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What do you think should be implemented to deter and curtail drinking and driving? (Poll)

CrossFox

Member
To address your last point first. When it comes to drink driving, absolutely I am without sin.

There is already a sliding scale of punishment. From being just above a relatively high limit in the UK (with 14% tolerance above that limit) incurring a minimum 12 month ban right up to imprisonment for being many times over and for repeat offenders.

Your idea of punishment based upon time and location sounds fine in principle but is widely open to interpretation and the only winners would be drink drive solicitors eager to pull in the punters with the offer of a chance of getting off subject to paying a princely sum. Win or lose for the charged drink driver, the solicitor always wins.

I'd be interested to know where you get your stat's from around the inflation of drink drive accident figures. Surely, the decision to drive or not is made before you pick up your keys in your house, not when you are sat outside in the driver's seat. At that stage you are going to drive. If someone runs into the back of you and you are arrested for being over the limit maybe it's a blessing because you didn't get the chance to drive off and pile into some innocent unfortunate and either kill them or put them in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.

I'm sure that those who consider themselves 'unlucky' to be caught the morning after are not as unlucky as those whose kid gets mown down on their way to school by someone incapable of making a simple units calculation. To allow for metabolic uncertainty, just add 25% to the time you 'think' you are at 0. It's not rocket science. If you are in any way unsure. Get the bus or walk.

You accept that accident numbers will reduce if the law comes down hard on all offenders. Isn't it worth saving lives for the sake of inconveniencing poor decision makers with a ban?
Again, the assumption that everybody, over the drink drive limit, will cause an accident. The assumption that everybody KNOWS how their body will deal with alcohol, every day ( which sadly differs for everyone, every day ).

All you do is take the worst case scenario and apply it to everybody.

There are bad drivers out there, the sort that have caused many accidents but rarely get involved in any. Lets shoot them too.
Speeding causes accidents, tiredness causes accidents, badly maintained cars cause accidents. Shall we shoot them as well.
After all, according to you, it will save lives.

The accepted 'layman's' term for a safe level of drinking and driving is 2 pints, not accurate I know but nothing is in drink driving. Even the 'accurate' breathalyzer at the police station is different each time you get measured So, 2 pints roughly equates to a reading of 35, therefore a reading of 43 is roughly about 2 1/2 pints or 3 depending on time taken to drink them, whether you have eaten, whether you are tired, how often you drink, body fat content, time of day, time of month, etc etc. Even the police don't prosecute on readings below 40 ! Yet still, nobody can say, with any reasonable amount of certainty, how much will actually put you over the limit.

The habitual drink drivers need sorting out, most pubs will tell you who they are. But the first time offenders, the ones that took a chance because of the absolute uncertainty of whether they are over or not, should not be tarred and feathered by people like you because they did not know if 2 pints or 2 1/2 pints would be enough to put them over. You will no doubt shout, with the high moral ground, that if you are unsure then you shouldn't drive. it's time to start living in the real world, people take chances every day, in all aspects of life.

I agree with you, those that know, for sure, that they are too drunk to drive should be shot.
Those that thought that they were ok, but mistakenly were not and just failed, perhaps shooting them would be a bit excessive. Having read your posts though, you will probably disagree.
 

AlanT73

Well-known member
Again, the assumption that everybody, over the drink drive limit, will cause an accident. The assumption that everybody KNOWS how their body will deal with alcohol, every day ( which sadly differs for everyone, every day ).

All you do is take the worst case scenario and apply it to everybody.

There are bad drivers out there, the sort that have caused many accidents but rarely get involved in any. Lets shoot them too.
Speeding causes accidents, tiredness causes accidents, badly maintained cars cause accidents. Shall we shoot them as well.
After all, according to you, it will save lives.

The accepted 'layman's' term for a safe level of drinking and driving is 2 pints, not accurate I know but nothing is in drink driving. Even the 'accurate' breathalyzer at the police station is different each time you get measured So, 2 pints roughly equates to a reading of 35, therefore a reading of 43 is roughly about 2 1/2 pints or 3 depending on time taken to drink them, whether you have eaten, whether you are tired, how often you drink, body fat content, time of day, time of month, etc etc. Even the police don't prosecute on readings below 40 ! Yet still, nobody can say, with any reasonable amount of certainty, how much will actually put you over the limit.

