/ New Scottish Drink a Drive limits.

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Jim C - on 29 Jun 2014

http://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-scottish-mail-on-sunday

Is Scotland leading the way that others will follow-or is it going too far?

Tim Chappell - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:


Scotland is, increasingly, a Nanny State.

The rule about alcohol on trains after 9pm is very annoying, for instance. If people are misbehaving because they're drunk, the powers already exist to turf them off the train. If people are minding their own business having a glass of red wine on the way home (this is often me, or was), then there's no reason for the law to bother them, let alone criminalise them.
Jim C - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I was not aware of any rule/law about taking drink on trains after 9:00 pm. That was news to me, seems ott,

I guess some routes are better than others, so so to avoid confusion a blanket restriction was imposed. ( I need to look that one up)
Bulls Crack - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

Not quit far enough for drink driving. None is a much easier concept
Tim Chappell - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

If Hearts are playing Celtic at 3pm, then there might be a rationale for an alcohol ban on Edinburgh/ Glasgow trains between midday and 9pm. But even that targets everybody, when what really needs doing is to deal with the people who are actually making trouble.

Blanket bans are often a result of cowardice, also of moralism and high-handedness. Scotrail's current ban stinks of all three.
Dave Perry - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

Powers may already exist to turf drunkards et al off trains. But only if there are sufficient police to be on every train where trouble is likely to exist.

Having travelled on a train with drunk fans effing and blinding, covering the toilets in shit and urine, shouting, singing, throwing stuff at each other and generally behaving like out of control baboons I totally support a blanket ban on them.

I'm sure the likes of those who seem unable to travel a on a train without drinking will just have to get used to it!
tommyb - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I don't think this is a law imposed by the Nanny state - I think it is just Scotrail's own policy to protect their staff from abuse. They must have some reason to think it is necessary. It certainly doesn't apply on East Coast services. Interestingly, it also doesn't seem to apply on Scotrail sleeper services, where they were quite happy to sell me a nice bottle of Innes and Gunn at 22:00 the other day.
Jim C - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Not quit far enough for drink driving. None is a much easier concept

I suspect that the limits will soon be equalised , rather than ban it or maintain different limits causing issues for those in the Borders especially.

There are also those who might have a legal drink South of the border, and perhaps have to fly up at short notice , and hire a car on business, not thinking about the lower limits in Scotland .

Jim C - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to tommyb:
> Interestingly, it also doesn't seem to apply on Scotrail sleeper services, where they were quite happy to sell me a nice bottle of Innes and Gunn at 22:00 the other day.

strange that, I was searching for info on the ban , and I thought I read Sleepers stopped serving at 8:30 pm and the drinks Must be consumed before 9:00!

Must have misread that .

Just re- read it, and I did misread it, it said catering trolleys , sleepers were exempt. I guess they have not had any issues on sleepers.
Post edited at 16:09
Jim C - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:
> Having travelled on a train with drunk fans effing and blinding, covering the toilets in shit and urine, shouting, singing, throwing stuff at each other and generally behaving like out of control baboons I totally support a blanket ban on them.

There was a previous ban on supporters trains, this is just a further step.
( were they cricket fans by any chance?)

However, if it us not too pushy to ask.
What are are your views on the reduced drink drive drinking limits in Scotland?

(I am getting the drift that it is not much of an issue for most on UKC, they will remain unaffected, until the reduction comes in South of the border too. )


Post edited at 16:19
Dr.S at work - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

I'd be a bit sad not to be able to share a pint after a route, but really the bigger worry for most climbers these days is being knackered and driving, not having had a beer.

I'd be interested in any evidence on the actual limit they are going for - reaction times etc.

glad the sleeper will still serve though, one of my main ways of getting to the scottish hills!
Dave Kerr - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> Not quit far enough for drink driving. None is a much easier concept

A zero limit is a trifle difficult to enforce.
The New NickB - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Not quit far enough for drink driving. None is a much easier concept

It is pretty much impossible.
Dave Perry - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

It is common practice in some countries to not allow ANY alcohol in the blood stream.
It is well known that alcohol impairs your judgement and is a contributing factor in many accidents.

I started driving when it was quite common to encounter drunk drivers as there was no breatherliser then. We all know that drink and driving cars does not really mix. If the government in its wisdom dicate a stricter regime, then I'm not going to object. BUT, those south of the border will obviously have to be a little more careful when travelling to Scotland and remembering any future differences, as we do when travelling to and through France where no alcohol is tolerated in your blood.
Dave Kerr - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:
> (In reply to Jim C)
>
> when travelling to and through France where no alcohol is tolerated in your blood.

