.


however [as founder of parc] I hardly consider her to be someone who is viewing the situation with impartiality, any more than I consider Healy Rae to be impartial

As someone whose life will be affected by the new law, you aren't viewing the situation with impartiality either. One would assume that you started this thread in order to hear the views of impartial observers.... but apparently not, judging by your final comment:


Sharon,stop digging.

I'm not "digging", just pointing out the holes that already exist in your arguments sgainst this law. If you mean that you want me to stop looking up information on this subject, sorry but you're the one who got me interested in finding out more about it. If you mean that you want me to stop posting comments to this thread, then is it not okay for anyone else who disagrees with you to post comments??? Either way, ordering me to "stop digging" accomplishes nothing; I am under no obligation to obey your order.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:59 PM

Surely if the demand for taxis in rural Ireland increases because of this legislation, the supply will increase accordingly? It seems obvious to me, unless there is actually a shortage of drivers. I'd imagine the employment opportunities would be very welcome to anyone prepared to stay sober long enough to work and drive.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 06:21 PM

""I think the ultimate aim should be to change the mindset of society toward more responsible behavior, and I don't think that those immobilizing devices achieve that goal.""

I heartily agree with the first half of that. In an ideal world education would be the way forward. However I emphatically disagree with the contention that tightening limits will be more successful.

As I said above, all the evidence is that the majority of the target group will, as they do now, ignore those limits.

Even after being caught, fined, and banned, they will tend to repeat the offence.

In the final analysis, it may be necessary to have BTIs fitted , by law, to new vehicles. You can't drink and drive if your car refuses to start, and let's face it, the majority of car owners these days wouldn't have a clue how to disable them.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 06:45 PM

I'd be in favour of much stiffer penalties. Up to and including a custodial sentence for the worst offenders, confiscation of vehicles and huge fines. There is no perfect solution, but at least people might start taking it more seriously. Hit them so hard in the pocket that they can no longer afford to either drink or drive. I agree that education is the way forward, but it's notoriously difficult to teach a drunk anything, except by drastic means.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 06:49 PM

DonT sez: "I heartily agree with the first half of that. In an ideal world education would be the way forward. However I emphatically disagree with the contention that tightening limits will be more successful. As I said above, all the evidence is that the majority of the target group will, as they do now, ignore those limits. Even after being caught, fined, and banned, they will tend to repeat the offence."

True enough, Don. If BTI's are the wave of the (near) future, I'd be of the opinion that a repeat offender should, as part of his punishment, have a BTI fitted to his/her car.

But a BTI on every car? I confess I'm distrustful of the technology; would it detect low amounts of alcohol -- say, from cough syrup -- on the breath and keep one from starting one's car because of that?

If they were to be fitted to all new vehicles, would they then get retro-fitted to older vehicles, by law, as well? Or are you thinking that a BTI should only be a standard feature of new vehicles (and that the authorities should count on DUI arrests declining as the older vehicles are junked??

I agree that the majority of car owners wouldn't have a clue about how to disable a BTI, but I think that those who are determined to ignore the limits would find a way to have their BTI's disabled, even if they had to find/pay someone else to do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 07:23 PM

The instructions would be on the internet inside a week..


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 07:05 AM

""The instructions would be on the internet inside a week..""

You may be right Smokey, but to put it in some perspective, that hasn't happened with existing hi-tech car immobilisers.

That's the reason why the most prevalent car crime now is house burglary to obtain car keys, without which even the most dedicated thieves struggle to start their intended loot.

This lends itself to a degree of confidence in the efficacy of new security technology, wouldn't you say?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 07:13 AM

Sharon, it would have to be new cars only. Anything bolted on after manufacture can of course be removed, but something built into the structure can be made damn near impossible to tamper with.

For example it should be possible to set it up so that it will permanently scramble the ignition if anyone tries to access or remove it.

That would then require resetting by an official garage, with a specific computer setup, which would also be required to notify the DVLC or the police.

Simples.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 07:39 AM

Yeah, simple. And all those teetotallers and the vast majority of drivers who would never dream of driving over the limit would have to pay for it all just the same as the potential drink-drivers.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 10:35 AM

"...the most prevalent car crime now is house burglary to obtain car keys, without which even the most dedicated thieves struggle to start their intended loot. This lends itself to a degree of confidence in the efficacy of new security technology, wouldn't you say?"

