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ALAC misguidance could inflame road toll

ALAC misguidance could inflame road toll

Candor Trust

Candor Trust disputes ALACs contention that a reduction in the Blood Alcohol Limit would bring about a reduction in the binge drinking culture, and say that using road safety resources to do so is an abuse of Police powers.

Mr Vaughan said ALAC would like to see any change to legislation that might deal with factors contributing to New Zealand‘s binge drinking culture, but she is mistaken to assume the current alcohol limit is one of them.

New Zealands prominent transport safety experts Dr Sam Charlton at Waikato University nd the expert Transport Law lecturer Geoff Hall of Otago have both spoken out against a reduced blood alcohol limit for New Zealand.

Candor agree that it would divert Police resources away from detecting and processing medium and high alcohol drivers and (in future) drug drivers from whom 99% of the road safety threat emanates.

It is nothing but a get rich quick scheme for a Government frightened by the fact it now requires far more chequebook point hours than in the past to nab sufficient drink drivers to keep Treasuries Economists purring contentedly.

What the Public fail to realise is that Checkpoints only remove immediate risks and impose several hundred dollars of additional taxes on them. Thereafter the ball is dropped through insufficient penalties and rehabilitation.

If the bar is dropped Police will waste time removing non threatening drivers from the road. South Australia is currently looking at raising its alcohol limit back up to 0.08, as a NON-criminal 0.05 "limit" to raise taxes is about as effective for improving safety as speeding tickets.

And it is obviously less benign given the added tax collecting duty removes ability of Cops to go after the real threats statistically - drivers over 0.08 and the rampant drug drivers who pose the same risk of causing serious crashes.

Contrary to popular myth a lower limit of 0.05 would not remove some who are indeed high risk through the behaviour of combining drugs with alcohol (0.05-0.08) as the greatest risks in NZ are people at 0.04 who have just had a joint.

Their impairment is the same as being at double the alcohol limit (Dr Philip Swann, Vicroads) and statistically these people below 0.05 who have used pot feature in the road toll at manifold the rate of sole drink drivers with blood alcohol betwixt 0.05-0.08BAC.

ALAC's thoughtless desire to use road safety laws to promote a culture of alcohol abstinence would certainly only increase alcohol related road trauma.

This is the sad but necessary conclusion that must be rationally drawn due to the well documented patterns of risky drug plus low alcohol consumption that exist among New Zealand drivers (ESR deceased driver study, Waikato Uni thesis of Carolina Vergara).

0.05 would be a fatal mistake for the many checkpoint savvy drivers today enjoying a joint and a single wine before driving to their deaths. Their numbers would only be swollen by misuse of road Police resources to discourage "binge drinking".

Sneaking in a lower limit would have sinister results, and the NZ Public has a right to know the full facts instead of being conned into accepting bad advice midst a carefully orchestrated alcohol panic.


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