France has a 0.5mg limit not 0mg.
coinneach - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Doubt if Hearts will play Celtic next season ( unless they draw them in the cup)
Dr.S at work - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16824545

maybe they should have pushed for lower....
Dave Perry - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Oh, thats alright then!
Dave Kerr - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:
I wasn't suggesting you could get away with drinking in France because of the 0.5 limit, just pointing out that you were wrong to say that 'no alcohol was tolerated in your blood'.
Post edited at 22:33
Jim C - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> I wasn't suggesting you could get away with drinking in France because of the 0.5 limit, just pointing out that you were wrong to say that 'no alcohol was tolerated in your blood'.

None would be tricky, even for me being TT, I don't drink alcohol , but I do use a mouthwash.
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Douglas Griffin - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

> Having travelled on a train with drunk fans effing and blinding, covering the toilets in shit and urine, shouting, singing, throwing stuff at each other and generally behaving like out of control baboons I totally support a blanket ban on them.

Seems it's a problem on ferries too:
http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2014/06/27/passengers-report-drunken-abuse-on-north-boats
Dave Perry - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

At Dave Kerr. I wasn't getting at you and you were right pointing out my error.

Regarding ferries, when we lived in Ireland the ferries crossing from Dublin were sometimes topped up to the gunwales with drunks, shouting, screaming and singing - 'Hen parties seemed just as bad'.
Unfortunately its not yet legal to throw the slobs overboard.

We got more civilised behaviour on the livestock ferries!!
biped - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

Any ferry between the British Isles and Amsterdam is like The Jeremy Kyle Show meets The Love Boat.
victim of mathematics - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:

People moaning about the drink drive limit: (and I noticed a Mirror article which said it would be 'slashed to one of the lowest limits in Europe), erm, no. See this nice graphic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drink_drive_limit#mediaviewer/File:Map_of_European_countries_by_maximum...

which illustrates that the UK currently has the highest limit in Europe at 0.08, and nowhere else has a limit above 0.05 (the proposed new limit).
andrewmcleod - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to victim of mathematics:

Indeed, so in response to the original question 'Is Scotland leading the way', more catching up desperately with the rest of Europe! I lived in the Czech Republic for 8 months where the limit is zero; the only difference was that, since Czech people only seem to drink beer, non-alcoholic beer was widely available in pubs.

And as for driving across the border and forgetting the lower limit: a) who honestly drinks and thinks 'ah, I'm about 0.6% so I'm fine' then forgets they are crossing the border into Scotland (just don't drink and drive!) and b) people in Europe have coped with crossing borders and different rules for some time without civilization collapsing...
captain paranoia - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> A zero limit is a trifle difficult to enforce.

Especially if it's a sherry trifle.
IainRUK - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Not quit far enough for drink driving. None is a much easier concept

That would be ridiculous.. it'd hurt the economy too..

And no, this isn't Scotland leading the way.. this is nothing new..
IainRUK - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> People moaning about the drink drive limit: (and I noticed a Mirror article which said it would be 'slashed to one of the lowest limits in Europe), erm, no. See this nice graphic:


> which illustrates that the UK currently has the highest limit in Europe at 0.08, and nowhere else has a limit above 0.05 (the proposed new limit).

They also often have sliding scales.. so 0.05-1 is very different to 0.15… In Germany its an administrative issue and then a criminal issue above a certain value..

In the US its 0.08 and drink driving is rife.. such an issue.

TBH I do think it should be the same throughout Europe.. its one of those things to make sense to make uniform.
Dave Kerr - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to captain paranoia:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
>
> [...]
>
> Especially if it's a sherry trifle.

You saw what I did there. :)

Dave Kerr - on 30 Jun 2014
Jim C - on 30 Jun 2014
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> Crap graphic, good point.

As ever, I am grateful for the interesting info that UKC dig up.

So it is, (as often it is with the press) a non story, No big issue.

