Legal drink drive limit now?

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Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Polarbert @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:21 am

Has it changed to 1 pint now? But hey, 1 pint is a flicking joke. There was never anything wrong with 2 pints. Seriously. What a fcuking liability.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Kermit @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:25 am

No, the limit has not changed to "1 pint". Nor was the limit ever "2 pints".

The limit is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. What this means in terms of how many pints you can have depends on the person drinking it - bodyweight and regularity of alcohol intake being the biggest factors - how long has elapsed since you first started drinking, and the strength of the drink.

As an example, let's look at just one brewer, Hogsback, which is a few miles down the road from me. When you say the limit is "1 pint", to which pint are you referring? Is it a pint of HBB at 3.7% ABV, one of Santa's Wobble at 7.5%, or any one of the other 10 beers of variable strength in between? This is without getting into the domain of strong ciders and the like which can easily push up towards 9%.

Over the years, the alcohol content of beers has slowly but steadily increased. If you went to a decent pub in the Eighties or earlier, there would've been a choice of session ales at around 3 to 3.5% ABV. Go now, and you're lucky to find one below 4%, let alone a choice.

I could quite comfortably have a couple of pints of HBB with a leisurely pub lunch over the course of a couple of hours and leave knowing I'm comfortably within the legal limit. I could neck a couple of pints of Santa's Wobbler in quick succession, and most definitely not be. Unless you can figure out the alcohol content of what you're drinking, you're probably better off not drinking at all. Ironically, those probably caught out the most often by this are specifically the older generation who grew up on weaker beers and that general belief that two pints was your limit. When they get stopped for some reason and those two pints at today's strength have put them just over the limit which they would've been just under in the eighties, the fact that they've only had 2 pints is not a viable defence.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:24 am

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Kermit @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:28 am

~G~ wrote:I think the limit should be absolutely no alcohol.

I never drink a drop if I am driving, simply because the two don't mix. Either go drinking, or go driving. Theres no room for both.


The problem with that is that you just couldn't enforce it. Alcohol is a constituent ingredient of too many foods, medicines and the like.

I would agree with lowering it to the point where it says "don't drink at all when driving", but absolute zero just wouldn't work.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:31 am

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Kermit @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:33 am

~G~ wrote:IMHO It's as enforceable as any limit.

Some allowance could be made to food and medication by a margin of discretion, but I was referring more to a limit set by the driver than by the law.


Ah, OK. Fair enough.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:35 am

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:39 am

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Marki @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:42 am

carrera2 wrote:Is it Czech Rep with a zero limit? Can't remember but there's certainly a few countries where it IS zero and enforcable. Makes going out for a couple of drinks in the evening and driving the next morning a hazardless crime IMO.



I know Norway is zero , which is suprising as they go at it like looneys
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Routie445 @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:43 am

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by wasted years @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:43 pm

Drink drive limit is 35 breath or 80 blood.

As to how many pints can you drink? Can't answer that as everyone is different. Some days i just need to look at alcohol and I'll be over the limit and other days I can drink a few before being over.

Safest way is none for the road and that includes staying off of your bike when drunk.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by swp @ Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:52 pm

~G~ wrote:I think the limit should be absolutely no alcohol.

I never drink a drop if I am driving, simply because the two don't mix. Either go drinking, or go driving. Theres no room for both.


Absolutely. It's just not worth the risk.

There was a time when I'd have one glass of wine, then be totally paranoid driving home. So much better to be able to relax and enjoy myself on J2O or whatever and not put a dampner on the evening by worrying all the way home.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by deev @ Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:01 am

how handy was that breathalyser after btap? I passed somehow despite still drinking at 3am after getting back from the hospital :hehe: Phil blowing 3x the limit was rather funny though :biglaugh:
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Dirk @ Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:42 pm

thebluebus wrote:
~G~ wrote:The morning after is always a worry for me.

I tend to keep out of a car for an extra day, just in case. :irked:

Bicycle ~G~.

Bicycle.

IIRC drunk in charge of bicycle is still offence
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by arblist @ Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:03 pm

chris_tivver wrote:
thebluebus wrote:
~G~ wrote:The morning after is always a worry for me.

