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Drink Driving

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Loki, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Loki

    Asus Rep

    Joined: Nov 17, 2004

    Posts: 9,740

    Location: The Republic

    Well the Christmas season is well and truly upon us. The parties are in full swing and the police are at of their campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of Drinking whilst intoxicated.

    Some facts taken from Campaign Against Drink Driving

    *Drink driving dropped dramatically over the ten years from 1986 to 1997. *Drink drive fatalities were 990 in 1986, compared with 540 for 1997. *However, this trend is reversing, with an estimated 590 drink drive deaths in 2004.
    *In 2004 nearly 184,000 drivers and riders in road injury accidents were breath tested, with a 4% failure rate, which is the exact same rate as in 1997.
    *Drink driving is not restricted to the run up to Christmas, but is an all year round problem.
    *In 2003 (the latest year for which we have definite statistics), 2170 people were killed or seriously injured in drink related accidents.
    *19% of drivers and riders killed on the roads in 2003 were over the legal blood alcohol limit.
    *In injury accidents in 2004 362,303 people were breathalysed and 7,427 failed - that's 2% of those tested.
    *In 2004, 3.1% of men involved in injury-accidents failed a breath test, compared to 1.1% of women.
    *In 2004 , 56% of all alcohol related accidents occurred between midnight on Thursday and midnight on Sunday.
    *In 2004, in the key 17 - 24 age group, 6.3% breath tested after an accident failed the test, compared to an average for all ages of 4.4%

    Source: Department for Transport, September 2005

    Some fascinating facts. Sometimes people can be over the limit the morning after a night out after just having a few glasses of vino or a few pints.

    However do the current laws go far enough to deter people from what is complete irresponsibility ? The current laws extends to (as in most cases) Maximum fine of x and/or time in prison of x Is it possible that the changes to the current licensing laws will be detremental to the reduction in un-necessary deaths and accidents. ?

    This is not to judge people by the way as I am sure some of us have driven even after just one drink. Just wanted to find out peoples thoughts on the subject

  2. anarchist


    Joined: Dec 2, 2004

    Posts: 9,702

    Location: Midlands

    I try never to drink and drive (notice the word "try")!

    I do drink when I go out even when I know I'm driving later but I try and guess how many I can have before being over the limit. If I'm out for a couple of hours then I know I'm OK with one pint, four hours then I'm OK with two etc.

    However it is guesswork and yes, I've done that "morning after" drive in the past where I'm fairly sure I was over the limit despite it being the next day.

    So yes, it's a very bad thing, people who go out at lunchtime, have three beers and then drive back to the office or home or whatever are consciously driving knowing full well they are well over the limit and deserve the full wrath of the law (except maybe in extreme circumstances).
  3. Sanzy


    Joined: Mar 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,117

    Location: Forget About It

    Think about the number of how many people die from driving ( lets say 200,000 for a random number) alone and how many people die from drinking (100,000 yet another random number) then compare that to the number of drink drivers who die .... im dont take any chances i always drink and drive
  4. Jumpingmedic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004

    Posts: 1,509

    Location: Behind you!

    The trouble with alcohol is that it inherantly affects your ability to think. You might not ever dream of drink driving when you're sober (did that sentance make sense :confused: lol). But once your drunk your judgement has long since passed out on the sofa in a pool of vomit. It's no use legislating to a drunk guy.

    More needs to be done preventatively... perhaps even going so far as requiring bar staff to enquire how a person intends to get home before they're even allowed to serve them.

    I have no statistics but I bet thats a big part of drink driving... people showing up at a pub or friends house, having a few drinks and then finding they have no way to get home but by car. Since their judgements already gone they reason with themselves that they're not drunk, that they can handle it and awaaaay they go.

    Another great option I've heard of is getting a breathalyzer installed in your car, which will immobilize the engine if you're over the limit. I'm sure I saw that on TV once... but it might have been a joke... either way it's a bloody good idea.
  5. Werewolf


    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 27,755

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    Anyone who drinks knowing they will be driving later in the day is more than a bit silly imo, as there are so many things that can/will change the affect it has on you (your health, medication, how much you've eaten etc).

    To go by "pints" is even sillier, as there is huge variations how strong a pint is depending on what you are drinking (a pint of one beer might be well under what would take you over the limit, but another beer might take you over the limit).
    It's also worth noting it's entirely possible to be massively over the limit 12-24 hours after having an "average" night out.