The only thing I cannot agree with is a 'zero ' limit, as that is ( apparently) impossible, as even a non drinker, I will have some alcohol in my system, I use mouthwash, (and as I looked today ) I may also get a tiny amount in the hand wash in the company toilets which can be absorbed through the skin. ( as I have just read)

But I guess I am about to be educated of how a absolute zero limit can work too.
Jim Fraser - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim C:

PATHETIC PUBLI-SECTOR POWER

If we sit on our fat 4r5es for 40 years spending every second day doing nothing but counting our pension entitlement then we can still pretend that we are effectively serving the public. Because we keep needlessly and continuously changing the law, we can be seen to be doing something about public concerns and elected representatives are happy because they too can claim to be busy. Enforcement becomes very easy so it doesn't require too much energy: we can just haul in any passerby and they are bound to have broken one of our pathetic rules. If we had laws that were just and reasonable then they would require intelligent and energetic enforcement and then where would we be.
Bwox - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:

Not drinking alcohol before driving a car does seem just and reasonable.
IainRUK - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Bwox:
> Not drinking alcohol before driving a car does seem just and reasonable.

You still can.. 0.05 is no great change.. with 0.08 it was basically a beer, possibly a second if drinking weak beer and waiting a bit.. and you'd still be under but most only have a beer anyway, and that's what it will be..

I do wonder though if this is just a cheap 'look we're better than England'… rather than any problem driven change.

This is just in line with the rest of the EU.. a few countries are lower.

I had a quick look at stats last night to see if DD is any worse in Britain than Europe.. My experience is its similar frowned upon..

Over in the states, Aus and NZ it was much less of a thing.. maybe due to the size, rural nature.. 2-3 beers and driving is pretty normal. I was even told by one bar maid 'have another you're a big guy' when I said one was enough…

I'll have a beer with a meal but you'll see University profs, MD's have 2-3 beers, even a few bourbons then drive..

People are almost surprised when I say I'm driving as I don't like to have any if I'm just out at a bar unless I'm sat having a meal then I'd just have a glass of wine or a beer.. even in the US theory test it says wait 3 hours after having 3 beers before driving.. I'd still feel it.
Post edited at 14:01
Cuthbert on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> You still can.. 0.05 is no great change.. with 0.08 it was basically a beer, possibly a second if drinking weak beer and waiting a bit.. and you'd still be under but most only have a beer anyway, and that's what it will be..

> I do wonder though if this is just a cheap 'look we're better than England'… rather than any problem driven change.

>

Thinking about people who have been killed or injured, it's hard to understand your paranoia, but it is clearly a feature in your thinking on many subjects.
Neil Williams - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:
The biggest drink driving problem is not caused by those with 0.05-0.08 in them, it's caused by those who disregard the law completely. Those people will continue to do so.

TBH I don't care whether it's 0.05 or 0.08 personally, because it will make precious little difference to anything.

Neil
Post edited at 14:49
drmarten on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim C:

Drinking one or two pints is not an issue - driving when impaired by alcohol is. Lots of people can't seem to tell the difference.

My driving is not impaired after one pint which I like to have with a meal, I usually drive when we go out for dinner. If I'm being criminalised for doing this then to answer your question I'd say it's over the top.

Cuthbert on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

I didn't say it was or disagree with you. I was just expressing surprise that Iain's paranoia stretches to thinking drink drive limit changes are motivated by being better than England. Oh dear.

Personally I would bring the limit to the average European one.
Neil Williams - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:
I think there is a good chance that Scotland is preparing itself to be a greater part of the EU on independence, by bringing a load of things into line. That's a slightly less accusatory way of saying the same thing, isn't it?

I think it will have little or no effect on accident stats, though it may cause an increase in the sale of digital breathalysers so people will check they definitely are under the lower limit before they drive. Most blokes will be under 0.05 after one pint of average beer, but over 0.08 with two, so most people will just have one - that won't change. (You very rarely see anyone having one and a half, or one and a shandy, to stay under but right up to 0.08).

So there must be another motivation to change it - and a political one isn't necessarily a bad one.

If the intention was to make more people say they won't drive after any alcoholic beverages (but without catching people out who have just used mouthwash or eaten a rum truffle or something similarly inconsequential) a limit of 0.01 would be the way to go.

Further edit: I've played with one of those digital breathalysers and the effect on me (quite a big bloke) is interesting. One pint seems to come up very low - 0.02 at most. But two takes me right up to 0.07-0.08 or so. I guess that tallies with the idea that the body can only process so much out of the system at a time.

Neil
Post edited at 15:27
IainRUK - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

How many have been killed with blood alcohol levels between 0.05 and 0.05?

I know actually using evidence is alien to you, hence why I said I was looking for stats..

But of those who DD and crash most are +0.1.. over the limit anyway.. regardless of the current level.. we'll see how incidence changes.. I doubt it will change much at all.

