40 1 min 11 yrs

Just off the BBC. Asked Minister Attwood the simple question; “What is the average BAC of those killed in drunk driving incidents.” This is directly pertinent to the issue under debate. He would not answer me – even with a convenient “news break” to help. He was given 10 minutes air-time, I got 2 minutes. Tell you what, Alex, if I were you I would sack your SPADS, they don’t anticipate even basic questions 😉 The answer, by the way, is 160mg/100mls or .16 BAC or TWICE the current limit. Reducing the current limit does NOTHING to stop these lunatics but the very brave and courageous Alex knows best…..

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40 thoughts on “YES, MINISTER?

  1. Sorry to be pedantic but 160mg/100mls (may also be referred to as 160mg per cent) is twice the legal limit. 0.16mg/100mls is almost zero.

  2. Wish the Minister was as sharp as you! Good point – the number is 160mg per cent! The central truth is that it’s DOUBLE the current limit so my question was in what way does lowering the current limit influence the lunatics driving with all this booze in them! Mind you, Nolan did pick up on the civil liberty angle of allowing police to stop anyone, anywhere, without any reason. Alex thinks this is brave and courageous.

  3. I said it before and I’ll say it again and again. The “lower” drink-drive alcohol limit has NOTHING….NADA…to do with saving lives. Like 99.9% of the legal activity in Ireland it’s about MONEY….REVENUE COLLECTING. The politicians could care less about the “ordinary” citizens. They do care about revenue intake because without it there’d be nothing to steal, plunder or squander.

    No politician in the North or the Republic will answer a direct question. Even if they know the answer they’ll dodge and weave until time runs out or you get so frustrated you give up. It’s the Irish way.

    The Gardai are so tight-lipped their mouths resemble the puckered sphincter’s of a bunch of frightened souls.

    Newspapers hide behind the political enacted “privacy” laws to keep the general public in the dark. No paper will divulge the cause of an accident, crime or other negative social activity.

    I like the American system. Open, transparent, fair balanced and unafraid that they will be hammered by some phoney organisation of Liberal bullies.

    The local and national media LOVE to air accident reports with pictures, details, causes.The accused named, address given and their mug-shots published.

    This tight little island is inhabited by 20% criminals and their apologists and 80% sheeple. They accept the unacceptable because they don’t want to harm the patronage tree.

  4. David – Do you propose to raise the level then, thus providing more “freedom” to those who drink and drive, and less interference in their lives from the State?

    Having a homicide statute or a rape statute does not eliminate these crimes, but we don’t abandon a criminal justice system because some people will break the law regardless of what it might be.

    Lowering the limit as proposed would eliminate those accidents that occur when the driver has been effected by consuming alcohol and driving while registering in the lower level. Some will disregard the law if implemented, most will not.

  5. I propose that we enforce the current law more rigourously. All evidence (as opposed to opinion) indicates that it is the FEAR of being caught that is the single biggest factor in reducing road fatalities through drunk driving. The Minister has no plan to deal with this.

    Lowering the limit avoids the issue. Standard EU practise.

  6. But the current law if one follows your argument must therefore be as fatally flawed as the proposed new one because people violate it. If “fear” is the single biggest factor, then surely a lower limit increases that “fear” and reduces the chances of people chancing it.

  7. The current law is not enforced. Why would those unconcerned with the current limit by virtue of the fact that they drive 100% over it suddenly pay attention to this lower limit? There is no evidence to suggest this will save so much as one life. It is pointess but as Eddie points out, it will rake in extra cash and help criminalise sensible drivers. Liberal win.

  8. The proposal (once again) is not aimed at those who ignore any limit. It seeks to reduce deaths and injuries caused by those who operate at a lower (yet currently) permissible level.

    The study indicates that it would have an effect of saving lives (I’ve found no counter-study suggesting otherwise).

    To ignore the proposal because it is supported by one’s political opponents or consistent with other EU nations without demonstrating that it is wrong doesn’t seem particularly sound to me.

    Combine the lower limit with more effective enforcement and you have a win win situation.

  9. Mahons- rubbish. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    Tony Bliar conflated activity with productivity just as your doing.
    He created a new law virtually every day yet still left the country more lawless than before he assumed his position. Bad law is worse than no law.

