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frogesque

Scotland to Reduce Drink Drive Limit

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29750001

 

". . .

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has taken steps which, if approved by the Scottish Parliament, would mean a new limit being introduced on 5 December.

Under the plans, Scotland's blood alcohol limit would be cut from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.

 

It would mean the legal limit in Scotland would be lower than in England - where the limit is 80mg in blood.

 

. . . "

 

Effectively this is an absolute 'Don't drink and drive message' - not before time. Beware also of the hangover, it's about blood alcohol, not when you last had a drink.

 

I would also like to see responsible pubs and hotels ending the rip off on soft drinks especially when served to a designated driver. Anything over £2.00 for a 300ml bottle of cola is extortionate!

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I do agree with this measure, however, a complete zero limit would be problematic re hangover. I'm not sure exactly how long alcohol stays in your system, but I think many people could fall foul of a complete and utter ban

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Good for the Scottish Parliament. Can't work out why the limit isn't 00.00% anyway.

 

Because everyone has a small amount of alcohol in their system from natural sources, even those who from abstain from alcohol.

 

Have the limit low, yes, but zero tolerance would mean everybody is a "drink driver".

Edited by Nick L
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Good for the Scottish Parliament. Can't work out why the limit isn't 00.00% anyway.

Some technical reasons I think. The body can produce some natural ethanol after eating fruit etc. Also some medicines require to be dissolved in ethanol rather than water. There are also limits on accuracy of tests below a certain limit.

 

It also brings Scotland largely into line with the rest of Europe.

 

No sympathy for anyone driving with a hangover though!

Edited by frogesque

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Or under the influence at the time. Lost too many friends that way, both as perpetrators and victims.

Edited by Crepuscular Ray

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But yes, good for Scotland. Now to bring in far more appropriate punishments for those who use their phones while driving. 3 points is a pathetic "punishment" for something that is just as bad as being just over the drink drive limit.

Edited by Nick L
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Because everyone has a small amount of alcohol in their system from natural sources, even those who from abstain from alcohol.

 

 

Yes, for example we use ethanol as a low temperature cryostat coolant in the lab; very common application.

 

If I was tested on the way home from work after just changing over coolants no doubt you'd pick up traces in my blood from vapours I inhaled. I might even smell of it a bit if I'd got some on shoes / clothes and you met me very shortly afterwards (we had one member of once staff tip a bucket all over their trousers - a lab coat only covering so much - and they got funny looks on the bus home to go and change). 

 

A zero % limit just wouldn't make sense for many reasons.

 

In general I'm supportive, although I'm keen to see whether it makes a difference and might review my thoughts if it turned out it was causing too many people to be testing positive when there was an alternative explanation. 50 mg sounds fair though; that's not a drastic reduction and gives some common sense leeway.

Edited by scottish skier

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I remember finding a link on the rate at which blood alcohol content typically declines with time after drinking alcohol, but can't currently find it.  I have, however, found an article on the typical effects of certain alcohol concentrations:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/links/sid/ABCsBACWeb/page2.htm

Bear in mind, though, that the body's response to alcohol and impacts will vary between individuals so any online guide is only approximate.

 

Rules like these are normally a balancing act and you run into a law of diminishing returns as you tighten or relax them.  The nearer zero the drink-drive limit is, the greater the risk of most of the population being criminalized.  The further from zero, the greater the risk of people being able to drive legally while significantly impaired, and thinking, "I can get away with drinking a certain amount before driving".  Having seen the various pros and cons, and considering how much my own powers of concentration typically dwindle after just two drinks (most likely corresponding to a blood alcohol content between .05% and .08%), I see a very strong case for Scotland's measure, but would be more doubtful about the merits of any further reductions.

 

I would agree completely with the posts re. using a mobile phone while driving, if it wasn't for the fact that the law does not make a distinction between using a phone while traveling at 70mph down the motorway, and using a phone while parked in a layby with the engine running.  I see quite a straightforward solution, though: amend the law to make such a distinction, then increase the penalties for using a phone while not parked.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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In the future, Cars may come with built in breathalysers? I think, although perhaps not exactly sending out the right message ie don't touch alcohol and drive, it may stop people from thinking 'I can have a half or just one and drive'.

Also, my comment re hangover was not when one is absolutely 'hinging' but more the next afternoon... Some 12-15 hours after alcohol. I presume the alcohol would be gone by then, I certainly doubt your driving would be in anyway inhibited but I'd be happy to be proved wrong...

Edited by SW Saltire

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In the future, Cars may come with built in breathalysers? I think, although perhaps not exactly sending out the right message ie don't touch alcohol and drive, it may stop people from thinking 'I can have a half or just one and drive'.

Also, my comment re hangover was not when one is absolutely 'hinging' but more the next afternoon... Some 12-15 hours after alcohol. I presume the alcohol would be gone by then, I certainly doubt your driving would be in anyway inhibited but I'd be happy to be proved wrong...

My own personal rule is 24 hour minimum after any drink and 36 hours if I've had a session (Very very rare these days). I'm lucky in that both myself and partner can happily go out and not take a drink allowing the other to partake if it's a special occasion such as a birthday meal.

