Drink Driving Blitz

December 16th, 2007 at 10:18 am by David Farrar

The SST reports on a drink driving blitz on Friday night which tested 52,000 vehicles and 335 drivers face prosecution.

I was one of those tested, on the on ramp to the Wellington motorway, driving back from a party in Newtown. The police officers were very professional and polite doing a pretty thankless job.

I’d been at the party for around four hours, and had only had three alcoholic drinks (whiskeys) before swapping to fruit juice, so I knew I was well under the limit. But despite that, you always get that nervous clenching feeling in your stomach, until such time as you get a result. Of course it came up negative.

It was the first time I had been breath tested in oh four or five years I think. And that is despite being a regular driver in the evenings.

It got me thinking about how often those who have multiple drink driving convictions, probably actually drive over the limit. If you have just one conviction it might be the only time you were ever over the limit, but what are the chances for multiple convictions.

You see I would estimate that you get breath tested only around one in 200 times you are out driving. So if for example you have four drink driving convictions, that suggests to me that person may have driven over the limit 500 to 1,000 times.

So personally I would actually advocate more resources for more frequent drink driving blitzes. People shouldn’t get away with driving drunk hundreds and hundreds of times.

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82 Responses to “Drink Driving Blitz”

  1. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    GWW, was that supposed to be a shot at DPF, even though he was under the limit?

    [DPF: yes it was and I deleted it. And GWW is facing a kicking if he wants to carry on the smears]

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  2. Chicken Little (741 comments) says:

    Then at least GWW can go back to one of those OTHER blogs and complain about how you always ban lefties from here because they make too many good points that you are unable to counter.

    There will be backslaps all round and hearty chuckles as the citizens of those places congratulate themselves on outing another rightwing fascist proporting to champion free speech.

    All the while these sad little people live in fantasy land, fiddling as ‘Rome’ begins to burn around them.

    Chances of GWW/Robert Owen/Nih being the same person 98.5%

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  3. john (478 comments) says:

    Is gww still besmirching the name of Mr Walker and insulting people like you Mr Farrar .David(opps Mr Farrar) stamp on that creepy leftist tossier who ruins the memory of that non PC not queer defender of the people , the phantom, A REAL MAN unlike the barren witch ruling us,

    [DPF: I've warned before about the term barren witch and its unacceptability. 20 demerits]

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  4. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    It’s pretty irrelevant either way until there is actually some actual consequence to being caught drink driving multiple times.

    The current sentences and lack of enforcement make it a sick joke anyway

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “So personally I would actually advocate more resources for more frequent drink driving blitzes.”

    No no no no no no no no. No stopping citizens for suspicionless checks. Mr. Farrar, you have put so much energy into a campaign to stop the EFB. Don’t you see where it all starts? It starts with the government diminishing and attacking basic rights, and in this case its the rights of law abiding citizens to go about their business without being stopped at checkpoints.

    You’re right of course to be concerned about drunk drivers, but this is not the way to deal with it. A gummint that abides by basic freedoms would not be constructing such anti-freedom legislation as the EFB. By allowing these checkpoints, you gave them the inch, and therefore you cannot complain when they then take the expected mile.

    Deal harshly with drunk driving if you must, but you cannot complain about the EFB on one hand, and then call for more suspicionless checks on law abiding citizens on the other. You must be consisitent in your limiting of government power and respecting citizens rights, and that consistency starts at the most basic levels.

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  6. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    very well said mr redbaiter.

    mr farrar, following on from redbaiter and your logic perhaps pedestrian checkpoints would be good for stopping those taking drugs, checking on unpaid fines, overdue taxes, those breaching bail, etc, etc.

    I agree completely with redbaiter – government power must have extremely strict restrictions. Which it currently doesn’t, and with no person ever being hld personally accountable for its actions it is one of the greatest dangers known to mankind. for proof see most of history.

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I have to wonder if Redbaiter objects to the Orwellian practice of forcing drivers to pass competancy tests before being allowed behind the wheels.”