    The present limit is fine – just enforce it. Once it’s being properly enforced if you then find a problem fix THAT problem. DV is right it’s pointless busywork for politicians ego’s and soundbites for a compliant media lobby. The Daily Wail -won’t somebody puhleeese think of the children argument.

    Which in fact actively reduces scarce resources that could be better redirected to enable some ACTUAL definable public benefit.

    So I question what is your actual aim Minister /Mahons is it to do good for the public or is it to just look good in the media and have a few soundbites? Please clarify.

  10. “The present limit is fine – just enforce it. Once it’s being properly enforced if you then find a problem fix THAT problem. DV is right it’s pointless busywork for politicians ego’s and soundbites for a compliant media lobby. The Daily Wail -won’t somebody puhleeese think of the children argument.”

    Could’nt have said it better myself!

  11. Much too aggitated, even Alex commented on it. You sounded more like a political opponent rather than a right wing blogger, sorry correction ‘political commentating’. Indeed you did not comment, you pushed a mere point to exhaustion, interupting the minister and he had to bring notice to your aggressiveness at least twice.

    So Alex isn’t aggressive, neither is he a ‘right fighter’, he did explain his position, but you wanted to rally your point home, to no consequence, the caller straight after both of you pointed out the position in Norway. I agree with random powers to stop drunk drivers, the less there is of them the better. At least Alex is to put his plan out for public consultation, and why shouldn’t he be given more time than you, he is the one with the mandate….:)

  12. Why did the Minister not answer my question? You know and I know why – he did not know. Maybe I should apply to be his SPAD, I hear the money is £££ great and the work is clearly not demanding. BTW the Minister was given four times the time I was granted and yet I was told to stop interrupting. Typical BBC balance. I could have mimed the points and granted Alex 100% of the time and he still would not have known the key fact about drunk drivers 

  13. “Minister was given four times the time I was granted and yet I was told to stop interrupting. Typical BBC balance”

    Thats not what I heard, I heard him stay silent to allow you to speak and yet you kept trying to cut accross him the first time he spoke, he’d just begun to speak dv.. It’s right he should be given more air time to explain to ppl what he is doing, he’s in the job not you. And yes you asked something four times when clearly he did not have the information at hand, but I’m sure the dept has been through it. To ram a point home four times is overkill. Twice is more than enough, not only that the point you so ardently wanted to make to try and make him look stupid and you right, was over the head of most listeners probably. They’re simply interested in cutting accident rates.

    Scotland has minimum pricing it ought to be introduced here along with these measures, if you really value not paying any more tax the less burden of those who drink and drive and the carnage they leave behind should be your top priority. Not harsher sentences after the fact. Prevention is better than cure, particularly in an overcrowded system where there isn’t room for any more offenders anyway….

    This is practical politics you are criticising not point scoring, if you’re going to commentate at least do it civilly and with the population as first priority, far right wingers aren’t noted for their consideration for their fellow man though.

  14. The average BAC level in those killed in drunk driving accidents is irrelevant to setting the BAC limit.
    The relevant piece of data is when does impairment begin.

    The fact that changing the limit to 0.05 will not stop those who drive when extremely drunk is also irrelevant. We ban murder even though murderers don’t obey the law.

    Also the effects of drunk driving are not limited to death. Some accidents result in serious injury, some minor injury and some no personal injury at all, but cause car damage or disrupt traffic. If the effects of alcohol at levels above 0.05 contribute to those accidents then that is where the limit should be.

  15. Fews

    Are you Alex’s adviser? The overwhelming number of drink-related deaths on the roads is twice the BAC. So it is the enforcement of current law that is the issue. Lowering the limit simply avoids that reality.

    Perhaps you could let us know how many deaths have resulted as a result of people driving between 0.51mg and 0.79mg/100mls? If you don’t have this, ask Alex.

  16. Perhaps you could let us know how many deaths have resulted as a result of people driving between 0.51mg and 0.79mg/100mls?

    I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. The effects of drunk driving go beyond deaths as I mentioned in my previous comment. I agree that better enforcement is also required, however in the three posts that you have authored on this subject you don’t make a single suggestion as to how this would be achieved.