The habitual drink drivers need sorting out, most pubs will tell you who they are. But the first time offenders, the ones that took a chance because of the absolute uncertainty of whether they are over or not, should not be tarred and feathered by people like you because they did not know if 2 pints or 2 1/2 pints would be enough to put them over. You will no doubt shout, with the high moral ground, that if you are unsure then you shouldn't drive. it's time to start living in the real world, people take chances every day, in all aspects of life.

I agree with you, those that know, for sure, that they are too drunk to drive should be shot.
Those that thought that they were ok, but mistakenly were not and just failed, perhaps shooting them would be a bit excessive. Having read your posts though, you will probably disagree.
With all due respect, at no point have I stated that everybody over the drink drive limit will cause an accident. The fact is that the RISK increases. 2.5 times more likely to be involved in an accident with a BA level of 80mg and 6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. This is on the limit.

You seem to think that the drink drive limit is a target to be reached yet your own response above states that everyone's tolerance to alcohol is different. Obvious answer. Don't drive if you plan to have a drink. Not rocket science.

You also seem to have a very flippant approach to drink driving risk. People take chances every day. That's fine if it only impacts the risk taker. Drink driving increases the risk to everyone the drink driver is in the vicinity of. This is why, quite rightly, when they are caught, they are punished.

One point you make that everyone would agree on is that the habitual drink driver needs sorting out. One would hope that publicans would report habitual drink drivers. It would be interesting to know how often this happens or if profit comes before the safety of the general public.

The are numerous examples of habitual drink drivers on this forum. There was a guy a few years ago who was stopped while over the limit. Apparently he got off on the grounds that he was on private property (not sure if this is true or an attempt to save face) Anyway, lo and behold, a couple of years later, he gets stopped AGAIN, this time on supermarket access road. I believe he tried using the same defence again. Not sure if he 'got off' that time as he went very quiet.

The point is, that people like this are either so stupid that they don't learn the lesson first time round or are so arrogant that they think they will just keep getting away with it. They take the same casual approach to drink driving and should not be on the road.

The title of this thread is What do you think should be implemented to deter and curtail drink driving? Life bans for the first offence would deter all but the terminally stupid. All you seem able to post is reasons why they should be dealt with leniently because they are too thick to make a simple decision around personal responsibility.
 

AlanT73

Well-known member
Oh dear.......... I just checked up on the post from the habitual drink driver who 'got off' allegedly as being on private property and was stopped again on a Tesco access road. 'Crossfox'. That explains the lack of response.....
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
A lifetime ban for the very first offence would be the ultimate deterrent. At the moment, unless you've been living under a stone for the last 50 years, everyone knows that they will be banned for a relatively short period. Disruption to personal life etc. etc. but within a period of a few months to a few years, you will be back on the road. It's worth taking a chance. The thought of never geting behind the wheel again would deter almost everyone. Think of the analogy of the compulsory removal of driver seatbelts and the compulsory installation of an 8 inch steel spike in the centre of the steering wheel. The accident rate would drop to c. 0 overnight as the temptation to drive like an idiot would effectively disappear.
I'm going to be honest, I'm probably one of those that lived under a rock - I seriously never had an idea of the reprocussions this could have on someone's life, nor did I truly know the limit; I knew the mythical 1 or 2 drinks method and that was it - but the magic numerical value of 35mg, I never knew - until being caught it's really opened my eyes to my naivety; and it's not really a plausible excuse, as they say, that's how babies are made...

But I truly think as someone stated - to tar everyone under the same brush for drink driving and criminalise the matter is extremely harsh. Those that have blown 40-50 as a first offence are treated the same as those that had a complete disregard for others safety and blew 100+ there's a clear difference between the two thresholds (sorry for the harshness). The thought process of driving after one or two drinks is completely different to when you've consumed 5-6 drinks or a bottle or 2 of wine.