I suppose so... although it sounds like the technology of home security systems needs some beefing up! :-)

Of course, some car thieves work around the new technology by using the old-fashioned method of car-jacking -- stealing a car that is already running. To be honest, I'd rather lose my car to a thief who is stealing it when I'm not in it!!!

Anyway, thanks, Don, for the info about after-market BTI's. I agree with Steve Shaw that the additional expense of building a BTI into a new car as standard equipment -- and repairing the BTI when a thief tries to remove it or when some on-board computer problem arises -- would be an unnecessary burden on law-abiding citizens. We can only hope that auto insurance companies would compensate for this by giving a discount to owners of cars equipped with BTI's.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 04:34 PM

You may be right Smokey, but to put it in some perspective, that hasn't happened with existing hi-tech car immobilisers.

Do you know that for certain, Don? That aside, immobilisers are to stop other people taking the car, and they tend to be in a hurry. I don't quite see how the same method could be used for this purpose. You might well be right though - I'm not claiming superior knowledge or anything, I'm just a cynic. It would however, as Steve says, be an unfair financial burden on sober drivers, not to mention the inconvenience of doing whatever-it-involves every time the car is started.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 05:44 AM

""We can only hope that auto insurance companies would compensate for this by giving a discount to owners of cars equipped with BTI's.""

Given the cost to insurers of drunk driver crashes, I'd say that was a racing certainty.

As to the cost of the initial equipment, it shouldn't add more than £30 - £40 to the cost of a car.

Pretty insignificant I'd have thought, and as a driver sharing the road with drinkers, wouldn't you think that an extra £40 on the price of your car is a small price to pay for being protected from others who drink and drive.

Yes Smokey, it's a matter of public record that houses are being burgled specifically to steal car keys, for the purpose of taking said cars.

It doesn't apply so much to the bottom of the range cars, but most medium to large vehicles have double deadlocks, which can't be slipped, and immobilisers which won't allow the engine to start unless the specific chipped key is in the ignition.

My Scorpio works that way, and three attempts to steal it have failed dismally.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: SharonA
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 05:17 PM

Don sez: "As to the cost of the initial [BTI} equipment, it shouldn't add more than £30 - £40 to the cost of a car. Pretty insignificant I'd have thought, and as a driver sharing the road with drinkers, wouldn't you think that an extra £40 on the price of your car is a small price to pay for being protected from others who drink and drive."

Hmmm? Having a breath alcohol immobilizer as standard equipment on my new car isn't going to protect me from others who drink and drive older-model cars without BTI's. That's why I was asking whether you envision a law requiring BTI's to be retro-fitted onto older cars. If there were no such law in your scenario of new-cars-with-BTI's, then I think teetotalers with new cars would object strenuously to being monitored while drunk drivers with older cars are not!

Again, I have to ask: would a BTI immobilize a car when the driver had a trace amount of alcohol on his breath -- if he had just ingested a bit of cough syrup or had just gargled with Listerine? Also, would the unit detect a strong scent of alcohol being exhaled by a very drunken passenger that a designated driver was transporting home, and would the unit then prevent the driver's car from being started? Would a car with a BTI, once started, keep running if the sober driver popped into a bar and left the engine running and got back into the car drunk?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 06:19 PM

Yes Smokey, it's a matter of public record that houses are being burgled specifically to steal car keys, for the purpose of taking said cars.

I know that - the key stealing's been a commonplace method for years. Mine works the same way as yours, with a chip in the key. I was referring to the disabling of immobilisers by the vehicles' owners (who have more time to do it) for the purpose of getting round the alcohol detecting device, and the availability of the information on the internet enabling one to do so.

I recently priced a new key, by the way. £70 for a 'cheap' one made by a local locksmith re-using the old chip, and £150 - £200 for the manufacturer's own with a new chip. That's just the key.. I doubt very much if a 'foolproof' alcohol detecting device/immobiliser is going to retail at £30 - £40. At least not on Japanese cars, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 05:21 AM

""I doubt very much if a 'foolproof' alcohol detecting device/immobiliser is going to retail at £30 - £40. At least not on Japanese cars, anyway.""

Of course not, as a standard retail item, but as a manufacturer fitted integral component in a car being sold into a highly competitive market, it is a realistic assessment of the likely extra cost.

Sharon, you are of course correct in saying you would still be at risk from drunks in older cars. That risk of course would steadily decrease as you pointed out above.

Almost all innovations are progressively rolled out (eg seatbelts) and strangely, if you look at prices before and after, you find very small, or even no, increases.