    I guess what i'm saying is fairly simple, don't drink and drive, and if you get drunk on a night out then don't get in the drivers seat for at least 24 hours after your last drink.

    Apparently it's not uncommon for people to go out drinking on a Saturday night, and get pulled over on a Sunday afternoon with the result that they lose their licence.

    With regards to punishments for drink driving, I would support a long ban for the first offence (and large fine), a longer ban and larger fine - possibly jail time for the second offence, and a total life long ban for the third offence (if someone can't learn the lesson after two goes they probably never will).
    I would also support the police stopping cars as they leave the pub, especially if the car belongs to someone known to have a history of drink driving, or other drink related offences (drunk and disorderly, getting into fights when drunk etc), at the moment I beleive the police can't do that unless they have specific information about a driver.

    As for the causes of people drink driving, i think despite the millions the government has sunk into trying to educate people there is still a certain level of "who cares" on the part of some people, and the only way to drive the message home to them will either unforunately involve an accident related to drink driving (either one in which they are involved, or that someone they love is), or if they are caught by the police in a routine stop.

    Jumpingmedic, I vaguely remember the breathalyser in the car idea, iirc it won't work though because it's unsupervised (no way to prove the driver blew into it/it could be bypassed), it would also be uncallibrated (the same problem those DIY breathalysers gadget shops sell have - they can be well out and no one would know).
  6. Jumpingmedic

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004

    Posts: 1,509

    Location: Behind you!

    Well I admit I'm working on the assumption/hope that no-one wants to be a drink driver, and that no sober person would ever disable it. A drunk person would likely be incapable of complex electrical work and I'm sure most people wouldnt have a clue how to disable it anyway.

    It'd be an infuriating device to a drunk person and I believe it would help the ones who don't actually realise how stupid they're being.

    But of course if someone deliberately sets out to drink drive by disabling this device then there's not much you can do to them short of tough sentances. Same applies if they manage to get a sober mate to blow into it.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
  7. NumptyUK


    Joined: Dec 24, 2002

    Posts: 474

    Location: Chelmsford, Essex. Bling Bling

    why do people do it, a mixture of the "who cares" and "i'll never get caught" menatality coupled with the amounts you have to pay to get home in a cab after a night out. The thought of paying 10 or 15 quid to go a handful of miles home forces people back into the "sod it, i'll drive" category.
  8. Jake 2.0


    Joined: Dec 16, 2002

    Posts: 10,237

    why drink and drive when you can smoke and fly :p
  9. tagbartok


    Joined: Dec 23, 2005

    Posts: 57

    Location: Staffordshire

    It's certainly not uncommon and losing your licence can be the least of your problems. Picture this; a man, a rep for an electronics firm, in his mid twenties in a well paid job with a nice house big mortgage, wife, child aged two and one on the way. He goes out on the Friday night stag night of his best mate to whom he is best man. Gets absolutely bladdered and gets taxi home. Goes to the wedding and reception; gets bladdered again but stays overnight in hotel. Gets up Sunday feels rough, doesn't eat feels better later and goes down the pub and has two pints and walks home at 10pm. Gets up Monday morning for work. Thinks " I only had two pints last night so I'm fine." Jumps in two month old Golf TDi (company car, pride and joy) Drives along the M6 and trashes car at Junction 15 at 8.30am. No other vehicle involved and no injury. Breathalysed and failed at 8.45 am, arrived at Police station 9.15am provides two samples of breath, the lowest being 128Mg; the legal limit being 35Mg. Charged and kept in cell before being placed before a magistrate. Because of the high reading he was not given the option of bail but fast tracked straight to court. Goes to court gets £800 fine and 18 month ban; first offence ever. The magistrate actually told him that a custodial sentence would be considered. He didn't go to prison but has 9 points on his licence, when he gets it back and he has to retake his driving test and attend alcohol awareness sessions. He's standing there in court crying his eyes out and begging for leniency because it's just starting to sink in how his life depends on his licence but his pleas fell on deaf ears. So now he can't drive; remember he was a rep who drove 25 to 30,000 miles per year. So he gets the sack and the company are suing him for the damage to the car. Debts start pilling up; nobody wants to employ him. Knock knock; it's the bailiffs then the house is repossessed and to cap it all his wife leaves and he's in the middle of a messy divorce. He now does nights as a security guard at a parcel depot. He's lucky because it's only 5 miles away from his tiny little flat so he can cycle there and back. He's looking forward to getting his licence back and has already made enquiries about car insurance. Many companies won't touch him. Those that will want £2000 for a 6 year old Fiesta 1100.
    No it's not me but I was on the stag night and went to the wedding and reception and I remember having a conversation with him where he said that drinking and driving doesn't bother him and anyway the police would never catch him. They didn't have to catch him; he chucked his car and life off the M6 and at their feet on that Monday morning.
    Sorry it's a bit epic but consider the full consequences of losing your driving licence.
    Finally the Police can stop you for basically anything. Just being the driver of a vehicle on a public road is enough to warrant a stop for vehicle tax or driving documents. Parking your car outside your house on the road could prompt a request for MOT and insurance (but not driving licence as long as you weren't seen driving it) Get stopped for any reason and be found to be smelling of booze and expect to get breathalysed. The original stop may not have had anything to do with suspicion of excess alcohol but that suspicion can be formed at any time. There's a lot of crap talked about what the police can and can't do in certain circumstances and watching "The Bill" or "Eastenders" isn't very educational or an accurate source of facts.