TBH I just don't see it as a huge issue. I'd rather put the money into public transport. My experience in the US is in Texas public transport generally doesn't exist.. everyone DD's.. Boston, great T service.. none drives..

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Cuthbert on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

I was referring to your comment "I do wonder though if this is just a cheap 'look we're better than England'… rather than any problem driven change." I just find it fascinating, and disturbing, that you think it might be about being better than England.
Neil Williams - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

It quite possibly *might* (and isn't necessarily a bad thing if it is) be that Scotland wishes to be seen as being closer to the EU than England.

Neil
IainRUK - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

Then why mention those who were killed or injured? A sly dig when wasn't needed.. you could just disagree with my point that it wasn't to be different to england…

As I said I think being inline with Europe is a good thing. I think its where Europe fails, we piss around with thinks that don't need to be the same, then leave things like Age of consent, drinking age, DD limits to countries..

Even what we need in cars.. until recently we needed breathalizers in france.. then warning triangles and first aid kits in germany…

But Scotland has such a problem with Alcohol.. maybe tighter controls are needed, I'm just not convinced it will make any difference.

Such things could easily be harmonised across the EU though.

It would be interesting to see DD rates across the EU but that will also be affected by a who range of factors from enforcement to public transport, even alcohol costs..

Cuthbert on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

Because drink driving limits are about reducing harm and fatal incidents. That's why I mention those who were killed and injured as it's about them. Not some paranoid political point as you seem to weirdly think.

Sorry I can't be bothered batting points back and forth. Maintain your paranoia levels.

Dave Perry - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to drmarten:

"drinking one or two pints is not an issue" Really? How come thats an excuse that the thousands use after causing an accident? "I only had a couple of drinks officer,"
IainRUK - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

yes, so I asked is there any evidence that dropping from 0.08 to 0.05 does reduce actual DD levels..
IainRUK - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

> "drinking one or two pints is not an issue" Really? How come thats an excuse that the thousands use after causing an accident? "I only had a couple of drinks officer,"

And they blow a 0.18…

Neils right.. at the moment we can have a pint in the UK and drive.. in Europe you can still have a pint.

I'd actually say in general we're lower because our pints are so weak.. I have to watch it in the US as the beers can be anywhere from 5-7%.. where as our ale tends to be in the 5's max.

I do think disposable breathalizers would be a good thing, it was in France it was just the issues behind it which caused the law to be revoked..
Neil Williams - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

The re-usable digital ones are better (if a bit less accurate) because you're not put off using it by the cost of replacing it.

Neil
Lusk - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

It is simple to work out your blood alcohol level and how long it lasts for.
Need to know the abv and volume of what you're drinking, of course.
Alcohol awareness should be made part of driving instruction and testing, but that would require too much effort. Much easier and cheaper just to to Ban something!
MG - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Lusk:

> Need to know the abv and volume of what you're drinking, of course.

And your volume of blood?
Neil Williams - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to MG:

And how fast you metabolise alcohol. You can use a unit an hour as a guideline, but it isn't quite that simple and it isn't the same for everyone.

Neil
IainRUK - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Lusk:

> It is simple to work out your blood alcohol level and how long it lasts for.

> Need to know the abv and volume of what you're drinking, of course.

> Alcohol awareness should be made part of driving instruction and testing, but that would require too much effort. Much easier and cheaper just to to Ban something!

Is it not?

I just did my US theory as part of getting my license and it had lots on alcohol clearance, factors affecting it, what the penalties were.. how DD limits change with age (0.01 below 21), and even what the equivalent is between beer, wine and whiskey.. in terms of oz's which made it hard for me.. 12 oz beer = 5 ounces wine = 1.5 ounces whiskey… is what the test had.
drmarten on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

Yes, really.
Dave Perry - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim C:

I find it amazing that people in this century just don't understand or agree with the message; "Do not drink and drive". No drinking!!!

I wonder how you'd all feel if you discovered you'r pilot flying you off to where ever, had just had the odd pint before setting off?

Or indeed after crashing the plane and killing your mothers, brothers, children? Would you then be pleased that he was, "just under the limit?"
drmarten on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

Dave I don't have any brothers, could you make your post more emotive by including my sister please?

For full effect perhaps you could say the aircraft is full of terminally ill children on their way to Disneyland? And say the pilot was so drunk after his pint that he was unable to heroically wrestle with the controls and crashed the doomed aircraft into a childrens primary school, killing everyone instantly and causing a fire which then spread to an old folks home burning to death every last surviving Victoria Cross holder from World War 2?

