Earlier this week the spectre of drink driving limits once again raised its grizzled head. The main gist is that the British limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood is too high and it should be reduced to the EU limit of 50mg per 100ml. It is claimed that this will prevent 65 deaths and 230 serious injuries per year.
I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it.
Clearly I am a sensible, responsible kind of chap and I do not condone drink driving. However, I am not convinced that a pint of medium strength beer significantly reduces my ability to drive safely. Ignoring for the moment the fact that some people may question my ability to drive safely without drinking any beer at all, what real difference is around a third of a pint really going to make?
How do they come up with these statistics? Do they really have such a plethora of data on road traffic accidents involving drivers with between 50 and 80mg of alcohol in their blood?
And if they do, are the accidents all really the result of the alcohol or is that just an irrelevant factor? We all know that there are lies, damned lies and statistics and I’m betting that if a driver with 60mg of alcohol in his blood gets hit by an asteroid, he’s in the statistics.
My experience tells me that there are many things more likely to adversely affect my driving competence than a pint of beer. A cold, for example. Or I’m tired, or maybe I’m distracted by something on my mind, or I’ve had an argument and I’m taking it out on the road. And what about people driving with bickering or wailing kids in the back, or a small yappy dog running around the parcel shelf – surely that’s more distracting than a few mgs of alcohol in your blood.
So I come back to my well worn point: this is simply the further demonization of alcohol. It will not save lives, but it will put even more pubs out of business.
What I want to know is how many accidents are caused by those Christian fish that stick on the back of your car and limit your maximum speed to 40 mph? We need statistics: this is the real menace that needs stamping out!