Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - oldroverboy.

What do BR's think.

I agree with lower and would not be against Zero, but zero is pretty well impractible.

( a friend (HGV driver) is suffering for being caught the next day) (already sacked and was in a good job too for a good firm.

No sympathy here!

Edited by oldroverboy. on 17/10/2017 at 11:07

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Andrew-T

I'm not much of a social drinker, but I wouldn't support a limit of zero. Some people will probably register a positive amount all the time for other reasons than drinking. One or two units seems a reasonable compromise between hazard and the nanny state.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RobJP

The thing is, to still be over the limit the morning after, you've got to have had an absolute skinful the night before.

Scotland reduced the DD limit considerably a few years ago (just checked, 2014). I've not seen any figures as to DD convictions or accident rates since then, however, so no idea if it had any effect - and that's the real test.

If the Scottish limit was shown to reduce DD-related accidents and fatalities, then I'd be perfectly happy for it to be brought in for the rest of the UK too.

However, I suspect the reason that people aren't crowing about the new, reduced accident rate north of the wall is that it doesn't exist. Because if it did, then you can bet that 'interest groups' would be making the most of it.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - thecloser

"The thing is, to still be over the limit the morning after, you've got to have had an absolute skinful the night before."

Not so. A pal of mine (sadly no longer with us) got 'done' some years ago at 10:30 am following a minor accident, having consumed half a bottle of white wine before 9:00pm the previous night.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RobJP

"The thing is, to still be over the limit the morning after, you've got to have had an absolute skinful the night before."

Not so. A pal of mine (sadly no longer with us) got 'done' some years ago at 10:30 am following a minor accident, having consumed half a bottle of white wine before 9:00pm the previous night.

I have to call 'b*llocks on that one, I'm afraid. I doubt the person was being honest about their consumption.

Half a bottle of wine (assuming it isn't some ridiculously fortified stuff) is the equivalent of about 2 pints of beer, or 4 (maybe 5) units of alcohol.

You metabolise (roughly) 1 unit of alcohol per hour. That figure varies slightly with weight, health, genetics, etc, but it's a very good guide. So those 5 units of alcohol would take 5, maybe 6 hours to be totally gone from the system.

It's not like this is some sort of new science, or unproven research. Universities, TV programmes (Fifth gear did it a few years back), and loads of other bodies (private and Gov't) have carried out these experiments on a large number of occasions, and the figures are well established. Universities in particular have always got a ready and willing bunch of students as 'research subjects'.

I personally know of one person who was known by everyone to be a really light drinker. Then, one morning, he had a minor accident, got breathalysed, was 3-4 times over the limit. We were all completely shocked - after all, he'd only ever have a pint or 2 in the pub, and would then walk home.

What nobody knew was that he'd then drink the thick end of a bottle of whisky before going to bed. He had been a serious alcoholic for 10+ years.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - thecloser

"I have to call 'b*llocks on that one, I'm afraid. I doubt the person was being honest about their consumption."

Call 'b*iiocks' on it as much as you like- you often do when anybody queries your opinions- but I knew the guy involved for the best part of 50 years and he wasn't a bulls***ter, nor was he a heavy drinker. Believe it or not there are times when your opinions do not hold water.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RT

Half a bottle (50% of 70cl) of scotch or other spirits at 40% ABV is 14 units so would clear down to the UK legal limit equivalent to 3 units in 11 hours, so 9pm to 8am.

To still be over the UK limit at 10:30am can't be down to drinking half a bottle (50% of 70cl) of wine as even high alcohol wine is only 20% ABV.

Regardless of posters' language, your friend isn't giving the whole picture.

Edited by RT on 17/10/2017 at 18:37

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RT

The "morning after" is a problem - other than using a breathalyser, no-one can assess how much alcohol is left in their system. Changing the UK (not Scotland) limit would make no difference to this because it would still be impossible to assess - even if the limit was zero.

With an 8 hour gap, say midnight to 8am,even consuming 12 units the night before would put the average person over the limit in the morning - that's about 5 pints of regular beer/lager, not exactly a skinful.

Does Scotland have enough evidence yet to make a firm conclusion about the reduction in their limit ?

Edited by RT on 17/10/2017 at 11:35

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RickyBoy

...Zero imbibing – if you're behind the wheel – for me!

Can't you just have a bitter lemon for once?...

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RobJP

With an 8 hour gap, say midnight to 8am,even consuming 12 units the night before would put the average person over the limit in the morning - that's about 5 pints of regular beer/lager, not exactly a skinful.