 

As stated, the law will be about blood alcohol, not how long since you last had a drink so if there is any doubt hand the keys to someone else.

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My own personal rule is 24 hour minimum after any drink and 36 hours if I've had a session (Very very rare these days). I'm lucky in that both myself and partner can happily go out and not take a drink allowing the other to partake if it's a special occasion such as a birthday meal.

 

As stated, the law will be about blood alcohol, not how long since you last had a drink so if there is any doubt hand the keys to someone else.

That is a safe way to do it.

I leave it as long as possible and always have breakfast and lunch before leaving. Therefore, I feel fine. This might not be quite enough though... I don't know.

I'm talking heavy drinking here -I'm 18 what do you expect ;)

Many of my friends have driven when they clearly shouldn't have. However, most have had a scare and don't do it again.

Let's remember in the past, 2/3/4 pints was fine to drive or people did it rather.

Not that I'm condoning it just that we've come a long way and attitudes have improved remarkably towards drinking and driving.

I personally don't think you should be able to smoke and drive. We still have a way to go IMO.

For example, we have no THC recorders so I know of a few people who have been high while driving, pulled over and the police (apart from being suspicious) didn't do anything.

Ultimately, I'd never drive if I didn't feel good. I'd never want to kill someone through a mistake that could have been avoided...

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My own personal rule is 24 hour minimum after any drink and 36 hours if I've had a session (Very very rare these days). I'm lucky in that both myself and partner can happily go out and not take a drink allowing the other to partake if it's a special occasion such as a birthday meal.

 

As stated, the law will be about blood alcohol, not how long since you last had a drink so if there is any doubt hand the keys to someone else.

 

As an average, a person will 'process' one unit of alcohol an hour, although different factors can affect this rate. There are roughly two units of alcohol in a pint of weak to normal strength beer. So although your 24 hour sentiments are good, if you want to be sure of not drinking and driving, you'd need to have a pretty large alcohol session to be in danger of being in excess of the alcohol limit that much later - for most people, 'blind drunk' Therefore I'd suggest you are being a bit over cautious.

 

And to the person who suggested a zero alcohol limit, well I'd then be really worried about eating overripe fruit etc. Thankfully someone else has pointed out that a zero alcohol limit is not practical. 

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That is a safe way to do it.

I leave it as long as possible and always have breakfast and lunch before leaving. Therefore, I feel fine. This might not be quite enough though... I don't know.

I'm talking heavy drinking here -I'm 18 what do you expect ;)

Many of my friends have driven when they clearly shouldn't have. However, most have had a scare and don't do it again.

Let's remember in the past, 2/3/4 pints was fine to drive or people did it rather.

Not that I'm condoning it just that we've come a long way and attitudes have improved remarkably towards drinking and driving.

I personally don't think you should be able to smoke and drive. We still have a way to go IMO.

For example, we have no THC recorders so I know of a few people who have been high while driving, pulled over and the police (apart from being suspicious) didn't do anything.

Ultimately, I'd never drive if I didn't feel good. I'd never want to kill someone through a mistake that could have been avoided...

 

I was in Auckland a few years ago for a few days - my car was parked during the whole time, so drink driving wouldn't have been any sort of issue.

 

At the time their DD limits were the same as ours (I'm not sure whether they still are) Basically I went to a casino there on a couple of days, where there was a public breathalyser. Prior to going to the casino I'd been to a pub. The first day, I drank two pints in an hour and then tested myself half an hour afterwards. The result came back as 'green'

 

The second day, I drank three pints and a double spirit in two hours. I then tested myself again half an hour later (when apparently the alcohol should generally have been absorbed into a person's system) This time the result came back as 'amber' The strange thing was that I actually knew I'd 'had a drink' Somewhat food for thought.

 

Edit, I should mention (as would be obvious) that 'red' would have meant over the limit.

Edited by Steve C
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As an average, a person will 'process' one unit of alcohol an hour, 

 

Yes, that was my understanding.

 

Couple of Hogmanay's back my wee bro got breathalysed in the wee Highland village I grew up in.

 

He's had three standard bottles of beer (330ml) at a big family lunch then that'd been it. 11 hours later he went out to collect friends from the pub. Police saw his car emerge from pub car park and pulled him over.

 

Totally clear on breathalyser as rightly, it was all gone from his system by then. Perfectly fit to drive.

 

Police joked afterwards they were thinking of charging him for being the only person sober in the village on Hogmanay.

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I was in Auckland a few years ago for a few days - my car was parked during the whole time, so drink driving wouldn't have been any sort of issue.

At the time their DD limits were the same as ours (I'm not sure whether they still are) Basically I went to a casino there on a couple of days, where there was a public breathalyser. Prior to going to the casino I'd been to a pub. The first day, I drank two pints in an hour and then tested myself half an hour afterwards. The result came back as 'green'

The second day, I drank three pints and a double spirit in two hours. I then tested myself again half an hour later (when apparently the alcohol should generally have been absorbed into a person's system) This time the result came back as 'amber' The strange thing was that I actually knew I'd 'had a drink' Somewhat food for thought.

Edit, I should mention (as would be obvious) that 'red' would have meant over the limit.