  10. quackers


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 5,708

    Location: Liverpool :-)

    The most i'll have if im driving is a single pint/bottle, nothing more. Even then its very rare that i drink at all when ive got the car.
  11. Sequoia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 15, 2005

    Posts: 2,948

    A salutory story, tagbartok, but in broad terms, not an uncommon one.

    The magistrates have no option to be lenient in drink driving cases, atnot in terms of allowing the offender to keep his licence. The ban is mandatory. There are VERY rare situations in which a ban can be avoided, but those situations are very tightly specified. A relative of mine who was a magistrate for 27 years said he'd dealt with thousands of drink driving cases, and never had one where that exception could be used, and moreover, was not aware of it happening in his county during his tenure. Like I said, it's rare.

    For other motoring offences where a totting up ban is imposed, yes, there's some lattitude, and "I'll lose my job" might well work, but not for drink driving. According to my magistrate relative, they simply do not have the power to be lenient in regards to licence.
  12. Morba


    Joined: Mar 7, 2003

    Posts: 28,192

    Location: Krispy Kreme drive thru

    Soon to be brother in law has recently been sentenced for drink driving.
    He has been given a 2 year ban and a hefty fine for being 2x the limit.

    The judge had gave no leniency for the fact that his soon to be wife rang him after feeling ill (she thinks her drink was spiked) halfway thro a night out, having heard so many stories about single women being picked up in dodgy taxis he thought it best he go get her.

    Before he gets his license back he has to provide 3 samples (not sure what type or if random or at a given time/date) over 3 months to show that hes not an alcoholic (ridiculous!)

    His boss went with him and said that he would lose his job if he was banned (hes a mechanic for renault trucks, he also does a lot of oncall breakdowns for them).

    He knows its not right, he knows he has been punished fittingly, however not all drink drivers are set on getting completely mullered then driving.
    He had been at home with his daughter where he wouldnt of got drunk while looking after her.

    The thing that annoys me, is that people who get sent down have the opportunity of being released early in certain circumstances, however a driving ban is not the same, you are banned for that length of time and that is that.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2005
  13. cheets64


    Joined: Sep 30, 2005

    Posts: 25,895

    Location: Wigan

    He crashed his car on the motorway, he was DUI, that alcohol made him crash, he should of called in sick instead of chucking his life away. The fact he had so much to drink over the weekend. :eek:

    Call in sick or Lose job and everything, tricky one.

    I was drunk on sunday night and i was working at 10am, i got a taxi as i was over the limit.

    A guy at work was at a BBQ in the summer, he was drinking all day, 2am came him and his mate wanted some cigs, for some reason they got in a car, he drove the mates misses car (dont know why the mate didnt drive).

    He didnt have a licence or a car, he came back from the petrol station, went too fast round a roundabout and went over it.

    He got £300 fine, 3 year ban and 240 Hours CS, the CS is killing him, its ruining his life.

