47 2 mins 10 yrs

Here is the easy tyranny that flows from having “our” politicians “in charge” when the same little politicos only understand the power to take things away from us;

Northern Ireland’s environment minister has outlined his proposals to change the drink-driving laws. Alex Attwood says he wants to cut the limit from its current level of 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml. No other part of the UK has such a limit.

There would be another, even lower, limit of 20mg/100ml for young drivers and people who earn their living from driving.

Mr Attwood also wants to give police powers to randomly stop drivers without the need for reasonable suspicion.

He also proposes, in certain circumstances, removing drivers’ right to opt for a blood or urine sample instead of a breath test.

Note the combination of removing our rights whilst increasing the rights of the State and it’s agencies. I entirely reject what Attwood is doing but then again one cannot be surprised since the SDLP have already shown their instincts by leading the charge to FORCE cyclists to wear helmets.

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  1. “As an Englishman I do wish Northern Ireland would merge with the Republic and go away! And take Scotland with you if you wish!”

    The Republic doesn’t want them either!

  2. Having a limit too low would catch far more sober people the next morning. You can still have alcohol in your system the next day but be able to operate.

  3. The point, as so much of what British government now does, is to impose a Euro standard on us. From the link:

    The 50mg/100ml applies in several European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Some of the countries have variations, with newly-qualified drivers in Spain having a lower limit.

    Even as euroland crumbles and the very future of the EU put in some doubt, the Euro-fanatics keep at it like the Berlin bureaucrats who carried on stamping bits of paper right up to the end of April 1945. A couple of days ago the Mail reported:

    Motorway speed limits will rise to 80mph to shorten journey times and help boost the economy.

    It has nothing to do with boosting the economy and everything to do with Euro standards. 80mph is 130kph, the motorway speed limit in most European nations.

  4. It’s just another nanny, Socialist money spinner folks. This “law” mimics the one recently installed in the Republic.

    Screw the government assholes. I buy my booze at Tesco and lash it down at home, then fall asleep in bed.

    Drink Drivers will ONLY refrain from their activities when they die.

    No law will MAKE them stop boozing and driving. They’ll drive whilst drunk, they’ll drive without insurance and I guaran-friging-tee you they’ll drive whilst their licence is revoked. Drunken drivers and drunks in general are better off DEAD. For their sake and the public’s sake.

    Death or lifetime incarceration is the only answer to their obnoxious behaviour.

  5. No one has the right to drink and drive. I favor draconian law on this matter.

    The rights of drivers who don’t drink, or of innocent passengers, trumps the right of anyone who wants to drink anything and then get behind the wheel on the public road, with other vehicles everywhere around them.

  6. I absolutely agree Phantom and, in this case, I think it’s horses for courses. It’s my understanding the N.I.state has one of the highest road death tolls in Europe. I can’t believe that any attempts to lower that stat are treated as nanny stateism.

    Absolutely no one has the “right” to drink & drive and IMO there should be a zero drink drive limit and anyone found breaching it should get an automatic years ban and a £5,000 fine with a second offence warranting a lifetime ban and five years imprisonment.

  7. David – You “utterly reject” the proposal, may I then ask what is your counterproposal. Are you satisfied with the laws presently on the books, do they seem effective to you?

    I think drunk driving deaths are so unnecessary that any reasonable effort to reduce them warrants serious consideration. The only one I think might be too much is allowing the police to stop any vehicle without reasonable suspicion, but I have no problem with checkpoints.

  8. In NYC, the police seize the vehicle of anyone charged with drunk driving. In focuses the mind very well.

    In NY State, since drinking laws were tightened and drunk driving laws were more strictly enforced, alcohol related fatalities among drivers under 21 has gone down 27.8% over ten years.

    That’s not a coincidence.

    The acceptable level of drunk driving is zero.

  9. The questions I have to ask is do other EU countries match the severity of UK punishments for driving over the limit and are their road deaths through drinking and driving less or greater than ours bearing in mind the disparity in population size?

  10. There are loads of variables – including rural vs urban population, availability of mass transit, etc.

    An area with good mass transit should always have less drunk driving since there is even less of an excuse to drink and then drive.

    But it’s smart to set the bar low. It’s not just the driver we should be concerned about. It’s everyone else on the road that we should think of.

    Drunk driving incidents to me are not accidents. They’re intentional acts. I think that the target should be a 90% reduction in such deaths in say five years. I’m not joking.

  11. Setinel of Idiocy

    Were you drunk when you made that comment, or just stupid?


    Since when should a politician tell me how much I should drink? I do not drink and drive, period, but I think it is perfectly reasonable for people to do so just as long as the amount if safe. This is zealotry.