You can never overdo these things.
Jim Fraser - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Bwox:
> Not drinking alcohol before driving a car does seem just and reasonable.


Correct.

And we have a range of very effective laws for dealing with that. Also, we have a large number of people who are still convinced that it is OK to drink and drive. Some of them get caught in time to stop them doing damage, some of them get caught too late and some of them do not get caught at all.

What I am saying is that the answer is plainly to get off your lazy backsides and go out there and catch more of them.

I am one of those evil ba5t4rds who is perfectly happy to ring the police about people who insist on drinking and driving. Done it before and will probably do it again.

Reducing limits to a level where no ordinary person is capable of making a reasonable judgement about their exposure to alcohol draconian and unjust. It is a sign of a corrupt state that is incapable of competently discharging its duty of protection. More people will be prosecuted who are not more impaired than they would be by the passage of time during a long day and yet not a single additional legless drunks will be prosecuted as a result of these changes.


(Oh, and remember to order your alcohol-free anti-freeze, deicer and screenwash.)
Post edited at 19:36
Lusk - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:

"I am one of those evil ba5t4rds who is perfectly happy to ring the police about people who insist on drinking and driving. Done it before and will probably do it again. "

Did you get your £200 reward?
Jim Fraser - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Lusk:

No idea what you're talking about. It has of course been a quite a long time since I mixed with enough drunks to witness such things.
Lusk - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:

If you report someone that you suspect is over the limit driving and they get nicked from your advice, you get a reward.
Some people hang around outside boozers just for that purpose.
Better than the Dole!
rogerwebb - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:

One of the issues that's always struck me is the way those laws are applied. There is an assumption that if you are below the legal breath/alcohol limit you are fit to drive. In many cases, including me, people are completely unfit to drive before that limit is reached. We have a law that could be used to deal with this S4 RTA (unfit to drive through drink or drugs) but never is, as it seems to be assumed that being under the legal limit of S5 is a defence to that charge.

I think in this case, much though it pains me to say it, I agree with a Scottish Government imitative in criminal law, if and its a big if, the penalties when below the current limit are made less proscriptive and reflect general European law where disqualification is not always mandatory.

Where this will get more people is in the morning after the night before.
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victim of mathematics - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

> And how fast you metabolise alcohol. You can use a unit an hour as a guideline, but it isn't quite that simple and it isn't the same for everyone.

> Neil

And your height and weight, and how full your stomach is, and your tolerance to alcohol, and loads of other factors (including your time of the month if you're a woman).

Trust me, it's really bloody complicated (boom boom).
elcid on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:
You are absolutely right, for years (since maggies days) we have all accepted that greed is the driving force of our culture, those that opposed it are dealt with by the full force of the law. Politicians and many unelected public servants have changed laws to protect the ruling elite and their moneyed friends, Pakistan for instance does not allow the drinking of alcohol for many, but the rich and political elite do so with immunity, do we want to become a 'state' ruled by the same oppressive forces that exist in many 'free' countries throughout this wonderful planet? I hope not.
IainRUK - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Dave Perry:

> I find it amazing that people in this century just don't understand or agree with the message; "Do not drink and drive". No drinking!!!

Why?

A pint before a meal.. wait for a pizza.. eat it.. chat. leave.. I reckon you'd be 0.01-0.02 when you drive?

Any different from 5-6 the night before?

And yes I've sat drinking with a pilot before he flew our water taxi.. he had a bottle to throttle law he went by.

TBH i'm still convinced tiredness is the bigger danger.. we see at a good thing if someone drives 8 hours to Glencoe.. climbs at grade 7 then drives back to london for work… thats somehow OK...
Chris Shorter - on 02 Jul 2014
I think pointing at Europe and suggesting that the lower limits are better is somewhat misleading without considering how penalities are applied.

I live in the Czech Republic where, as someone above has pointed out already, there is a zero level. However, don't think that the penalties for breaching this are the same as breaking the UK rules. For a low-level breach, you can expect a fine of maybe £100 or £200. For a higher level there will be points on the licence as well (maybe 3 out of the 12) and a fine. It is only around the UK limit that you can expect a ban. So, is it hugely different? The same problem applies here that there are too many people that simply ignore the rules altogether and drink and drive substantially above the limit.

Random tests, without some pretext to stop a driver, are allowed. Also, the same rules apply to cyclists!