I think going through the complete police station process is a shock to the system and enough to scare anyone into not doing it again (of course with the added fines etc) but to be termed a criminal for the rest of your life - is really hard to bare, for me anyway. I still feel like I'm in a dream.

Education surrounding drink driving should definitely be part of the driving curriculum in the UK as bar from the obvious running someone over or causing death by accident/dangerous driving - drink driving is the only real driving offence that is criminalised.
 
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jimdavis

Banned
Interesting to note that you receive the same criminal record for failing a breath test on two pints as
you would for failing a breath test after drinking 15 pints.
 

price1367

TTC Group
Interesting to note that you receive the same criminal record for failing a breath test on two pints as
you would for failing a breath test after drinking 15 pints.
For the same reason that you get the same criminal record for stealing something worth £10 or something worth £100........
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
For the same reason that you get the same criminal record for stealing something worth £10 or something worth £100........
But that comparison is not strictly true, there is leeway for such small minor offenses - whilst if the value was significantly higher, criminal proceedings would take place.

Whilst with drink driving there really is no leeway whatsoever; 1mg over 40 and that's it... I guess you could classify the extra 5mg (35-40mg) as being an increased threshold. But now when you consider the theft comparison to DD, when you compare a reading of 41 to 100+ it seems extremely unfair. Even when you start comparing DD to speeding. Driving over 100mph on the motorway putting other lives at risk, is simply a driving ban.

Again, I just feel it is harsh on a first offender with no criminal history to immediately tar them as a criminal for the rest of their life. Had there been a high reading, someone been killed, injured or damage took place - the law could be brought to place. But where they have had a small reading, no criminal record in their life, no damage caused and have completed the police station tour - I think that's more than enough to completely scare someone from doing it again, with additional fines and driving ban and a compulsory course.

It's not trivialising the matter as the majority of people will consider this a wake up call and significantly NEVER do it again. Those that do drink and drive after will have to face the full force of the law.

But given the social stigma surrounding DD these days, we are stuck with this law - no government could ever be seen to change aspects of it unless it's to make it stricter i.e. lifetime ban for any reading over 35mg or simply lower the threshold to match Scotland's.
 
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AlanT73

Well-known member
But that comparison is not strictly true, there is leeway for such small minor offenses - whilst if the value was significantly higher, criminal proceedings would take place.

Whilst with drink driving there really is no leeway whatsoever; 1mg over 40 and that's it... I guess you could classify the extra 5mg (35-40mg) as being an increased threshold. But now when you consider the theft comparison to DD, when you compare a reading of 41 to 100+ it seems extremely unfair. Even when you start comparing DD to speeding. Driving over 100mph on the motorway putting other lives at risk, is simply a driving ban.

Again, I just feel it is harsh on a first offender with no criminal history to immediately tar them as a criminal for the rest of their life. Had there been a high reading, someone been killed, injured or damage took place - the law could be brought to place. But where they have had a small reading, no criminal record in their life, no damage caused and have completed the police station tour - I think that's more than enough to completely scare someone from doing it again, with additional fines and driving ban and a compulsory course.

It's not trivialising the matter as the majority of people will consider this a wake up call and significantly NEVER do it again. Those that do drink and drive after will have to face the full force of the law.

But given the social stigma surrounding DD these days, we are stuck with this law - no government could ever be seen to change aspects of it unless it's to make it stricter i.e. lifetime ban for any reading over 35mg or simply lower the threshold to match Scotland's.
There is already leeway built in to the system as I've already stated. How far you are over determines the guidelines for the length of ban from 12 months up to imprisonment for the worst offenders. Your earlier comment around blowing 40-50 as against 100+ is taken care of.

With ANY amount of alcohol your driving impairment increases. 2.5 times more likely to be in an accident with a reading of 35. By the time someone has been killed or injured, it's too late. Also, as you say, the fact that you don't get charged for a reading below 40 is already leeway.

Where do you draw the line? Make the limit 40 and don't charge below 45? Then there will be people complaining they were 'just over' blowing 46. And so it goes on.

