The drink drive limit

The Herald reports that the Government is going to look at lowering the drink drive limit – maybe from 0.8 grams per litre to 0.5.

Before they go too far down the track, they should look at the accident statistics. Very very few crashes have a druver at just below the 0.8 limit. In fact not that many have them justover it either. Many or most are totally trollied and 50% over or double or more over the limit.

So a lowering of the limit may result in few benefits, but lead to many more convictions.

Despite a halving of the road toll in the past 20 years, which is mainly attributed to the campaign against drink-driving, police figures show that the number of people being caught for drink-driving has risen in the past five years – up from 25,133 in 2003 to 34,700 in the first 11 months of last year – after being stable for 15 years.

That shows then that you have a problem with people obeying even the current limit. So lowering the limit will create more criminals, but not greatly lower the road toll.

Many of the crashes are younger drivers also who already have an even lower limit of 0.3.

I think it is nice to be abl to go out with a partner to a good restaurant, dine for three to four hours, and enjoy a bottle of good wine between you during that time. You can do that legally at a 0.8 limit but not on a 0.5 limit.

If the statistics showed lots of crashes caused by people with bllod alcohol between 0.5 and 0.8, I’ be in favour of dropping it. But they don’t.

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