    I wonder if you even realise by how many light years you’ve missed the point. No wonder the EFB is being passed with nary a sigh from the population. They’re all ignorant of history half educated non comprehnding mushbrains like you with such diminished reading skills and shallow conceptions of liberty that they will never grasp any point that isn’t laced with some kind of taxpayer funded inducement and presented with comic typically book style explanations usually exploiting the anti-capitalist paranoia that accompanies the left wing mindset. The EFB’s a good idea right?

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  8. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Few people would argue that the owner of a private business, eg. a horse trek business, should have the right to ensure that those using the facilities comply with the rules and the power to eject those who refuse to comply with those rules.
    So, if the roads were owned privately, surely the same would apply? Why shouldn’t that same principle apply just because the roads are state owned?

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  9. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Redbaiter is a free spirit.

    The NZ Ads are pretty graph, with drunk drivers and their passengers BBQed in their cars, brain dead in wheelchairs, that sort of thing.

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  10. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    graph = graphic

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  11. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    andrew w, we meet again. I dont think thats what redbaiter is getting at. Rules are required but it is the nature of those rules that is being attacked, not the need for rules.

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  12. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    How’s the silvercheck this morning Andy? Need a bit more on the temple maybe? Why am I asking you about your hair die? Its a subject that has as much relevance to my point as your convoluted nonsense about a horse trekking business. You’re always a twittering and superficial idiot Andrew, and here your making that exceedingly clear with your dipshit failure to understand the difference between the actions of a private company dealing with voluntary customers and the police acting upon the orders of politicians and forcing law abiding citizens to stop and undergo checks when there is no good reason to stop them. Go and live in Libya for a while and you might get a clue you AGW religionist dimbulb.

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  13. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    slightly off/on topic – I just had an incident which involved alcohol and consequently I am completely off it indefinitely. First ime ever really. Two things have since become apparent;

    1. Alcohol’s grip on and in society is quite scary.
    2. Wine and beer etc are really very very fine things to drink and I miss that.

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  14. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Another analogy can be drawn with DPF’s moderation policy (no pun intended). Moderation of this site has certainly reduced the amount of venom in Redbaiters comments. The result has been that in general the quality of his comments has improved (believe it or not) with a corresponding lift in peoples opinion of him. Red and I were both opposed to moderation, the reason for my opposition was that people who post venomous rants are easily dismissed, so, even though red opposes moderation, it has worked in his favour.

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  15. ghostwhowalks (377 comments) says:

    Duynhoven said there was no excuse for drink-driving: “If you are the one that is driving, don’t drink. It’s as simple as that.”

    Someone finds it hard to admit making a mistake !
    No where have we heard that complaint before

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  16. Sonic_Watch (3 comments) says:

    Wait a minute, this can’t be right.

    In 2004, 135 died due to drink driving on NZ roads:

    http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/road-user-safety/motorists/drink.html

    In the same year, although UK deaths are increasing, 590 died:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4294020.stm

    Both countries have the 80 mg rule. NZ has about 7% of the UK population. Please tell me this isn’t right.

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  17. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    vto, I think you mean the method of checking on compliance with those rules.

    What alternatives are there? Serious question.

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  18. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    GWW, is this another variant on King’s rule of common sense? The legal limit is 80mg/100ml of blood, those under this limit have done nothing wrong in law, are you saying Duynhoven’s new spin is the law that we are all supposed to adhere to?

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  19. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    andrew w, nature of the rule includes their compliance checking. technical.

    alternatives? Not sure. ban alcohol, like any other drug. wasn’t the point of the point.

    its a steamy hot sunday afternoon – I’m off

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  20. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:
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  21. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Hump! included “less than” at the start of that comment and it didn’t appear.

    SW, And the solution is?