Your questions re sensitivity are easily answered. Breathalisers already measure very accurately, so there would be no problem setting say a 25mlg/100ml limit.

Your putative passenger would have zero effect, as the machine requires a steady breath of 100ml volume to operate.

The car outside the pub would simply turn itself off automatically after say five minutes stationary with the doors locked.

None of this is rocket science, and if the aim is to prevent death by drunken driving, rather than waiting for the carnage, and punishing the miscreant, I'd say it was justified, and those who have lost loved ones would agree. Wouldn't you?


Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 09:59 AM

You could ban cars altogether. That would save 3,500 lives and 35,000 serious injuries in the UK every year. You could ban alcohol completely and cut out the tens of thousands of alcohol-related deaths too. You could ban Big Macs, and chips done in beef dripping (Rick Stein wouldn't love you), and prevent a few thousand coronaries. You could ban telly, which would force people to take more exercise (especially with the car ban in place!), with the same effect. Saving lives is easy. Not turning your country into Big Brother's kingdom is the hard bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 10:31 AM

how about banning harmonicas?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 01:27 PM

Steve Shaw, I'm as bothered as you by the idea of a police state.

Just as long as YOU would be willing to explain to the bereaved why the civil liberties of drunken drivers are more important than their dead relative, I would be happy to accept the inevitability of continuing footdragging over curtailing civil liberties.

No matter what kind of free country you espouse, it CANNOT include the freedom to commit wanton murder.

That is the crime of the drunken driver. It is implicit in his/her decision to drive that car while in that condition, that he/she accept the possibility of killing somebody, yet this does not stop him/her.

That is why the charge, IMHO, should be murder, and I'm sure you would never be campaigning for the freedom to commit murder.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 01:49 PM

Furthermore, Steve seems to think that existence of any laws inhibiting any sort of conduct constitutes a Big Brother state. Those with such views are best off living on desert islands where they can just get on with whatever they have a mind to — & I hope it keeps fine for him.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 02:41 PM

Of course not, as a standard retail item, but as a manufacturer fitted integral component in a car being sold into a highly competitive market, it is a realistic assessment of the likely extra cost.

You seem to have misunderstood me again, Don, but it's only a small difference of opinion and not worth arguing about when compared with the seriousness of the matter under discussion.


how about banning harmonicas? (GSS)

Be fair, Dick - they're only half a concertina without the leather bits.. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 03:51 PM

& an ANGLO concertina at that, please note.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 06:36 PM

The only way you can murder someone with a car is either to drive it at them at great speed, drop it on them from a great height, lock the doors with the driver inside and set it on fire, or cut the brake pipes. I'm in favour of not getting overly liberal with our definition of murder, thanks. Having said that, killing someone whilst driving pissed is sometimes not treated with the severity it deserves. Let's keep measured and avoid the the lynch-mob intemperance. And we're not just talking about the civil liberties of drunk drivers. We're also talking about the civil liberties of the 99% (estimated by me) who never drive drunk. Anyway, no harm to be done. This will never come to pass in any case.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 06:53 PM

Are all these pubs now smoke free? I'd think that smoking would be a reasonable thing to allow wouldn't you? Maybe allow only a pack or so per guest per evening......or no more than two cigars.   Or do they still have smoking in your pubs?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:08 PM

No Spaw, they say it's dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:19 PM

Gee.....I'd think that having a brew and smoke and some good old fashioned whatever is just the thing to keep the bars hopping. Lots of business was lost here when the government trounced allover our personal freedom to fire up a gasper whenever and wherever we chose. How can they take away such precious rights and freedoms?


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:32 PM

It's a hard world Spaw. Next thing you know, they'll be banning sheep shagging.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 08:15 PM

Ya' think?   Tell ya' Smokester, that's really gonna' put the cabosh on quite a few of the posters on this thread as most who like to drink and drive often stop along the way to put the log to a poor sheep, especially in the coast and hill country. Those guys know the secret to a good sheepshag is getting the sheep up to the cliff so they shove back! Go ahead......ask them!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 08:47 PM

Hmm... Never heard of the old 'jar of mint sauce dangling on the end of a stick' trick then? No sense of sophistication, you colonials.


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 07:22 PM

So you call it a "stick" over there?


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Subject: RE: BS: proposed alteration to drink driving level
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:30 PM

No Wesley, you must be thinking of the old parlour-trick of 'lifting the anvil'. That dates back to before television of course, when we had anvils in the parlour. We had to make our own fun in those days.


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