I tend to keep out of a car for an extra day, just in case. :irked:

Bicycle ~G~.

Bicycle.

IIRC drunk in charge of bicycle is still offence


However, drunk in charge of a horse is not.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gizmo @ Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:07 pm

deevlash wrote:how handy was that breathalyser after btap? I passed somehow despite still drinking at 3am after getting back from the hospital :hehe: Phil blowing 3x the limit was rather funny though :biglaugh:

I blew about a tenth of the limit at 10am.
God knows how, I only left the bar at 4am...
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by randlemarcus @ Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:04 am

Gizmo535 wrote:
deevlash wrote:how handy was that breathalyser after btap? I passed somehow despite still drinking at 3am after getting back from the hospital :hehe: Phil blowing 3x the limit was rather funny though :biglaugh:

I blew about a tenth of the limit at 10am.
God knows how, I only left the bar at 4am...

Must admit, I was quite surprised at how much of the damn stuff was left over the next morning. I blame Beeston.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by CJ+ @ Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:36 am

~G~ wrote:I think the limit should be absolutely no alcohol.

I never drink a drop if I am driving, simply because the two don't mix. Either go drinking, or go driving. Theres no room for both.

Nonsense. The current limit is both pragmatic and enforceable. Zero limits do nothing to deter the problem drivers, who are those getting pissed and driving, not those who have a pint or two with Sunday lunch at a country pub.

Drunk drivers don't respect the current limit; why would they pay heed to a lower one?

Finally, zero means zero. In a later post you mention giving allowance for various things. That's not zero.

In short, a zero limit will criminalise a large number of people who aren't the problem, whilst doing nothing to deter those who are.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by satchbot @ Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:33 am

I agree with the Commander. Those who set out to drink drive will continue to do so. With most people one or two pints will not put them over the current drink drive limit and most likely will not make them any worse of a driver than they already are.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gizmo @ Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:39 am

satchbot wrote:most likely will not make them any worse of a driver than they already are.


There's some quite persuasive evidence that limits should be based on reaction times - which could be tested easily by a small 'game' on a laptop carried around by Plod.

What's the usual statistic? Someone who's been awake for 24 hours has the reactions of someone who's had four pints? I confess that I've driven on occasions when I was really having trouble keeping my eyes open...
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by satchbot @ Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:48 am

Not to sure on the game idea - quite a few people are rubbish at games and have poor hand/eye co-ordination. The problem is do you have zero alcohol limit, or set a limit and if you are over regardless of whether you are unfit to drive or not penalise the driver.

Part of me likes the US version of you have to be off your face before you get nicked for drink drive. I think it would be fairly obvious to the BiB seeing a car driving erratically and stop it to find out that the driver is off ther face whereas a checkpoint for random vehicle checks and breathalising the driver to find out they are over but driving was fine.

Well it makes sense in my mind :-?
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by MK4Slowride @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:51 pm

Also with zero limits your body actually produces alcohol so it'll never be strictly zero.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:56 pm

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Purple Emperor @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:00 pm

~G~ wrote:I think the limit should be absolutely no alcohol.

I never drink a drop if I am driving, simply because the two don't mix. Either go drinking, or go driving. Theres no room for both.


Ditto. I couldn't agree more.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by CJ+ @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:13 pm

~G~ wrote:
CommanderJameson wrote:
~G~ wrote:I think the limit should be absolutely no alcohol.

I never drink a drop if I am driving, simply because the two don't mix. Either go drinking, or go driving. Theres no room for both.

Nonsense. The current limit is both pragmatic and enforceable. Zero limits do nothing to deter the problem drivers, who are those getting pissed and driving, not those who have a pint or two with Sunday lunch at a country pub.

Drunk drivers don't respect the current limit; why would they pay heed to a lower one?

Finally, zero means zero. In a later post you mention giving allowance for various things. That's not zero.

In short, a zero limit will criminalise a large number of people who aren't the problem, whilst doing nothing to deter those who are.


Then we disagree.

I never drink and drive. Not half a pint, not a bit of a pint... NOTHING.