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  22. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    ? Ahh, no, that was vto

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  23. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Ideologically random breath testing doesn’t fit that well with me ,but I thought I’d play devils advocate in the knowledge that clever people like Red would point to a solution that doesn’t mean that lots of safe and sober drivers aren’t being stopped, and lets face it, intimidated, to catch the drunks.

    No solutions anyone?

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  24. Richard (29 comments) says:

    “Deal harshly with drunk driving if you must, but you cannot complain about the EFB on one hand, and then call for more suspicionless checks on law abiding citizens on the other.”

    Actually, you can. Libertarianz would privatise the roads. I’d sure hope the new road owners would make every effort to keep drunks off the roads I was driving on. The current owner doesn’t. It’s pathetic.

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  25. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “what is appropriate and not according to a strict calculus laid down by unyielding constitutions is best all round.”

    Agree

    This is David Peter Farrar’s blog, he’s the only one posting.

    Everyone in NZ owns a car, the number of pubs/clubs is less than in the UK so home is likely to be more than staggering distance, Kiwi’s aren’t as subserviant to nanny state as poms yet, not always a good thing.
    Probably the biggest difference is the % of under 25’s with a car.

    If by “libertarian nonsense” you mean the expectation that people take responsibility for their own actions, what nonsense do you subscribe to?

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  26. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    I can’t say I got warm fuzzies from getting caught up in the drink driving blitz on Friday. The police blocked off Hobson St, the main feed out of the city, and at midnight it took me 25 mins to get out of the Sky City parking building, and a further 15 to get to the checkpoint. When I got there I was just waved on. And only 1 in 150 people tested was over the limit after all that.

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  27. baxter (893 comments) says:

    If there was a three strikes and lifetime disqualification Policy, and realistic sentences including vehicle forfeiture, you wouldn’t have drivers on the tenth and upward conviction for the offence still on bail, and still very unlikely to receive a custodial sentence. There is at least one law firm advertising on the radio each day for disqualified drivers to contact them if they want their licence back.It can all be done over the phone and will cost less than $1,000….There is no need for more stops or more resource, just more commonsense applied to the present system

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  28. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Good point baxter, so it’s the same solution as other crimes, deal with offenders properly.

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  29. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    hey sonic-watch, what prob you got with my comment above. what you mean “we’re watched you”?

    and baxter, agree. that’s all that is needed. not more checkpoints. it becomes excessive state control – mind you it seems that’s what about half of new zealand wants. as delivered by herr klark

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  30. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    You mean I’ve got 15 years of this crap to look forward to?

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  31. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I think Sonic_Watch sees blue hedgehogs everywhere.

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  32. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    A year or two, tops, before they start targetting drinkers and not any old joe driver.

    More than a year, this govt isn’t out till November, the cops can only throw the book that Parliament and the courts give them to throw.

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  33. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    SW –
    Sorry have to disagree that all Libertarians are Gits – and I’ll try and hold myself up as an example to disprove the rule ;-P

    Libertarians, however, are complete gits.

    Why is it that their definition of free-speech or behaviour doesn’t address the right of others not to be turned to axle-grease by someone with 170 mg?

    In my own experience it has tended to be the Libertarians calling for the git that is drunk driving to be hung out to dry while it is the “fuzzy Liberals” more likely to side with the drunk driver giving him a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, …. etc chance to try and smear someone…

    I think the main part where the Libertarian tends to get the bad name on this topic is the necessity to treat everyone as guilty until proven innocent in terms of the checkpoint methodology.

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  34. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    that fine Christian tradition of getting someone else to turn their other cheek.
    Except that in this case it tends to be the judiciary turning their cheek but joe public getting slapped by the car.

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  35. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    Personally I wouldn’t be as concerned by the checkpoints if the serial and serious offenders were actually taken off the roads as a result – however in the end most of them end up being another form of revenue generation with the book thrown at those most able to pay, and another wet bus ticket for those who can’t.

