Tamihere on road toll

John Tamihere writes in the Sunday News:

There are over 700,000 New Zealanders who have been convicted of drink driving. This is a huge number and while drinking habits and driving habits have changed considerably in the past 30 years we must move to ensure not just the safety of our young, predominantly male drivers, who drink but more particularly we must also protect the innocent driver who often gets caught up in accidents created by young drink drivers. …

It does not matter whether we lower the breath alcohol level, any drink before driving must be met with a severe penalty.

As a consequence, it is pointless having any benchmark that one might risk endeavouring to reach.

It’s better to put all risk out of the way and make it a general rule that any consumption of alcohol means it is illegal to drive a vehicle.

I am surprised John wrote that column without mentioning he has four convictions for drink driving. Now the last one was in 1995, and I don’t mention this to beat up on him. But his column could have been far more powerful if he had mentioned his own past, and how he has learnt the hard way that you shouldn’t drink and drive.

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