    I always think of him and how bad it is to do CS. Working with losers and druggies.
  14. KingOfAquitaine


    Joined: Sep 30, 2005

    Posts: 312

    Whats wrong with tough sentencing for drink drivers?? Apart from certain mitigating circumstances (rushing to the aid of someone) there's no excuse. Get drunk, pick up a piece of metal and hit someone with it its assault, when you do it with a ton of metal why should the courts go easy??
  15. Sequoia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 15, 2005

    Posts: 2,948

    The thing is, drink driving is an absolute offence. Motivation has nothing to do with it, and whether someone intended to drink and drive or not is irrelevant. If you are over the limit and driving, you commit the offence.

    And rightly so. People are killed and injured, lives wrecked and families destroyed by drunk drivers all the time. Why should it matter if the drunk intended to drink and drive or not? The fact remains ... he did. A good friend of mine was killed by a drink driver, my son spent 3 months in plaster due to one and my brother was VERY lucky to escape serious injury when his car was written off by a drunk driver going the wrong was round a roundabout! :rolleyes:

    If you've been drinking, you do not belong behind the wheel of a car, period. While understandable, putting other people's lives at risk to go to collect your wife, ill or not, is no excuse. Call a cab yourself and go get her in that. Get a sober mate to drive you, or pick her up, or whatever. But don't drive while drunk. Sorry, Morba, but I have no sympathy for your bro-in-law to be. None whatever. Drink driving is, in my view, a supreme act of selfishness and/or callous indifference to the well-being, even lives, of other people.
  16. gary996


    Joined: Aug 24, 2003

    Posts: 3,261

    Location: Gillingham Kent

    I think drink driving should carry a minimum £5000 fine a ban for at least 5 years and 1000 hours CS. This is for a first offence after that it doubles and so on
  17. Mickey_D


    Joined: Dec 9, 2003

    Posts: 6,204

    Location: Gone......

    I think everyone knows my opinion on this subject.... :mad:
  18. dokko


    Joined: Nov 26, 2005

    Posts: 3,783

    Location: Doon the Bay (Newcastle)

    Most my friends have been involved in drink driving related incidents.

    1 got banned for 1 year after smashing into a parked car and doing a runner, 1 got a 2 year ban for being way over the limit (although his driving wasn't too bad) another has crashed 3 cars while being smashed, never been caught though, another was banned for 4 years after stealing a car when he was 16, totally drunk.

    The other lot, one wrapped his car into McDonalds drive through totally smashed, thing is, he was the assistant manager at McDonalds at the time, and got sacked.

    Another wrapped his own car into a lampost not too far from his home. He ran home, paniced (again really drunk and high of other stuff) then 'borrowed' his dads car to go back up and have a look, while doing so got chased off the police, and wrapped that car into roundabout, 50 meters away from his own car. He got banned for a year i think, which is him getting off lightly IMO.

    And lastly. My other friend killed someone crossing a road. I'm not gonna go into too much detail but he ended up in prison for it, served his time, but he has to live with that for the rest of his life.

    I have one friend who doesn't or hasn't in the past got into trouble for anything, but he's been starting to do it recently, because of a girl (oh take me here pleeeease) playing him when drunk, but he nearly crashed about three weeks ago, and had only had a few, so he's decided from now he'll never do it again.

    I myself will and have never drink and drive. I find it a total liability, unsafe, and unfair on normal drivers who's lives you are endangering.

    My friends have all learnt from there lesssons (apart from the odd one) these incidents all happened from at least 2-3 years ago, some back even further, i'm glad they've stopped it, i'm suprised one of them isn't dead, i'm not suprised however one of them ended up in prison.
  19. Sequoia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 15, 2005

    Posts: 2,948

    Yup, and I agree with you.
  20. timbob


    Joined: Nov 27, 2002

    Posts: 3,097

    Agreed - If I know I'm going to be driving, I don't drink beforehand full stop. If I've gone out on the town and had a lot to drink on say a Saturday night, I won't drive again till the Monday. And if I've been drinking, and am called upon to drive, I refuse point blank.

    I can't see the point of having one single pint in a pub, then sticking to coke or OJ or whatever - as it might put you over the limit, or impair your judgement enough to crash when you might not otherwise have done. How much enjoyment does one single drink give you? If you're going to follow it with OJ/Coke, just stick to the soft drinks the whole time.