Are you suggesting someone blowing say, 45 should just be given a fine? How would you feel if 3 months later they put a member of your family in a wheelchair or killed them because they just stick two fingers up and carry on 'having a few pints' before driving home? I'm guessing the fine option would be looking less fair.....

70,000 people are caught drink driving every year with around 8,000 caught twice in 5 years so clearly your view on it being a wake up call doesn't hold water.

A life ban for a first offence would reduce drink driving massively and that is the meaning within the title of the thread. Many might disagree with the harsh approach but few would, in their hearts, disagree with the effect.

I'm yet to see any real alternatives. Just reasons why drink drivers should be cut some slack.
 

SillySausage123

Well-known member
There is already leeway built in to the system as I've already stated. How far you are over determines the guidelines for the length of ban from 12 months up to imprisonment for the worst offenders. Your earlier comment around blowing 40-50 as against 100+ is taken care of.

With ANY amount of alcohol your driving impairment increases. 2.5 times more likely to be in an accident with a reading of 35. By the time someone has been killed or injured, it's too late. Also, as you say, the fact that you don't get charged for a reading below 40 is already leeway.

Where do you draw the line? Make the limit 40 and don't charge below 45? Then there will be people complaining they were 'just over' blowing 46. And so it goes on.

Are you suggesting someone blowing say, 45 should just be given a fine? How would you feel if 3 months later they put a member of your family in a wheelchair or killed them because they just stick two fingers up and carry on 'having a few pints' before driving home? I'm guessing the fine option would be looking less fair.....

70,000 people are caught drink driving every year with around 8,000 caught twice in 5 years so clearly your view on it being a wake up call doesn't hold water.

A life ban for a first offence would reduce drink driving massively and that is the meaning within the title of the thread. Many might disagree with the harsh approach but few would, in their hearts, disagree with the effect.

I'm yet to see any real alternatives. Just reasons why drink drivers should be cut some slack.
I'm not disputing the current process that's in place, the only aspect I really have a bug bear with is the application of criminal across the board regardless. Maybe I'm seeing it through empathetic eyes.

But 40-50 is not the same as 100+ - there would have been no way that I would've got behind a wheel if I was as drunk as the person here:


Unfortunately, ignorance/naivety/stupidity caused my downfall and I'm now from a holistic viewpoint classified as the same as the woman in that video who was 3x over the limit.
 

AlanT73

Well-known member
I'm not disputing the current process that's in place, the only aspect I really have a bug bear with is the application of criminal across the board regardless. Maybe I'm seeing it through empathetic eyes.

But 40-50 is not the same as 100+ - there would have been no way that I would've got behind a wheel if I was as drunk as the person here:


Unfortunately, ignorance/naivety/stupidity caused my downfall and I'm now from a holistic viewpoint classified as the same as the woman in that video who was 3x over the limit.
I think the issue is, where do you draw the line between giving someone a fine/ban and a criminal record. In your example you could say 40-50 means a fine and a ban. 51 and above means a criminal record. What happens in that area between 50 and 100. There would be the same argument that someone had just crept in to the next 'band' and has been branded a criminal unfairly wherever that line is drawn.

Maybe there should be more awareness, more guidance: but given that the drink drive limit was introduced more than 50 years ago and in my eyes, well publicised (maybe as a result of my background) I don't know what else can/should be done.

Perhaps the 'Don't drink ANYTHING and drive' message needs to be sent out to the group of people who are, and absolutely no disrespect is intended here, ignorant, naive or stupid. Maybe then the lifetime ban idea for being caught would make sense as people have literally, no excuse.
 

DonkeyKong

Well-known member
Here is a response to the original question. It’s just my opinion. If you take away nothing else, or it’s TLDR, then know that DD was the stupidest thing I ever did. And the consequences are horrendous. And it will never happen again.

This forum was invaluable to me in the early days, and it became the focus of my attention way too much. I was answering posts genuinely about my experiences to try and help others, but I was also answering questions that I wasn’t qualified to, and was wrong about. So I dropped out for a while. But with 7 months to go I can see the end in sight.