Erm, that assumes that the entire quantity of alcohol is consumed on the stroke of midnight.

If, on the other hand (and more realistically), the alcohol was consumed over 4 hours, from 8pm until midnight, then by midnight you'd already have metabolised 3 or 4 units of alcohol. Fast forward another 8 hours (and 8 units of metabolisation), and you'll have virtually nothing left in your system.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RobJP

Oh, and my personal limit if I'm driving is a pint of bitter shandy. So half a pint of bitter.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - oldroverboy.

Out tonight with Sis and Bro-in-law.

SWMBO has already said NO alc for me.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - NARU

Its all very well saying that a limit of zero will reduce deaths. It could well do, but so could a blanket 20 mph speed limit on all roads including motorways. Or forcing people to retake their driving test every year. Or banning people over 70 from driving. Or people under 30 years. Or any one of a number of measures that could be applied.

So ... its all about balancing risk and liberties. And your attitude may be different if you live in the city to if you live in the country.

The contributory factors are here: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras50-...s for anyone who wants to take a look. I haven't seen any data for how many lives might be saved by reducing the limit.

There is a lot of evidence that the seriously risky drink-drivers will take no notice of the limits, whatever they are. I believe that high-risk offenders are deemed to be those who have a blood-alcohol level of 2½ times the current legal limit. The latest figures I've seen suggest there were more than 40,000 such offenders in the UK each year.

This report is interesting: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attac...f

From the Long term trends section: "Detailed reporting on drink drive accidents and casualties started in 1979. At that time there were around 19,470 drink drive accidents, accounting for nearly 8% of all personal injury accidents in Great Britain. By 1993 the number of drink drive accidents recorded each year had halved to less than 10,000 and this number has continued to fall in the past twenty years.

Drink drive accidents have had larger falls; down 71 per cent since 1979.

It is therefore likely that some drink drive initiatives have been effective in reducing the number of drink drive accidents. As well as observing a decline in the number of drink drive accidents there has also been a reduction in the severity of drink drive accidents. In 1979 the proportion of drink drive accidents that resulted in at least one fatality was 7 per cent; by 2015 this has fallen to 3 per cent."

So on balance ... I don't see a huge need to reduce the limit. The idiots that drive when over the limit are just as likely to ignore a lower limit as they are to ignore the current one.

There are other ways of reducing deaths which might be more effective. Mandatory top-up training every few years, perhaps? I think it is crazy that I can pass a drivign test at 17 and never have to have another hour of training, ever.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - ExA35Owner

I would guess that drink-drivers make some sort or risk assessment for themselves, perhaps not aided very much by the drink....

Chance of getting caught - usually quite small (yes, fewer traffic police probably contribute to this risk being low). Consequences of being caught - pretty serious for most folk, but for a serial offender who's already banned, the consequences might not be seen as very severe, as a further ban won't in all probability affect their driving. I'd think that habitual drink-drivers aren't much deterred by the risk of collisions as they've got away with it unscathed before.

Benefit of drink-driving - you get home easily, don't need a taxi, don't have to retrieve the car next day....and the old "get-there-itis" which has killed motorists and aviators rather too often over the years.

So I suppose the most effective approach would be more policing - and this leads to another cost-benefit calculation. How many more cars and officers would be needed to reduce the level of drink-driving, and how many injuries/deaths would be saved in consequence? Is this the best way to spend the budget in terms of benefit per pound spent?

Edited by ExA35Owner on 17/10/2017 at 12:54

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Pondlife

The other question is enforcement. I would doubt that someone under the current limit would drive in a way that makes anyone suspect they were impaired.

Most of the times I've seen impaired driving, it seems to be caused by van drivers on their phone, and that law doesn't seem to be very widely enforced.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Avant

Lowering the limit attacks the wrong target - the serial drink-drivers who break thr law now and will continue to. It attacks those of us who drive after drinking one unit.

I don't know whether lowering the limit in Scotland has reduced accidents, but I'm told it has made life hard for pubs and restaurants who have seen a downturn in business (this was in Aberdeenshire but is presumably typical).

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - scot22

Consuming alcohol affects judgement. More weak willed people may be tempted to have,'Just one more' Surely it must be possible to set a limit which allows for any natural level.

Don't often take issue with Avant but I think the effect on business is irrelevant in relation to questions of safety.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RobJP

Consuming alcohol affects judgement. More weak willed people may be tempted to have,'Just one more' Surely it must be possible to set a limit which allows for any natural level.