  17. FewsOrange

    You and the Minister have something in common. Neither of you know.
    Of course that is all the more reason to legislate?
    Ignorance, the default leftist position.
    We need more active policing of current limits. We need stronger sentences for those who take life through their wilful flouting of the law. Mind you, I suppose expecting THAT from a terrorist inclusive Assembly is a bit of an ask….

  18. You and the Minister have something in common. Neither of you know.
    Of course that is all the more reason to legislate?

    It is irrelevant. You are not nearly as stupid as you are pretending to be. The effects of drunk driving go beyond fatal accidents. Alcohol impairment begins below 0.08%.

    We need more active policing of current limits.

    Good point. Of course you oppose random breath tests so your claims to support more active policing ring a little hollow.

  19. David – A few thoughts.

    First he’s the Minister and not to rub salt in the wounds but you are a a person who was defeated in two elections, while running on behalf of a party that attracts a fringe vote. It is astounding that you are actually given time on the BBC, not that your time is less than his.

    You repeat your terrorist-inclusive Assembly line which has not relevance on the issue at hand, though I’ll note that if 168 people die because the level is not lowered that is far more than the IRA or its like will cause to die this year.

    It simply isn’t a sensible argument to point to the worst violators when the yare not the target of the proposed legislation.

  20. Dogisgreat – Let us pretend we have 100% effective enforcement of the law as it stands. I am all for that. Now, we can save additional lives and prevent further injury by lowering the limit – why the objection?

    You may speculate on the Minister’s motives, frankly he seems to be doing his job and making proposals based on studies and other jurisdictions. You may not realize this since you ask if I personally am making soundbites that, well, I am not in office or runnign for one.

  21. Mahons – when did you start your ‘sensible argument’ cos I didn’t notice.

    Your proposing legislation to correct an issue that is already fully covered. So how about making double homicide a crime? Since obviously it’s a major issue not covered by the current single murder limit.

    Please then elaborate what is your proposed target? People who are not causing any issue whatsoever? Why? It’s up to you to PROVE there is a problem before you legislate. So please provide FACTUAL EVIDENCE of any problems caused by drivers with a BA level between your proposed limit and the existing limit.

    Once you have some FACTS then we can assess whether or not ther is any problems to address. Helpful hint…emotive bleating is not FACTUAL EVIDENCE. Unless of course your able to link this to Climate Change in some manner.

    Fews – yes I oppose random breath tests. I oppose anything that isn’t intelligence led ie the dumbschitt approach. If said driver is ‘all over the road’ or you have reasonable suspicion ossifer then fine. BUT to hand such absolute power to any officer has always but always been thouroughly abused by said officers. Random Stop and search of young black males in Brixton. How did that work out then? Remember the Brixton riots? I do. So then you must also be in favour of random stop n search of young black males in Brixton? No? Why not? It’s the same principal.

  22. Allow me to bang a few heads together – step forward everyone.

    Most people in here profess to supporting democracy. For that one reason alone the proposal to reduce alcohol limits ought to be opposed. “THE NEXT EU POWER GRAB” below includes the following extract:

    The European Union plans to enforce a mandatory 20mph speed limit in residential zones and replace the Highway Code with European Law. It doesn’t stop there. Other ideas include standardised road signs across the EU, harmonised road worthiness standards for cars, a common drink-driving limit and a standard ‘highway code’ for all member states.

    As was pointed out yesterday in here, this is a limit imposed by the EU – a foreign, unnaccountable and undemocratic power. By all means argue for lower limits but, for democrats, those limits ought to be set by ourselves in our own house by people we can hold answerable.

  23. Dogisgreat – My experience here is that you would not recognize a sensible argument, so pointing to one may not illuminate things for you. Attwood’s proposal is based upon a study (incidently uncontroverted from what I see) that indicates that the lower level would save 168 lives in its first year. I refer you to that study.

  24. Pete – If the EU issued a statement of support for the law of gravity, you would contest it.

    Whether or not the EU (and other nations mind you) supports such a limit should not be the ultimate factor. But among the considerations is what works elsewhere.

  25. Dogisgreat – what have you been controverting it with – the emotions (without facts)you claim others are basing their support on.

  26. Pete, from the article you quoted.

    “And although today’s proposal is only an ‘own initiative’ report and unlikely to see the light of legislative day…”

  27. I don’t think it is an unreasonable question to ask on for the evidence base on which this proposed lowering of the limit is based. Being charitable we can assume that it is based on some evidence, not just off the top of his head, so he should be able to say what problem this is solving and why it is necessary.