    Which is why I disagree whole heartedly with DPF on this; his suggestion is the dog chipping all over – until the existing rules are appropriately enforced there is no point in just increasing the frustration

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  36. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    The theory is:
    Drink-driving is considered a serious offence and carries tough penalties, especially for repeat offenders. Third and subsequent offenders face maximum fines of $6,000, prison terms of up to two years, and a one year minimum disqualification from driving.

    http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/factsheets/55.html

    The issue is that judges have shown a predilection towards use of the fine and disqualification provisions – that then lead to the fines being written off when the offender cannot repay; and when caught driving while disqualified just get a longer disqualification and/or fine (see above…)

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  37. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    There was one fairly infamous case here recently where a young driver (16 or 17 y.o.) on restricted license was caught driving outside of hours, drunk and with passengers (so basically breaching every condition of their license they could).

    They were given 6 months disqualification – because they were obeying their license anyway?

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  38. kisekiman (219 comments) says:

    VTO is correct, New Zealand is a nation of pissheads in denial and I got pooh-poohed in a previous thread for saying the 42 below ad implied the the stupidest thing you could do after getting hammered was to molest a cow.

    It’s not. Drink driving is.

    This Government is quite happy to introduce new laws governing the emissions of cars and other safety features. Why not make alcohol sensors and vehicle immobilisers sytems mandatory for WOF. Tough for those who don’t drink drive but so are check points.

    This is not meant to be an overnight band-aid solution but a concept to be considered. In ten years time it could be a reality. Toyota are planning to incorporate such devices in all cars. That’s showing some corporate responsibility.

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  39. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Wait a minute, this can’t be right. In 2004, 135 died due to drink driving on NZ roads:’

    It isn’t. Its a lie. The erosion of civil liberties that is gathering pace in NZ under the Klark government began with attacks on motorists and these attacks were justified by fake stats. Stats aside, I repeat, we need to get back to basics on limiting government powers, and allowing people to go about their lawful business free of police checkpoints is one of the most basic freedoms of all.

    Checkpoints are not justified by fake stats on drink driving. Even if the stats were true, they do not provide any justification for what is an outright attack on an age old traditional right. Mr. Farrar and the Nats should know this, and if they don’t, its no damn wonder the National Party is so confused about what it stands for.

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  40. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    SW – Did I say that I wanted prison sentences?
    I believe I did hint towards that I’d like fines that didn’t get wiped; and that disqualifying a disqualified driver is hardly going to be effective.

    Personally permanent confiscation of the vehicles being driven by repeat offenders (I think we are both agreeing that 1st time are a more difficult bunch to deal with…) is a good place to start.

    However those people being caught (as per DPF’s original point) for the 4th or 5th time really should be charged with equivalent to attempted murder / unauthorised use of deadly weapons.

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  41. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    4th or 5th time?
    Just shoot them, they’ll never do it again.

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  42. kehua (225 comments) says:

    If you drink over the limit and drive , you are a fucking idiot, no excuses needed. Simple answer, blow the bag over the limit – remove the driver and passengers if any and send the car to the crusher no ifs no buts. Deterrent always works. Ask any child that has been smacked.

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  43. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “English common law does not allow for the right of yeomen to drive their carriages whilst merry with the occassional half gallon of claret wine.”

    You rabbiting witless dipshit. Have you ever actually undergone any sort of educational experience relating to either comprehension or history? For the third time, that is not the issue. The issue is the police stopping people for no good reason.

    “Do you have evidence to refute it,”

    Why do you need to ask something that you should know about if you’re going to argue this issue? If you’d done the lightest of research into the matter, you’d know that these stats are seriously flawed. If a car is parked on the side of the road, and one of the passengers tests positive even for the smallest degree of alcohol after that car is run into by a driver who tests negative for alcohol, it is noted as an alcohol related accident/ fatality.

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  44. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “The issue is the police stopping people for no good reason. ”

    I was told Police definitely have to have a reason to stop a vehicle.

    People are now just so conditioned to being pulled over Police have practically need no justification any more.