Don't often take issue with Avant but I think the effect on business is irrelevant in relation to questions of safety.

But Avant clearly says that he's not seen whether there has been any effect on safety. Neither have I (and I've searched a bit).

If there is no evidence to back up the statement 'lower limits save lives', then there is no point in reducing those limits in England and Wales.

If, on the other hand, there is evidence that shows a direct corelation between Scotland reducing the DD limit and RTA numbers, then it should certainly be looked at in some detail as to whether similar lower limits should be brought in.

It the only effect is to cripple rural pubs, and put them out of business, and it makes no improvement to road safety, then it's not really doing anything worthwhile, is it ?

As it is, it seems to have been the Scottish Gov't saying "We must do something about the alcohol problem in Scotland. This is 'something'. Therefore we will do it". Without actually considering whether it's going to have any real effect on crime numbers.

The proposed minimum alcohol pricing will probably have far more real effect on the drink problem in Scotland.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Sofa Spud

Currently we have the arbitrary situation where someone who has a result of 81 mg faces a year's driving ban while someone who's 79 mg has committed no offence. Although I think the limit for automatic disqualification should stay the same at 80 mg I'd support the introduction of an intermediate limit of 50 mg with 9 penalty points to deter people from drinking 'up to the limit'.

As for me, I won't drive or cycle at all if I've consumed any alcohol - and I don't drink much anyway.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 17/10/2017 at 13:52

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - NARU

Consuming alcohol affects judgement. More weak willed people may be tempted to have,'Just one more' Surely it must be possible to set a limit which allows for any natural level.

Don't often take issue with Avant but I think the effect on business is irrelevant in relation to questions of safety.

The weak willed person is likely to be over the current limit anyway?

Everything in life is about balancing risks and benefits. If we took the 'irrelevant in relation to questions of safety' to its natural conclusion, we'd ban cars, dogs, ...

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - John F

Alcohol is a sedative drug. I think 80mg/100ml is very generous, considering that it would probably have been higher at the time of the accident/offence. I remember being one of those student volunteers and being significantly affected at around the 80 mark, but it peaked and wore off rapidly as the test dose was taken all at once.

The French have probably got the balance right; 0.5g/litre and 0.2g if 3yrs or less since passing driving test. This allows a mature couple (especially if, er, large!) to share a 750ml bottle of wine (six doses of 12 - 14g alcohol depending on wine strength) over an evening meal out, if they have not taken alcohol in the preceding 24hrs.

A 125ml dose as an aperitif while ordering and waiting, the other two glasses for the main course and cheese. Then pudding, coffee and plenty of water with the meal. By its end, at least the first dose and a fair amount of the other two will have been metabolised, so the chances of being over the 50mg limit would be remote (the remaining 25g alcohol distributed in say 60 litres of body tissues is around 0.4g/l)

So in answer to the OP's question, yes, down to 50mg/100mls, and 20mg for tyros, like the French.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - oldroverboy.

Alcohol is a sedative drug. I think 80mg/100ml is very generous, considering that it would probably have been higher at the time of the accident/offence. I remember being one of those student volunteers and being significantly affected at around the 80 mark, but it peaked and wore off rapidly as the test dose was taken all at once.

The French have probably got the balance right; 0.5g/litre and 0.2g if 3yrs or less since passing driving test. This allows a mature couple (especially if, er, large!) to share a 750ml bottle of wine (six doses of 12 - 14g alcohol depending on wine strength) over an evening meal out, if they have not taken alcohol in the preceding 24hrs.

A 125ml dose as an aperitif while ordering and waiting, the other two glasses for the main course and cheese. Then pudding, coffee and plenty of water with the meal. By its end, at least the first dose and a fair amount of the other two will have been metabolised, so the chances of being over the 50mg limit would be remote (the remaining 25g alcohol distributed in say 60 litres of body tissues is around 0.4g/l)

So in answer to the OP's question, yes, down to 50mg/100mls, and 20mg for tyros, like the French.

On the subject of eating out (in comparison with the french and italians) is that The "problem" drinkers in the uk are just that, problem drinkers, not problem drinkers with food.

Microwaved food eating out anyone.??? (in the uk)

Last week we ate in a Family restaurant in italy where the k****** was open facing the customers, and we saw our fresh pasta coming out of the machine, being boiled, and the sauce heated and combined with it. escalope a la milanese dusted with breadcrumbs and flash fried and dosed with marsala in front of us.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RT

Lowering the limit attacks the wrong target - the serial drink-drivers who break thr law now and will continue to. It attacks those of us who drive after drinking one unit.