    The argument about better enforcement seems to be problematic. What steps would you wish to be seen? More random searches, more use of the police around pubs? What are the police not doing that you would wish them to do? I was under the impression, maybe falsely, that you felt that the police were persecuting drivers. You seem to be in favour of more persecution.

    On the difference in time allocated, I have to agree that this is bit of a Johnsonian dancing dog/women preacher. I don’t wish to be unkind, but I am not sure with what authority you speak? Is this an area in which you have some knowledge or experience? Do you write about this or have you done research? Or is this simple punditry because you run two blogs?

    For some one who castigates the BBC frequently you do certainly seem to be something of a regular.

  28. No Mahons your the one proposing the change it’s up to you to prove your case. I’m proposing no change whatsoever just enforcement of existing legislation.

    I repeat – So where is your proof?

    Helpful hint – statistical guesswork does not constitute proof.

  29. Dogisgreat – I thought you had nothing. The statistics are based on an expert research and review following a scientific methodology, commissioned by the UK and promulgated by a respected legal expert. The numbers are reasonable estimates, not wild speculative guesses.

    As to the effect of even that loerw level of alcohol on a driver’s ability to function, the evidence is overwhelming. Surely even you aren’t disputing that?

  30. I repeat I don’t have to prove anything I’m not proposing any change whatsoever.

    I have exactly the same amount of evidence that the moon is made of green cheese, care to legislate about that as well?

    I repeat DV’s simple question. How many (exact numbers by year) of KSI occurred with a BA level between your proposed limit and the existing limit. And you don’t have that do you.

    Any other non problems you’d like to fix?

  31. So then your saying ‘The Science is settled’ ‘A consensus of scientists’.
    Have you any idea how devalued those phrases have become lately?

    I’d bet good money if you drilled down into your ‘evidence’ you’d find plenty of ‘regression to the mean’. Such as drunk pedestrian falls off pedestrian overpass onto the roof of a slowly passing car which happened to be being driven by man with 0.1% BA over your new limit but way under the existing limit. You politicians (and fellow travellers) can’t help yourselves for being deceitful it’s in your DNA.

    Give me ALL your data and given enough time any lay person would destroy it utterly.

  32. Dogisgreat – Again, the study you haven’t bother to read which is cited in David’s series of posts on this issue was from a very respectable organization and not speculative.

    You are welcome to dispute the data (it isn’t mine) to your heart’s content.

  33. Mahons –

    Pete – If the EU issued a statement of support for the law of gravity, you would contest it. Whether or not the EU (and other nations mind you) supports such a limit should not be the ultimate factor.

    I certainly contest that such a statement, though of the bleedin’ obvious, had no force of law in the UK.

    Whether or not the proposal emanates from the EU (of course it does) ought to be the first factor for democrats. For them, the source of the proposal ought to render the proposal illegitimate, for they are democrats, aren’t they?

    Look, this is how the EU works, by stealth, by taking over institutions and through compliant minions. The Commission wouldn’t ever announce that the UK must adopt this and other proposals, that we must comply with the EU or face the consequences. The way of the EU is to allow such things to seem as if they come from home, that one of our own has this trememdously bright idea and oh, would it bring us into line with most other European nations? Fancy that.

    Whichever way you cut it (whether or in compliance with some EU cutting direktive) the proposal is illegitimate.

  34. I’ll give you an example. The Essex Greed sCamera pratnership tried to put a Gatso on the A12 a couple of years ago. Part of the case quoted 3 KSI in the previous year. Which is the legal requirement.
    Local paper did some research. One of the three was a man committing suicide jumping off a bridge. We didnt get the Gatso.
    Now if you’d like I’ll spend 12 hours a day seven days a week for the next 11 months and personally interview every one of the people on your list of data cases …or maybe I’ll just treat this kind of biased rubbish with the contempt it really deserves.
    Maybe I’ll just use the example of twenty years of the existing alcohol limits as proof that the current limit is right.

  35. Will the ‘Because you don’t ask me’ ATW feature now be renamed ‘Because you’re always asking me’ saying as your never off the ruddy Beep these days?

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