    I can’t stand seeing Police pulling over cyclists with no helmets.
    its gestapo all over. Truly appalling Police state tactics.

    But,, say it while you can I spose.

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  45. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    All that’s required is for the offender to use his girlfriend’s car, and we’re back to the problem with repeat bans.
    Except that after losing the girlfriends car (maybe twice) she’s either not going to have another or at least not give it to them!

    And it tends to work well across the monetary spectrum as rich people tend to have commensurately expensive cars :D

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  46. Sonic_Watch (3 comments) says:

    I always like it when emotionally-stunted, foul-mouthed trolls call government researched “seriously flawed”. Redbaiter, I have sneezed bigger than you. If you provide me with analysis based on the raw stats, I’ll be happy to listen.

    {{If a car is parked on the side of the road, and one of the passengers tests positive even for the smallest degree of alcohol after that car is run into by a driver who tests negative for alcohol, it is noted as an alcohol related accident/ fatality.}}

    That’s a reasonable criticism, so I used my rapier powers of reason to eviscerate it in seconds. You could, in fact be hiding something, as there’s the strong likelihood that “parked on the side of the road” could include being in the path of oncoming traffic, just as a sober motorist who swerves to avoid a collision with a driving drink driver, and causes a separate collision will likely be exonerated.

    Do you have any evidence that NZ police and judicary, fairly unique amongst Westernized nations, do not define drink driving as being committed by someone doing the drinking? Or are you being, as they say in my parts, a gobby twat?

    As far as I can see, road usage or conditions are little different in NZ and the UK. In the same year, there were 435 non drink related deaths on NZ roads. That is, 31% of road deaths appear drink related.

    http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/media/2005/050101.html

    This compares to the 590 drink driving related deaths out of 3,221 on UK roads in 2004. That is, 18%.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4636913.stm

    So, although road deaths in NZ are still somewhat higher than those in the UK – about 10.9 per 100,000 Kiwis compared to about 5.4 per 100,000 Pommies – drink related deaths _still_ make up a higher proportion of total deaths in NZ.

    {{Except that after losing the girlfriends car (maybe twice) she’s either not going to have another or at least not give it to them!}} iiq374

    But Beth Heke kept going back to Jake the Muss!

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  47. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Here’s what they say moron-

    “In 2006 driver alcohol/drugs was a contributing factor 1in 99 fatal traffic crashes,”

    Note- “a contributing factor”

    From National Business Review-

    LTSA admits drink-drive deaths drop is bunkum
    Nick Smith

    Transport mandarins admit there is no evidence to show nearly halving the legal drink-drive limit will save lives.

    Land Transport SafetyAuthority spokesman Andy Knackstedt also admits it is attacking the grass roots Kiwi freedom of safely drinking a couple of beers and then driving home.

    The authority is lobbying the government to lower the limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg, saying it would save seven lives a year.

    It would promote a zero limit but zero is unenforceable, as some cough remedies or residual alcohol levels from the previous night’s drinking would make a mockery of zero tolerance, Mr Knackstedt said.

    But he admitted the authority could not point to traffic fatalities in which a driver had a level between 50 and 80mg and say alcohol was the defining factor. In short, the very premise of its proposal is based on a fallacy.

    Accidents involving a 50-80mg level could actually be caused by speed, a moment’s inattention, environmental factors, careless driving; any of these or a combination could be the cause of the seven out of 400-plus fatalities each year, he said.

    “You can’t point to any crash [and say alcohol was the cause], it’s the very nature of a fatal crash,” he said.

    Yet the authority is basing its push to nearly halve the limit on the statistical lie that it would save seven lives a year.

    Because research showed alcohol impaired judgment, it was the LTSA view that even a few drinks increases the chance of being in a crash, Mr Knackstedt said.

    “We’re trying to get a culture of people driving sober,” he said while stating a preference for drivers never drinking. “It’s the only way to be 100% sure.

    “But there are all sorts of problems with zero [blood-alcohol level, including cough medicine and residual alcohol levels].”