  12. While I can have some sympathy – (but only a little)- with you ‘warriors for civil freedoms’, just how can you justify reinforcing the idea that totally stupid, and dangerous behaviour is a freedom worth preserving?

    Freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom to kill and maim by careless and thoughtless behaviour, which is exactly what ‘drink driving’ is, is a very different matter.

    Why should bad habits that endanger others not be legislated against? – because it has become something of an habitual pastime, is a poor excuse.

    If people cannot or will not ‘self-regulate’, – and they have had ample opportunity to prove if they can, – then the last resort is legislation. Does there always have to be a ‘death toll’ before people take any notice of the numerous warnings before they, rather begrudgingly, change their habits…

  13. David – One of the best lines I’ve heard is your right to swing your fist ends where someone else’s nose begins. I don’t support someone telling you how much to drink, but I certainly support the state setting standards for the alcohol consumption level of someone who will drink AND drive. It is no different than establishing speed limits for safety sake.

  14. Phantom –

    In NYC, the police seize the vehicle of anyone charged with drunk driving.

    Why? Why should the state profit? This is plain theft.

    Drink driving is a victimless “crime”. Prior restraint (mg per ml limits) are pretty pointless and go against our liberal traditions. Before some halfwit claims I’m a champion of drink driving, I’ve never driven after drinking alcohol.

    People tend to comply with laws where the costs of compliance aren’t great. Most don’t want to drink and drive anyway. A few will and for them draconion laws after the effect will be as persuasive as effectively useless prior restraint laws.

    The situation at present is that a drunk driver can mow down three children on a zebra crossing and get away with a fine and driving ban. The sure knowledge that he would be charged with manslaughter instead and go to prison for 15-20 years without remission would be a far greater disincentive to drink. At present 99.99% of people suffer illiberal prior restraint when they do not need nor deserve it and the 0.01% who ignore it will never be punished adequately.

    All the foregoing is not to ignore that the Euro-maniacs are proposing the change in their deranged campaign to Europeanise the British people.

  15. Yes, and some here have ( astonishingly ) opposed speed limits.

    There is no right to speed and there is no right to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while under the influence. There must be limits and they should be set on the side of caution.

    It is on such arguments that the ” government is always wrong ” argument looks particularly ridiculous.

    I don’t want to share the road with any speeders or drunk drivers. I want the police to keep them off the road.

  16. Since when should a politician tell me how much I should drink?

    A politician is not telling you how much you should drink. You can drink as much as you want. You just can’t drive on public roads when your blood alcohol level exceeds a certain limit.

  17. Drink driving is a victimless “crime”. Prior restraint (mg per ml limits) are pretty pointless and go against our liberal traditions. Before some halfwit claims I’m a champion of drink driving, I’ve never driven after drinking alcohol.

    I don’t give a rat’s anus about liberal traditions. I want drunk drivers off the road.

    Since heightened awareness of drunk driving and stricter enforcement of the laws on it, there has been a measurable decline in drunk driving / drink related accidents in the US.

  18. Pete – I recall and paraphrase the great Homer Simpson’s objection to lowering the speed limit from 65 to 55. “Sure he said, hundreds of lives may be saved, but thousands will be late.”

  19. Phantom –

    I don’t give a rat’s anus about liberal traditions. I want drunk drivers off the road.

    The present law fails you in that case.

  20. A lot of the convictions for drink driving in Northern Ireland nowadays seem to be for Eastern European men whose culture seems to accept drink driving as being ok. Most locals seem to refrain from it except the hardcore drink drivers so lower limits will make no difference to them.

  21. Pete

    Not true.

    The difference where I live is quite noticeable. There is less drunk driving.

    It is entirely socially unacceptable to get behind the wheel now. That was not always the case.

  22. Turk

    In the real world, what happens to a hard core drunk driver who is apprehended?

    What punishment is likely to ensue? Is it certain?

  23. DV – your pathetic personal school-yard jibe aside, there is NO safe level to drive with alcohol. Any alcohol impairs or slows your reactions, which in an emergency situation could mean the difference between life or death. I do drink socially, but never when I am likely to be driving any time soon after that. Check the facts before you brand others as stupid. I can see you have a lot to learn. Where does this nanny state whinge end? Seat-belts? Freedom to use narcotics? Freedom to drive about in unsafe vehicles?

    BTW , when are you debating on the BBC again? I look forward to hearing you getting your ass handed to you again. Fpr one who gripes about the Beeb so much you seem to have unfettered access to the airwaves.

  24. Instead of petty little insults does anyone actually want to respond to my arguments, or are we just having a bit of a bitch-fest?