I know that a pint of cider is 2.6 units. 2L of strongbow being 10 units. 35cl vodka being 13.1units.

It really depends on the individual.

A unit and hour.... That's pretty slow :(

I'd say a reasonable night would be 15-20 units all in. Some of my friends will easily hit 30 but I know I'd probably be sick after that amount unless it was an all day thing.

That seems quite a high level of tolerance in Auckland. The drink you described is quite a bit for just driving...

Edited by SW Saltire

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Good for the Scottish Parliament. Can't work out why the limit isn't 00.00% anyway.

Becuase some people naturally produce alchol.

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I know that a pint of cider is 2.6 units. 2L of strongbow being 10 units. 35cl vodka being 13.1units.

It really depends on the individual.

A unit and hour.... That's pretty slow :(

I'd say a reasonable night would be 15-20 units all in. Some of my friends will easily hit 30 but I know I'd probably be sick after that amount unless it was an all day thing.

That seems quite a high level of tolerance in Auckland. The drink you described is quite a bit for just driving...

 

I only tested it because their limits were the same as ours, not because I was then going to ever drive - just for interest. I also couldn't know whether the machine had been properly calibrated etc. What I found most interesting was that I felt slightly light headed when testing the second time, yet was still under the limit.

 

Edit, I should also mention that my drinking was on an empty stomach, so presumably alcohol should have been more quickly absorbed by myself.

Edited by Steve C

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I know that a pint of cider is 2.6 units. 2L of strongbow being 10 units. 35cl vodka being 13.1units.

It really depends on the individual.

A unit and hour.... That's pretty slow :(

I'd say a reasonable night would be 15-20 units all in. Some of my friends will easily hit 30 but I know I'd probably be sick after that amount unless it was an all day thing.

That seems quite a high level of tolerance in Auckland. The drink you described is quite a bit for just driving...

I suspect the people who set the "safe" limits you see on cans and bottles would be having shrieking fits at that. Their safe limits are 14 units per week for women and 21 for men!

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I suspect the people who set the "safe" limits you see on cans and bottles would be having shrieking fits at that. Their safe limits are 14 units per week for women and 21 for men!

 

I'm sure I've read that those alcohol limits were arbritary and have little evidential basis, but have been adopted for convenience. I've also noticed some saying the limits are 21 for women and 28 for men, or 2 to 3 units a day for women and 3 to 4 units for men, so there's immediate confusion. They also define 'binge' drinking as 8 units or more in a day. If I drink 8 units I am nowhere near being as drunk as the phrase implies. 

 

To be honest, I take no notice of this. I've known a few people who've had problems with alcohol and they drink (or drunk if they are no longer with us) way, way more than these amounts. I'd say at least 10 pints a day, or a bottle of spirits, for years. I've known nobody who drinks these at the low official levels to have had a problem. I suppose if people are highly susceptible then there may be an issue, but for the overwhelming majority, these official limits are very low. :)

Edited by Steve C

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I suspect the people who set the "safe" limits you see on cans and bottles would be having shrieking fits at that. Their safe limits are 14 units per week for women and 21 for men!

Uni students don't get a reputation for nothing!

My best friend polished off a bottle of Whiskey (28 units) and got in the club. I would be dead with that amount. I normally finish a 35 possibly at a push 50cl (half bottle) of vodka for pre-drinks.

When I'm over 25 I doubt I'll be drinking more than once a week so we're 'making hay while it's dry' haha.

It's all relative, if you have the flu, you may be so ill you shouldn't drive.

You may be that bad a driver that you shouldn't be on the road.

Your eyesight may be becoming too poor for motorway driving

Yet, all of the above drive on regardless. We can only take care of our own driving, my step-dad said to basically treat everyone else like an idiot. Therefore, when they pull infront of you doing 60 when you were at 80, you're ready etc etc

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I'm sure I've read that those alcohol limits were arbritary and have little evidential basis, but have been adopted for convenience. I've also noticed some saying the limits are 21 for women and 28 for men, or 2 to 3 units a day for women and 3 to 4 units for men, so there's immediate confusion. They also define 'binge' drinking as 8 units or more in a day. If I drink 8 units I am nowhere near being as drunk as the phrase implies. 

 

To be honest, I take no notice of this. I've known a few people who've had problems with alcohol and they drink (or drunk if they are no longer with us) way, way more than these amounts. I'd say at least 10 pints a day, or a bottle of spirits, for years. I've known nobody who drinks these at the low official levels to have had a problem. I suppose if people are highly susceptible then there may be an issue, but for the overwhelming majority, these official limits are very low. :)

I wasn't saying I agreed with them!

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3 pints = basically 8 units. Nobody would class that as 'binge' drinking I'm sure

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3 pints = basically 8 units. Nobody would class that as 'binge' drinking I'm sure

 

Yes, it's ridiculous imho. I've only previously seen it written on beer / cider bottles, but it seems to be confirmed here.

 

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/understand-your-drinking/is-your-drinking-a-problem/binge-drinking

 

Again, the article is confusing - you could actually interpret binge drinking as more than 6 units, if you chose double the '3' rather than '4' figure quoted.

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