Zero alcohol limits imperfectly understood

johnboy 19 July 2011 32

One third of the 24 drink-drivers apprehended by ACT Policing over the weekend (July 15-17) were those required to comply with a zero blood alcohol level.

Among the eight apprehended with this restriction was a 30-year-old man from Fisher, who was stopped by police on Streeton Drive, Stirling around 9.30pm on Saturday night (July 16). He was found to be driving whilst disqualified and when breath-tested by police, produced a reading of 0.206.

A total of 30 drivers were apprehended for drink-driving in the ACT for the week ending July 18, with 0.206 as the highest reading recorded.

Nine of the 30 had previous convictions for drink-driving.

One of the drivers with multiple previous drink-driving convictions was a 47-year-old man from Bruce, who was apprehended after his vehicle struck a light pole in Belconnen on Wednesday evening (July 13). The driver, who has seven previous convictions for drink-driving, refused to provide a breath sample to police and was issued with an immediate licence suspension notice, effective for 90 days. He was taken into custody and later bailed to face the ACT Magistrates Court on August 5.

The Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Sergeant Jeff Knight, said it was of concern to police that so many drivers continued to drink and drive.

“It is completely unacceptable that these drivers should endanger the lives of others by flouting the law,” Sergeant Knight said. “Drink-driving is a killer on our roads and affects the entire community. For so many people to drink-drive, and a third of them found to be repeat offenders, should infuriate all other responsible road users.”

[Courtesy ACT Policing]


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32 Responses to Zero alcohol limits imperfectly understood
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ivyisabella ivyisabella 9:48 pm 11 Nov 11

Cut his their hands off!!!

You cant drive without hands!!!

Oh, and you cant pick up aschooner either……….LOW LIFE!!!

IrishPete IrishPete 8:54 pm 22 Jul 11

Jethro said :

KeenGolfer said :

IrishPete said :

If he was disqualified, how does he have a zero limit? He shouldn’t be driving, full stop. Was the police media release poorly worded, or is the law actually this silly as to impose a disqualification on someone and also say “and if you drive (illegally) you’d better not have any alcohol in your blood”.

Sigh. Of course he shouldn’t be driving. However all drivers have an alcohol limit, disqualified or not as per the road transport alcohol & drugs act. It makes perfect sense and is not silly at all. People without a licence are included in the special driver category which has a zero limit. If disqualified drivers weren’t classed as as special driver they’d still be subject to 0.05 which to me isn’t right.

Or, according to the original logic, wouldn’t have a limit placed on them at all.

Yep, you’ve confirmed for me that this is plain daft. Of course there is no “limit” for them, because they are not permitted to drive. It is a mixed message to say “don’t drive, oh and if you do, don’t drink”.

And it clearly isn’t working either.

Would make more sense for being over the limit to be an aggravating factor for driving while disqualified.

Jethro Jethro 7:52 pm 22 Jul 11

KeenGolfer said :

IrishPete said :

If he was disqualified, how does he have a zero limit? He shouldn’t be driving, full stop. Was the police media release poorly worded, or is the law actually this silly as to impose a disqualification on someone and also say “and if you drive (illegally) you’d better not have any alcohol in your blood”.

Sigh. Of course he shouldn’t be driving. However all drivers have an alcohol limit, disqualified or not as per the road transport alcohol & drugs act. It makes perfect sense and is not silly at all. People without a licence are included in the special driver category which has a zero limit. If disqualified drivers weren’t classed as as special driver they’d still be subject to 0.05 which to me isn’t right.

Or, according to the original logic, wouldn’t have a limit placed on them at all.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 7:26 pm 22 Jul 11

IrishPete said :

If he was disqualified, how does he have a zero limit? He shouldn’t be driving, full stop. Was the police media release poorly worded, or is the law actually this silly as to impose a disqualification on someone and also say “and if you drive (illegally) you’d better not have any alcohol in your blood”.

Sigh. Of course he shouldn’t be driving. However all drivers have an alcohol limit, disqualified or not as per the road transport alcohol & drugs act. It makes perfect sense and is not silly at all. People without a licence are included in the special driver category which has a zero limit. If disqualified drivers weren’t classed as as special driver they’d still be subject to 0.05 which to me isn’t right.

