Government bans sober drivers

Statistics point the finger at teetotallers

OK, I lied. They haven’t been banned.  The second point is true however. Almost three-quarters of road death crashes are caused by sober drivers.

This sobering (sorry, couldn’t resist it) fact highlights the difficulty facing those who use statistics to justify lowering the driver alcohol limits.

There are those who maintain that even at 50 ppm drivers are impaired and that 15 deaths per year are attributable to New Zealand drivers at 50–80 ppm blood alcohol. On the other hand, there have been studies going back decades which have shown that those who’ve had 2 or 3 drinks are better drivers than when they’re stone cold sober. Mainly because they’re less nervous than when they’re alcohol free. It’s not a black and white issue and we need to make sure we get it right.

I’m all for dropping the permissible level to zero if that would save lives. But I’m not convinced that it would. I’m not in denial, but I’m sceptical. What we should be demanding immediately is more pro-active policing of the current laws and more draconian legislation:

  • Anyone picked up over the limit should go immediately to jail to await their court appearance.
  • Any death caused whilst the perpetrator is carrying out a criminal act—which includes driving drunk—should be classified as homicide.
  • Anyone convicted under the current law should lose the car they were driving. If it’s not their car, too bad.
  • One conviction should bring a 5 year driving ban and a passport ban.
  • A second conviction and you’re banned for life.
  • Spend the necessary resources on policing. It’s a self-funding zero-sum game.

Coming soon

  • Q: Why didn’t our self-serving, spineless politicians drop the blood alcohol limit and the drinking age?A: Because they’re self-serving and spineless.
  • Q: Should they have?A: Yes.