Chris
captain paranoia - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> What I am saying is that the answer is plainly to get off your lazy backsides and go out there and catch more of them.

Agreed. On so many aspects of law. There has been a tendency to introduce laws banning things that are already illegal under existing legislation, if they chose to investigate and prosecute.

> Reducing limits to a level where no ordinary person is capable of making a reasonable judgement about their exposure to alcohol draconian and unjust.

I'd agree. And I'd also oppose a minimum alcohol unit price for the same reason. Or the draconian knife laws (which now feature a reversed burden of proof; you have to prove you had a legitimate reason to be carrying a tiny penknife...).

0.05 seems a reasonable level to choose. Zero is silly, and unworkable for many reasons.
Jim Fraser - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to victim of mathematics:

> ... it's really bloody complicated ...


Which is why I suggest that with these tighter limits "no ordinary person is capable of making a reasonable judgement about their exposure to alcohol".
andrewmcleod - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Agreed. On so many aspects of law. There has been a tendency to introduce laws banning things that are already illegal under existing legislation, if they chose to investigate and prosecute.

The problem is that if you are Parliament/the Government and find you have laws which are, for whatever reason, not being enforced, it is not always a matter of just telling people to enforce existing laws. So sometimes it is easier/more effective to just write better, more specific laws.

Sometimes things are illegal, but difficult to prove/prosecute successfully. Two possibly relevant examples:

Firstly, it was illegal to use a mobile phone while driving if that lead to the already illegal driving without due care and attention, but it was necessary to prove the driving error. Now that using a mobile while driving is illegal it is easier to prosecute.

Secondly, presumably driving while drunk was illegal before the limits came in (in the same way that it is illegal to cycle drunk but there is no limit), but it is presumably harder to prosecute someone who is only 'slightly' drunk, has character witnesses swearing they only had one/two pints etc... It is a lot easier to prosecute if you can just set a blood alcohol limit.

> 0.05 seems a reasonable level to choose. Zero is silly, and unworkable for many reasons.

Whether you agree with a zero limit or not is one thing, but it can't be unworkable as it works in some countries (albeit that zero probably means very-close-to-but-not-quite-zero in practical terms).
Neil Williams - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

0.01 breath would be a practical "zero" - it would catch almost any meaningful alcoholic beverage consumption, but not things like mouthwash and rum truffles.

Neil
andrewmcleod - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:
Indeed. If you make the limit 0.01 though (as some people would probably suggest) then you end up in the same situation as speed limits where people start arguing you are allowed 10% etc (not true BTW)... there will always be a gap between the rule and enforcement.
Post edited at 15:07
Neil Williams - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

For speed limits it's the convention that you won't be prosecuted if you are less than 10% + 2mph over the limit. But it is a convention - the police reserve the right (and sometimes do) to prosecute for 0.000000000001 (!) mph over if they wish.

Neil
Jim Fraser - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> ... sometimes it is easier/more effective to just write better, more specific laws.

Sometimes it is easier to be a lazy #*#* and get the Daily Mail and the Police Federation off your back as quickly as possible instead of asking public employees to get their shabby act together and use intelligence, common sense and hard work.


> Sometimes things are illegal, but difficult to prove/prosecute successfully.

Which is no reason to move towards a society where everyone is guilty of breaking the letter of the law and all you need to do to meet your targets is lash out in any random direction. Lazy legislators and lazy enforcement agencies are the enemies of LIBERTY.

It's the same issue as double jeopardy and the 110 day rule. Those things were introduced for good reasons. They said loud and clear to police and prosecutors that they had to WORK HARD at getting things right.


> ... it can't be unworkable as it works in some countries ...

You think?



Sometimes, bad guys get away with it. Wrecking the reputation of the law and of justice by creating bad laws won't help. It makes it more likely for the bad guys who get away with it to be heroes instead of villains.
Post edited at 16:18
captain paranoia - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> So sometimes it is easier/more effective to just write better, more specific laws.

That's a fair point.

> Whether you agree with a zero limit or not is one thing, but it can't be unworkable as it works in some countries (albeit that zero probably means very-close-to-but-not-quite-zero in practical terms).

Then don't call it zero... (I note the Wiki article did mention that it was usually interpreted as within the limits of measurement).

My only objection to a 'zero limit' is the impracticality of measurement, and the various legitimate reasons why the human body, even of someone certainly not intoxicated or impaired, would give a non-zero reading.

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