The viewpoint of the OP is exactly why I support the 'no-unit' approach. People don't understand where the limit is..."is it a pint...is it 2??" this is exactly how people stray over the limit through ignorance. I would rather that it was law that when driving NO units is the acceptable amount.

I mentioned allowances in terms of the obvious issues with 'absolute zero'. The allowance I personally think is wrong is that of "some units" of alcohol being acceptable for drivers. But thats clearly where we disagree.

My opinion is not nonsense. Just different to yours.

There clearly is room for both. To assert that the only safe limit is no alcohol at all is to fly in the face of all the evidence, which is that a pint with sunday lunch doesn't raise risk in any meaningful way; we all do things that aren't risk-free, like breathing, crossing the road, and driving at all.

Promulgation of the pointless (it won't make any difference) and flawed (it's completely unenforceable) "zero limit" mantra is to play into the hands of the control freakshow that masquerades as the government.

If you don't want to have a pint with sunday lunch at your favourite country pub, that's your prerogative; however, to posit this as any kind of desirable policy, to be applied to everyone else, is just daft.

"Some units" of alcohol actually reduce your risk of crashing. I can't remember the exact number offhand, but it's in the vicinity of 20mg/100ml.

If people stray over the limit through ignorance, that's their own fault; the limit is widely publicised and if you're going to embark on a course of action which, if you get it wrong, you're looking at a lengthy ban at best, isn't it wise to educate yourself beforehand?

Zero as a personal preference: fine. Absolutely no problem with that.
Zero as something that should be law? It can't be enforced. It criminalises currently-innocent people who are doing no harm. And worst of all, it does nothing at all to deter the people who are the problem. Ergo, that's nonsense.

I would be intrigued to hear how a zero limit would reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road. Banning things has such a poor record of producing the goods in this country.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:42 pm

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by CJ+ @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:57 pm

On what basis do you believe that people who drink and drive under the legal limit are doing no harm? Is it just a gut feeling, or do you have some facts?

The current limit is fine. People below it generally don't crash. People above it are a hazard. The problem comes from the fact that we don't catch enough people who are not just over it, but way over it.

The current limit sends a message: "don't take the piss". Of course you're going to get some people who disregard that message, but then they're not bothered about any limit; they will continue to crash and kill people, and nothing will have been achieved except expense, anguish and huge wastes of police and public time.

There's no point lowering the limit if it isn't going to save lives. There's little evidence that it will do this. Other countries with zero limits have problems with drunk drivers.

By lowering the limit - say to 20mg/100ml - you're into the zone where people are going to get nicked, and lose their licences, because they took cough medicine that morning, or because they used alcoholic mouthwash, or because they had another helping of sherry trifle at the WI.

I can't see the use in that.

People need to be able to assess and then take risks based on their own experience with some sensible guidelines from external bodies.

The nanny state simply results in a generation of people who abdicate all responsibility, because "I was under the speed limit, so the crash is not my fault/I wasn't told that balancing a running chainsaw on my thigh might result in a messy accident, so I want compensation/I was under the limit, so I can't possibly have been impaired" will be the clarion call of the all rights and no responsibilities citizens of the future.

It's simply not possible to reduce risk to zero; taking away yet another simple pleasure - going for a meal and a pint and driving home - isn't going to help anyone or serve anything other than the politicos who will crow from the rooftops that they've been "doing something".
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:12 pm

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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by randlemarcus @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:29 pm

Fair enough young Mr Gorv.

I must admit that I'm with the good Commander on this debate, and that the Nanny State argument is quite relevant. My own personal preference is zero on the bike, and a pint of session beer with food in the car.

There's plentiful information out there about unit strengths for beer, wine and spirits, enough for people to make an informed decision on whereabouts the limit lies, especially when combined with personal experience. A little personal responsibility never goes amiss.

For you and I (on two wheels), that leads us to a zero ingestion policy, for others its one or two. A small percentage will decide that they are fine nearer the limit, a hardcore wont give a toss, and will do what they want. Seems like a reasonable balance to me.
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Re: Legal drink drive limit now?

Post by Gone @ Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:33 pm

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