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Victorian top cop backs .02 driving limit.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by 2up, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Zero alchohol

  2. .02

    0 vote(s)
  3. .05

    0 vote(s)
  4. .08

    0 vote(s)
  5. .1

    0 vote(s)
  6. No limit

    0 vote(s)
  1. Vic top cop backs .02 driving limit
    AAP, August 12, 2009

    Reducing the national blood alcohol limit for drivers to .02 could substantially cut the number of road fatalities, a senior Victorian policeman says.

    Victorian Premier John Brumby has given the thumbs down to a push by a top cop to lower the 0.05 blood-alcohol limit for drivers.

    Speaking at an anti-binge drinking forum in Melbourne on Tuesday, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said the 0.05 limit should be re-examined in light of evidence from abroad that 0.02 levels reduce road deaths.

    But Mr Brumby said the government had no plans to lower the limit.

    "It's not something that we're examining," he told reporters.

    "I think 0.05 is well understood, well established in the community.

    "If you drink and drive you're a bloody idiot and that message is out there pretty strongly."

    Mr Brumby said the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) will launch a new anti-speeding campaign next year.

    He said getting the message out that drivers should not speed or take illicit drugs was the government's focus.

    Mr Fontana said a third of Victorian road crashes involved excessive alcohol.

    "We are still getting a lot of drivers who are well over the limit, so we might need to rethink that (.05 limit)," he said.

    "We still have a lot of problems with alcohol on our roads.

    Most Western nations have set blood alcohol limits at between .05 and .08, but some including Sweden and Norway have .02 limits and harsh penalties for breaches.

    There is little research available but in Sweden, where the blood alcohol limit was cut from .05 to .02, there was a reduction of 8 to 10 per cent in alcohol-related road deaths, the Age newspaper said.

    Last year, Victoria Police breath-tested 1.4 million drivers and found about 5,700 had exceeded .05, while 50 drivers (28 per cent of all those killed in 2008) had a blood alcohol level over .05.

  2. About time the cops did some real policing rather than dictate policy.
  3. I don't understand how reducing the limit will reduce those who are over the limit. If public transport was accessible and cheap etc etc but no, dump another few million on the police to breath test and process idiots.
  4. Guessed it before i read it...

    It is nice being able to go out and still have a drink or two with friends if your driving
  5. If he can't see the logical flaw in that argument, we have no hope of sensible laws in the future. For alcohol, speed, or any other offenses.

    I'm sure there must be some smarter people who would like to be the Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner.
  6. The smart logical thinkers would never be allowed to be Assistant police or even police commissioners because they would then be sensible reasonable practical people who would not try and be muppets for the government of the day.
  7. Sadly, that is probably true Smee. I did have hopes for Simon Overland though, until recently. :cry:
  8. I think 0.05 is actually too high. The people who shout that statement down probably drink pretty regularly, and wouldn't notice the difference between 0.05 and 0.00, but reaction times are slower for everyone, and then there's the majority of the non-drinking population who get a real buzz from a couple of drinks. You wouldn't do a trackday or race with a couple of beers under the belt (there are exceptions), nor would you fly a plane, so what's the big deal?

    2 beers, 1 beer, no beer, what's the diff? Just don't drive if you're drinking.
  9. If i'm having any beer i just leave the car or bike at home, but zero could never work as some medications and even foods have alcohol in them, 0.02 really isn't much lower and I can't see any real need to lower it, 0.05 isnt really a dangerous level, and those that drive over .05 would still probably drive over .02 for the same reasons they risk it now
  10. +1 devotard.
    I know of a few people who start losing co-ordination after just one beer.
  11. +1 to you both.

    Honestly, in all seriousness I don't think we should be let to drive after one drink. Fatigue/other medication/amount of food in stomach... hell, even what drinks you had can play more or a part in how 'drunk' you get rather than the actual amount of alcohol consumed. Alcohol and driving is just not a good idea.

    Its hardly a practical solution, but IMHO its the best solution.
  12. Aggressive drivers are far more dangerous than those that are hovering around the 0.05 mark, as are drivers who are fatigued, those that have had a bad day, just been fired, missed out on rooting some hottie etc etc etc.

    You can't measure those so they are ignored. Alcohol and drugs however, we can measure those so they push that point.