IrishPete IrishPete 3:28 pm 22 Jul 11

James_Ryan said :

Most drink drivers aren’t caught reoffending. Most repeat drink-drivers have problems with alcohol. Expecting someone who is alcohol dependent to “see sense” or “learn their lesson this time” is silly and obviously isn’t working. What would improve things is a best-practice program of Alcohol Interlocks, where a log of tests is maintained by the equipment and reviewed by the driver in conjunction with a counsellor. Failed tests result in vehicle ignition being inoperable and also provide information for the driver and counsellor to work with towards behaviour change. The cost can be covered by a user-pays system. The technology exists, as does the evidence for what consitutues an effective program (i.e. what stops people drink driving). Of course, it’s far easier for everyone concerned if the police just come out every few months wringing their hands together bleating “when will people learn?”

ignition interlocks face the same problem as impounding cars, if the driver isn’t the owner. I’m not objecting to either, just pointing out the fly in the ointment.

IrishPete IrishPete 3:27 pm 22 Jul 11

26 posts and no-one has noticed the problem with this paragraph:

“Among the eight apprehended with this restriction [to comply with a zero blood alcohol level] was a 30-year-old man from Fisher, who was stopped by police on Streeton Drive, Stirling around 9.30pm on Saturday night (July 16). He was found to be driving whilst disqualified and when breath-tested by police, produced a reading of 0.206.”

If he was disqualified, how does he have a zero limit? He shouldn’t be driving, full stop. Was the police media release poorly worded, or is the law actually this silly as to impose a disqualification on someone and also say “and if you drive (illegally) you’d better not have any alcohol in your blood”.

IP

James_Ryan James_Ryan 1:40 pm 21 Jul 11

Most drink drivers aren’t caught reoffending. Most repeat drink-drivers have problems with alcohol. Expecting someone who is alcohol dependent to “see sense” or “learn their lesson this time” is silly and obviously isn’t working. What would improve things is a best-practice program of Alcohol Interlocks, where a log of tests is maintained by the equipment and reviewed by the driver in conjunction with a counsellor. Failed tests result in vehicle ignition being inoperable and also provide information for the driver and counsellor to work with towards behaviour change. The cost can be covered by a user-pays system. The technology exists, as does the evidence for what consitutues an effective program (i.e. what stops people drink driving). Of course, it’s far easier for everyone concerned if the police just come out every few months wringing their hands together bleating “when will people learn?”

milkman milkman 8:59 pm 20 Jul 11

DUI is not an offence the courts take seriously,

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 6:27 pm 20 Jul 11

Sleaz274 said :

It was a serious offence and then like most legislation there was the inevitable creep so that now ANY alcohol is suddenly an offence. 1/3 according to the media release fell foul of bringing the laws down to zero for particular licences. That means 1/3 previously to the new law would not have been arrested for DUI, ie even 12 months ago.

Bringing it down to zero tolerance made DUI a minor offence probably committed unknowingly by people blowing 0.02, 0.01 after a night out, drinking hours previously and considering themselves fine to

Your logic is flawed. Just because 1/3rd were on a zero limit doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have been caught before. That would only apply if they were under 0.02. I can assure you very, very few special drivers with a zero limit blow under 0.02.

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 5:35 pm 20 Jul 11

We’re not talking about the person who made a bad mistake or even two bad mistakes, we are talking about people that drink and drive unlicenced so regularly or so badly that they managed to get picked up multiple times.

dvaey, these people won’t be in a hire car because they don’t have a licence.

I’d be pretty confident that anybody lending one of these idiots a car would be well aware of their licence situation and doubly aware of the risk of having their car crushed. If the unlicenced drunken idiot crashes the car (not a unlikely event), the car is totalled and there’s no insurance anyway.

Crushing or long term impounding the car isn’t a stocks and pitchforks approach, it’s just common sense.

Tooks Tooks 3:42 pm 20 Jul 11

Solidarity said :

He’s been caught 7 times, I don’t think taking his license away will stop him….

I’d imagine he already have a disqualified licence.

Solidarity Solidarity 12:58 pm 20 Jul 11

He’s been caught 7 times, I don’t think taking his license away will stop him….

mattapalooza mattapalooza 12:45 pm 20 Jul 11

I’ll make comment on this and point out my own errors.
I was convicted of drink driving and received an 18 month suspended licence for a first offence.
I thought that was entirely reasonable and happy to ‘learn my lesson’.
Fortunately no one was hurt or affected by my stupidity.
What I do get angry at is people who I know who have been caught on multiple occasions with a higher reading than mine, and received 12 months suspended licence.
I certainly wasn’t ‘hard done by’, the system really needs to look at harsher penalties. How does a guy get a licence back 7 times?
If I happen to ever commit a DUI again, I’d think it completely reasonable to be taken off the road for good!