I don't know whether lowering the limit in Scotland has reduced accidents, but I'm told it has made life hard for pubs and restaurants who have seen a downturn in business (this was in Aberdeenshire but is presumably typical).

I've heard the same from a landlord in Dumfries & Galloway - yet when I lived in Aberdeenshire in the '70s all the Scots I met would use taxis if they were drinking, something few English did at that time.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RT

Being honest about my less than respectable younger years, I can remember what it's like to drive while intoxicated.

Some prescription drugs can have the same effect - recently I was prescribed Tramadol for pain-relief, but it can be prescrived for other things - the effect is equivalent to being several times the alcohol limit - I refused to continue taking it and fell back on paracetamol and codeine.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RaineMan

This thread reminds me of one anomoly. If you had say four pints and decided to sleep in your car rather than drive you can be prosecuted for this. However, if you sleep in a campervan you are OK. Surely if there are no keys in the ignition it should not be an offence.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - RobJP

This thread reminds me of one anomoly. If you had say four pints and decided to sleep in your car rather than drive you can be prosecuted for this. However, if you sleep in a campervan you are OK. Surely if there are no keys in the ignition it should not be an offence.

If I recall the case in question correctly, the deciding factors were that the person was asleep in the (possibly reclined) drivers seat and that the keys were in the ignition.

The court viewed that as 'intent' to drink-drive, and that the person had fallen asleep, drunk, before starting the car.

If, on the other hand, you were asleep on the back seat, with the keys in your pocket, then I'm sure it would be a different matter.

Of course, modern 'keyless start' systems might make it a bit more complicated, legally.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Engineer Andy

Not sure of other people's experiences, but despite numerous, and it seems, very successful government campaigns to reduce drink-driving, there remians a few hardcore offenders, who frankly get away with it because Plod only bothers to carry out roadside checks at Christmas to New Year and once or twice the rest of the year. Whether this is due to budgets or poor management (see Wiltshire Police vs Ted Heath) is another story altogether.

I doubt if lowering the limits will catch that many extra people - I suppose it dependes upon whether studies into what level of alcohol in the blood (presumably percentage wise) have given us a definitive answer as to what is a 'safe level', given that some over the counter medicines have a small level of the stuff in them, but there hasn't been some national outcry (including by medical professionals) about their use in conjunction with driving a vehicle. Isn't the limit in Scotland lower than in the rest of UK - how is that panning out?

I think the Police have higher priorities on our roads than nicking a few more people who probably aren't doing much wrong, such as careless, reckless and dangerous driving (not caused by alcohol). I still think it would help to do something similar to in Australia, byt limiting the cars newly-qualified drivers (up to say 3 years and with a clean licence, otherwise its reset) to lower power-to-weight ratios.

In my view, inexperienced (mostly young and male) drivers showing off to friends on a Saturday night out (not alcohol-fuelled) in a car they cannot skillfully control and speeding is far more dangerous than someone 5% over a lowered alcohol limit.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - scot22

You have only to look at somebody who has been drinking to know that it must affect your ability to drive safely. I accept I put it too. strongly with saying other considerations are irrelevant where safety is concerned. Yes there are variables that need to be considered. However, I don't think that being free to drink alcohol is that important. If you are driving why bother. Yes we are individual but, as we know, not everyone is responsible and able to make objective judgements.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - barney100

I think whatever limit is introduced the hardcore drink drivers will carry on as before. Just as worrying is the problem of drug users driving, even if you ban some peolple they just carry on regardsless.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Andrew-T

I think whatever limit is introduced the hardcore drink drivers will carry on as before. Just as worrying is the problem of drug users driving, even if you ban some peolple they just carry on regardless.

Stealing and many other activities have been 'banned' from time immemorial, but we all know that still goes on, especially stealing of cars (motoring connection). So many things have been recommended for a ban, it's not surprising some offenders may be unsure what is on the list.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - greenhey

When you hear about people caught over the limit, they are usually WELL over.

Which suggests to me they are either contemptuous of the law, or plain stupid.

Loweing the threshold would change none of that.

Should the Drink-driving limit be reduced - 50 Years of Breathalysers - Manatee

No, unless the problem is people just under the existing limit, which seems unlikely. Are there any data?

 

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