    I don't drink drive/ride and I'm not for 1 second saying it is ok to.
  13. If you go out to a restaurant and have a wine or a couple of beers with dinner, it's nice to not have to stress; you know you'll be under 0.05. 0.02, though? Bugger off. And I wonder how many of those killed were just over 0.05-0.07? I'll bet the majority were blitzed off their faces.
  14. i'm sorry, in a bit of a daze in this thread

    could someone enlighten me,
    was it my bad ear or did i actually read that Brumby said NO to LESS FUN?
    i'm guessing the only reason he isn't dumbing down motorists with more legislation is because he likes his drink. maybe he loves his drink? perhaps alcoholism could explain a great deal of his judgement?

    tomorrow's headlines-
    Premier puts the Rum in Brumby
  15. Alcohol limits like 'speeding' are politicians' and bean counters' favourites, because they can be measured. All I know is I'd rather get in a car with a pissed but careful and relaxed driver than a sober yet aggressive and stressed one.

    Legal alcohol level in the USA is higher than ours - 0.007 or 0.008 (can't be bothered checking) yet they seem to manage somehow.

    There's nothing magical about 0.005 either, it's just a completely arbitrary number.
  16. Blood alcohol limits are a bit like speeding - people are drivging too much or going too fast so we'll reduce the limits. Unfortunately it won't work with the people they claim to be targeting.

    The type of idiot who wrote off himself and a row of shops at 160km/h (in a 60 zone) the other day wouldn't be deterred by dropping the limit there to 50 or even 40.

    Someone who blows .1 or higher is not going to be deterred by .02 or .05 limits (or even .00).
  17. I agree with tonyE on this one.

    From talking to a few cops that I know about this the limit itself is a little silly. Some people are right as rain at .05 or higher others are absolutely munted even under this limit.

    Speeding is a bit the same to, some people can't even control their vehicle at the speed limit.

    I don't see a reason for a change, it would basically mean that you have a much higher chance of going over the limit when you have dinner and a couple of beers for example.
  18. I think your point about it effecting people different is very significant here - yes 0.05 for many is nothing, used to it, etc. But I find having just a beer or 2 light beers, and whilst obviously still being under 0.05 I can notice the decrease in clarity whilst driving/riding - but its still legal. Yet someone who drinks more regularly could possibly be 100%, so its a hard thing to legislate.

    Of course if drinking less then we will keep people more alert and the chances of having a crash would reduce in situations where reacting quickly is paramount.

    We are allowed to have a drink or two then drive according to the alcohol limit, despite the fact we know that even a little alcohol can reduce the ability to react - which suggests we are willing to tolerate the increased danger for the benefit of being able to enjoy a brew.

    A 0.02 or similar limit seems to be an attempt to shift the paradigm that a little is ok. Its all down to our attitudes I guess, looking back a few decades ago you could get away with it alot more yeah? As people become more informed, PC and safety conscious and generally more legislated out of everything, its inevitable that in the future drinking at all then driving will be socially unacceptable - thats what the gvt is trying to achieve and eventually they'll crack it.
  19. I agree. But there is still a decrease in Mr Calms ability to drive, its just not (usually) as severe as Mr Recently-out-of-a-jobs. But like you say, BAC is the only measurable one, so its stressed.

    My biggest concern is when Mr. Calm has a nasty mouth infection, takes his antibiotics and then goes out for a quick drink with his mates. For whatever reason the booze and the pills don't play nice, the booze hits him harder than usual, and then Mr Calm ends up as part of the flora.

    Considering all the substances that we are already allowed to be ingesting while controlling a tonne of steel, that we know that booze decreases our ability to drive and more often than not does not play with those other substances I just can't see how it can possibly be deemed to be safe to drive at anything over 0.00.
  20. I had an experience that kinda applies to the last post.

    I had a knee reco recently and have been taking some Oxycontin to numb the pain. First time back on the grog after about 10 weeks, had a scotch and 4 beers at home a few weeks ago (not realising that the Oxy would have such an effect), woke up in the morning to an angry missus who explained to me that I spent a few hours slurring my words and telling her that her sister is smokin. Can't remember any of it.

    If I had had ONE drink and driven, I would have been the most dangerous person in Newcastle. I'm all for having a wine with dinner, but FFS sometimes a little common sense is required.