Toughen the laws or people won’t learn. Mind you, the people commiting repeat offences obviously have a disregard for wanting to learn anyway.

Sleaz274 Sleaz274 10:27 am 20 Jul 11

“I thought drink driving was a serious offence?”

It was a serious offence and then like most legislation there was the inevitable creep so that now ANY alcohol is suddenly an offence. 1/3 according to the media release fell foul of bringing the laws down to zero for particular licences. That means 1/3 previously to the new law would not have been arrested for DUI, ie even 12 months ago.

Bringing it down to zero tolerance made DUI a minor offence probably committed unknowingly by people blowing 0.02, 0.01 after a night out, drinking hours previously and considering themselves fine to drive etc…

If it was a serious offence the limit would be 0.08 and prosecuted/penalised accordingly. Instead it is widely acknowledged by the judicary that having any alcohol at all below that of the 0.05 limit set for a full licence holder is a minor and victimless crime, hence a slap on the wrist and a small fine.

It was brought up numerous times that reducing the limit to zero would have zero effect and simply cause people to get DUIs who are not at all impaired to operate a motor vehicle and create hundreds more minor offences & “criminals” with no result on saving us all from ourselves on the roads.

The repeat high range offenders are the real issue and danger yet as demonstrated the police, judicary, legislators, community has no idea how to remove them from the roads.

To completely troll, when they reduce the speed limits to 20km/h, all licences alcohol limit to zero, roadside drug screening for chemicals left in the body for weeks then you will all be criminals and will all have your car removed from you and crushed. That is the obvious extrapolation of the communities’ tough on crime, nanny state, think of the children attitude.

Hopefully more reasoned approaches will prevail.

Jivrashia Jivrashia 10:01 am 20 Jul 11

screaming banshee said :

Take their liver off them……

Take their brain off of them… they’re not using it anyway if their behaviour on the public roads is anything to go by.

dvaey dvaey 9:42 am 20 Jul 11

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

Like I keep saying. Take their cars off them………..

What happens when they borrow a friend or family members car and get caught? If you want to stop them driving, then take away their licence, that is their individual personal permission to drive on the roads. Taking their licence off them would be a heck of a lot easier than seizing a physical asset which may or may not be their asset anyway. What would you think if the person was in a hire car? Should the police be able to seize and crush a hire car, just because the person who hired it for that 24hrs decided to break the law, with no renumeration for the business who owns the vehicle?

Also, as Ive suggested before, if you want to penalise someone for this sort of offence, its one thing to take their licence away or take their bomb of a car, but what about some actual penalty such as community service instead of jailtime (which they never get anyway). First offence = 20 hours CS, second = 50 hours, third = 200 hours, etc. People value their time generally more than they value assets or money.

Rawhide Kid Part3 Rawhide Kid Part3 9:31 am 20 Jul 11

KeenGolfer said :

Mysteryman said :

So the police are allowed to immediately confiscate and impound a car (3 months for the first offence, permanently for the second) for street racing.

It’s a maximum of 28 days for the first offence. It’s in the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999.

I personally tend to agree with you re seizing vehicles for PCA for repeat offenders and/or those over a certain reading. The issue there might be there would be so many cars sezied the AFP would spend so much time and resources that it might not be practicable to do so.

Only if you cant sell the car at auction.

The Frots The Frots 9:14 am 20 Jul 11

Special G said :

Time to start lobbying government to change the legislation to allow Police to confiscate cars for repeat DUI offences. Write letters to your local member.

Special G said :

Time to start lobbying government to change the legislation to allow Police to confiscate cars for repeat DUI offences. Write letters to your local member.

I would – but I think he’s been caught drink driving previously as well!

Special G Special G 8:10 am 20 Jul 11

Time to start lobbying government to change the legislation to allow Police to confiscate cars for repeat DUI offences. Write letters to your local member.

vg vg 6:35 am 20 Jul 11

“I thought drink driving was a serious offence?”

It is but like most offences in this town you have to get a memer of the judiciary to take it seriously…..even while they’re not committing the offence themselves

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