For background, I am over 50. I never did anything else wrong in my life. I had a clean driving license. I blew 120+ and am an HRO but I wasn’t driving. Nobody got hurt - not even me. Nobody else was even involved. No cars, including mine were damaged. No property was damaged. I had no impact on anything whatsoever, but that is down to pure luck... because I have no memory of how or why I came to be there. My first memory is being woken up by the Police and breathalyzed, parked up in a place that I had no reason to go to. I got 30 months ban, 100s of hours community service, and a negligible fine and court costs.

So :

— would more “education” have stopped me doing this?
No.
I, like probably most people, already knew that the 35 limit could be exceeded by a couple of pints, or a couple of doubles. I already knew that the limit is different for everybody, due to tolerance, weight, sex, what you’ve ate, metabolism, etc etc. This has been hammered in by the DID compulsory 14 week course I was ordered to take, and the 3 Saturday’s TTC course I paid for to get 25% ban reduction. But no “logical” decision was made on the basis of my knowledge. At no point did I ever think... “Hmm, I’m Probably below the limit, so I’m OK.” There was no decision process. I’ll never know why I did what I did. My biggest take-away from the courses was drinking - at all - makes driving a risk, and comparing your current status against a limit is ludicrous. More education at the time wouldn’t have helped. I already had the education I needed, but I never even considered it.

— would harsher sentences been a preventative measure ?
No.
See above. I didn’t weigh up the possible consequences of drink driving. The sentence might as well be “hung by the neck until dead”. Does anyone ever reason to themselves...
I might be over the limit, but it’s worth the risk because...
  • All I’ll get is a few years driving ban
  • I’ll lose my job and never be able to get another one
  • I could lose my family
  • I could lose my house
  • I will have a criminal record
  • Etc ?
Think about it. The “possible” sentence doesn’t matter if you are not in a fit state to do a “cost/benefit analysis”. I’ll repeat about my case... I had no reason to go to where I did. There was nothing at the place I ended up. There was no conscious weighing up of action vs risk.

— in car breathalyzers
This is a stupid idea.
Easy to bypass - just get someone else to do it.
It’s also legitimizing drinking and driving. It’s saying ... “you can drink right up until you read 34, but if you blow 35 your car won’t start. Those of us who’ve been through this, know that your alcohol-in-breath could still be on the increase, so the machine would let you start, and 10 minutes later you’d be over.

— mandatory prison sentences.
Prisons are so full, that they cannot cope. Of murderers, rapists, con-artists, and a myriad of people who have destroyed other people’s lives. I’m not saying don’t put people away who drunk drove and killed somebody, but how do you set the threshold? I blew 120+ but hurt absolutely nobody. I *might* have done.. but I didn’t. What about someone who blew 38 but run over a kid? Who goes to prison? Both of us? Refer back to the “harsher sentences” comment above. Should we now be convicting people on the back of what they *might* have done? Like that text you sent when driving *might* mean you run someone over whilst distracted, so you should go to prison?

— lifetime ban for repeat offenders
I’m actually probably for this.
This experience has been so horrific for me, that the chances of doing it again are NIL. Anyone who goes though this once, then does it again is beyond help.

— a zero drink drive limit.
I’m in favour of more or less this.
Government makes the announcement - “you cannot drive at all if you are under the influence of alcohol”. But they take away the edge-cases of “mouthwash” or whatever by putting a 5 instead of a 35 limit. A 5 limit means half a pint will take you over, but you already knew unambiguously that drinking half a pint then driving was illegal. The timing thing “1 unit an hour will clear itself” is giving people a target. Just remove the target.

I will never ever again drink before driving. I will never have “just one pint” because even though that won’t put me above current limits, I need to know that if I am ever randomly breath-tested, I will pass.

So, there are my responses to the original question. Here’s a few more thoughts.

SillySausage123 above makes a point that I totally disagree with.
“The thought process of driving after one or two drinks is completely different to when you have consumed 5-6 drinks”
The statement in itself is right, but the inference is wrong. At one or two drinks, you are actually making an informed choice. That choice is... “I know I am over the limit but I will drive anyway”. At 5 or 6 drinks... you aren’t making a decision, because you are not capable of it. The former is worse, not the latter.

Just my opinion.

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