  25. “does anyone actually want to respond to my arguments”

    Not until you learn a little manners as far as I am concerned. If you stop behaving as a Troll, then maybe you won’t be treated as one!

  26. Matt – your response tells me you have a lot to learn about manners. I wish I had the chance to introduce you and a few others to my late grandfather, who had the last years of his life ruined by a drink driver. Perhaps then some of the whingers about the nanny state may well think again, and perhaps you could have some gleaning on my passion on this subject. The culprit should be very glad I got to him before the police did.

  27. but I think it is perfectly reasonable for people to do so just as long as the amount if safe.

    So who gets to say what constitutes safe? Isn’t that the point? Obviously not the driver him or herself, drunk people don’t make good judgement calls. So there has to be an agreed standard.
    So all that you are quibbling about is what that level is. But on what do you base your judgement that this proposal is zealotry? How do you know that it isn’t based on the evidence?
    Unless you are seriously suggesting that there should be no limit at all, in which case you it would be very hard to take such an argument seriously. Even the most avid proponent of minimum government would agree that the state has a duty to protect the citizens from the arbitrary behavior of other citizens, unless you are rejecting even that.

  28. A lot of rules that sound silly don’t sound silly when you think about it.

    Long haul truckers are required to log in their hours and to get a minimum amount of rest time.

    How ridiculous some might say. How nanny state.

    One of my sister’s best friends and half her family was killed by a tractor trailer driver from Quebec who fell asleep when driving to North Carolina.

    That’s why they have rules like that. And speed laws, and drunk driving laws. Rules which don’t oppress anyone, and which save lives.

  29. “I wish I had the chance to introduce you and a few others to my late grandfather, who had the last years of his life ruined by a drink driver.”

    So you think you have some sort of moral superiority because of this, do you? You should have prefaced your comments with this information. Then we might have understood where you are coming from.

    But you didn’t.

    As I said, pretentious.

  30. Why don’t they make more effort to enforce the existing law instead of always bringing in new ones?

    Every Christmas there is a police “crackdown” on drink driving. Why is it confined to the festive season?

  31. Peter – I think the efforts are greater on holidays as those times statistically involve more drunk driving as folks are celebrating. i am all for stronger enforcement of exising laws if that proves effective.

  32. We do that here, for Christmas and other major holidays such as July 4.

    If you had the same effort every day, it would generate no publicity.

    By periodic crackdowns, you get it on the TV News. People talk about it.

    I’ve been stopped at one of these Sobriety Checkpoints. I didn’t stamp my feet and complain. I said thank you. Why some complain about such good and necessary things, I will never understand in a million years.

  33. Matt – I find it hard to believe you need a real life story to tell you drink driving is wrong. It is wrong – period. End of. It wrecks lives. Of course I have moral authority regarding drink driving. Anyone who is against it has moral authority. It is attempted murder by another name. It is idiotic, selfish and evil. But don’t let me stop you – keep digging.

  34. Sentinel of Liberty,

    You will note that I have not expressed any opinion regarding drinking and driving in my comments above.

    My comments have been solely about your sanctimonious and superior attitude.

    From now on, I will refer to you as “Holier Than Thou”.

  35. For the record, I thing 50mg/100ml is a safer level to use, I don’t advocate drinking and driving, I don’t agree with a lower level for new drivers and I done agree with a zero limit.

  36. Matt – you have me genuinely intrigued. DV is wrong. I called him on it and he childishly responded by playing the man. I responded (admittedly childishly) in kind. Fair play IMO. For some reason which is lost on me you also decided to play the man without engaging in debate. In all truth I do not feel I had to bring a personal experience into the debate as the moral high ground in this is screamingly obvious. If I am “Holier Than Thou” about drink driving I make no apology, the same way I make no apology about being holier than thou on pedophilia and other sordid activities.

    As for my nom de plume –

    A bit of ironic whimsy. Nothing more, nothing less.

  37. Sentinel of Ianity,

    Your very first comment on this thread directe to me was;

    “David Vance – champion of drink driving.”

    I guess you don’t do irony too well.

    As for your name…..

  38. Holier Than Thou,

    “For some reason which is lost on me you also decided to play the man without engaging in debate.”

    I’ve made it perfectly clear why I’ve played the man! Is this more of your irony?

  39. Well done DV – you have stooped to the debating level of repeating what I said in a silly voice. If you were not championing the right to drink and drive what exactly were you doing?

    Matt – or if we are resorting to infantile name calling Hissy- fit McCarthy – you have explained nothing. In the cut and thrust of debate feelings get hurt. It doesn’t mean we behave like children.

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