Monday, October 06, 2008

Responsibility is a given

I do not approve of drink driving, I don't do it and I would encourage anyone who knows somebody who does to inform the police and get that person off the road before they kill someone else - but I really don't believe it is necessary to enforce a zero limit or even reduce the current alcohol limit in Britain.

The Telegraph reports that Britain is soon to be the only country in the EU where motorists can have one alcoholic drink and still be permitted to drive. I think that is something to be celebrated as a triumph of common sense as most motorists are responsible and do not go above that limit. Those that do will do so whether that limit is 80 mg or zero.

The Telegraph report mentions that Sweden and Holland have lower limits and lower death rates than Britain - fair enough - but fails to point out that many other EU nations have lower limits and higher death rates than Britain and those death rates could be due to a number of factors not just the drink-drive limit.

The important thing to address when it comes to drink-driving is the cultural attitude of society towards it -something which I believe we have done successfully over the last 20 years but are in danger of losing once more with the binging, 24/7 drinking generation.

The Telegraph report also cites a study which claims that a zero limit would save 65 lives a year. I realise that any death is a tragedy for the family involved, but 65 deaths a year is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. In all probability you could save more lives by banning horse riding or scuba diving - does anyone propose we do that?

Allow people some responsibility -not just in reasonable drink-drive limits but in other respects too - and generally they will respond by being responsible.

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