    Its proposal has been attacked by the Alcohol Advisory Council, road accident researchers, the Hospitality Association, Federated Farmers and the Beer, Wine and Spirits Association.

    All say halving the limit would have no impact on road accident fatalities, with some labelling LTSA advocates as evangelists.

    Indeed, New Zealand’s most experienced traffic accident researcher John Bailey said there wesre 175 factors that can affect fatal accidents, not just alcohol, speed and seatbelts.

    “Most fatal road accidents here and overseas usually involve half a dozen factors, not just alcohol,” Mr Bailey said. “It is naive to put all the blame on one factor.

    “I find that most, if not all drivers [with blood-alcohol levels] between 50mg and 80mg were also speeding.”

    The proposal would affect up to two million adults, the vast majority of whom drive safely and legally.

    Yet these law-abiding motorists would be prevented from meeting socially, having a couple of drinks and then driving home if the government heeds the LTSA.

    There is also a problem with the statistics, as the number of drivers with 50-80mg levels involved in accidents is so small.

    The LTSA is citing 1997-2001 figures showing an average of seven fatalities a year, yet 1996-2000 figures show only four deaths each year.

    Mr Knackstedt said the LTSA’s critics were entitled to their view, as it was, and it was up to the government to decide.

    Transport minister Paul Swain personally favours nearly halving the limit but it is unclear whether it has cabinet support.

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  48. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    What pathetic bluster. Drink driving statistics as presented by the NZ gummint are inaccurate and fake. You can write as many words as you want to try and cloud your inept failure to succesfully challenge this assertion. I’m not fooled.

    Just do some research on the name John Bailey you sad ignorant oaf. If you had any real idea on the issue, you wouldn’t be waffling so desperately. You’d know you were done. Its only your ignorance that allows you to continue making such a lame fool of yourself. Geez.. what an abject ignorant propaganda sucker.

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  49. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Red said TLSA said: “In 2006 driver alcohol/drugs was a contributing factor 1in 99 fatal traffic crashes,”

    Sonic_Watch, I think Red slipped the “1” in to deceive and it should have read: “In 2006 driver alcohol/drugs was a contributing factor in 99 fatal traffic crashes,”
    Alternatively alcohol was factor 1 ie. the main factor, in 99 fatal traffic crashes.
    It’s probably the former.

    The SST story states that: “Last year alcohol and drugs played a part in almost a third of all fatal crashes in New Zealand. For every 100 drunk drivers or riders killed in road crashes, 55 of their passengers and another 35 sober road users died with them.”

    So that would mean (with the info available) 190 alcohol related road deaths.

    “there were 435 non drink related deaths on NZ roads. That is, 31% of road deaths appear drink related.”

    190 + 435 = 625

    31% of 625 = 193

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  50. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    A gaping counter-factual exists in Redbaiter’s argument and still he dribbles nonsense. Is he always like this?

    As you see, it’s far worse than you realised.

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  51. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    But Beth Heke kept going back to Jake the Muss!
    LOL – however did you not watch to the end??
    And it still avoids the point that they run out of cars! (I wouldn’t change the provision that it is the car that is being driven regardless of ownership)

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  52. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Otherwise you come across as an ill-manered squirt with poor manners.”

    ..and I should care about your perceptions of me because…???

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  53. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    My bad, I should have checked your link, total deaths was 435.
    So a total of 135 dead in 99 drink related crashes,

    From this: “For every 100 drunk drivers or riders killed in road crashes, 55 of their passengers and another 35 sober road users died with them.” I get 52.6% of those killed in such crashes were the drunk drivers, that would be 71 of the 135.

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  54. iiq374 (262 comments) says:

    You would confiscate stolen cars and charge the victims of the separate crime? That’s the problem in my mind.

    Ahh, no – as per the current impounding regulations if the car is stolen (requiring a prosecution) then it is immune. However at that point the driver is facing both DD charges and theft charges.

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