Drink Driving

It is an offence in both Australia and the UK to drive after drinking a certain amount of Alcohol.

This limit is measured by the amount of alcohol found in the blood.

The UK Law appears more relaxed in its limits than Australia, as can be seen by these regulations:

  • The UK limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
  • The Australian limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

The Australian police carry out many more Breath tests than their British Counterparts.

For example in 2008, there were 1.13 million breath tests conducted just in Melbourne, with its 3.7 million residents.

In the UK they carried out about 600,000 with their 60 million population.

If those were average figures it works out at:

  • UK: 1 breath test per 100 population.
  • Aus: 1 breath test for every 3 people.

And yet people still drive after drinking.

From information that I have heard, it appears that accidents from drink driving are more prevalent in Australia.

One source states that in the UK, about 10 people will die each week as a result of drink-driving.

However, checking various headlines I see information sources such as:

  • 17% of all traffic accidents are caused by Drunk Drivers.
  • 65% of all traffic deaths are caused by Drunk Drivers.
  • 29% of all drivers and motorcyclists killed on Victoria’s roads were over the Australian 0.05 legal limit.

I need to find confirmed equivalent data sources to be able to compare the two countries accurately.

Australian Drink Driving Laws and Penalties

Each year about a quarter of drivers killed in road crashes has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 or more.

  • .05 to less than .07 :  Full licence holder: 3 penalty units, Cancellation of licence and disqualification for at least 6 months; or 10 demerit points
  • 07 to less than .15  : All drivers: 3 to 4.2 penalty units, Cancellation of licence and disqualification from six to 14 months
  • .15 or above,  or for a second or subsequent offence :  All drivers: Up to 25 penalty units, On-the-spot licence suspension, then attend Magistrates’ Court

Each year, alcohol contributes to about 30 per cent of road deaths in Queensland.

South Australia
Although it is commonly believed that a person can keep their licence if they need it for work, this is not the case.
If convicted of a drink driving offence, a driver will lose their licence.

  • recording a BAC of 0.08-0.149 will result in immediate loss of licence for 6 months
  • recording a BAC of 0.15 or more will result in immediate loss of licence for 12 months
  • second and subsequent recordings of 0.05-0.079 will result in loss of licence

Western Australia
Just over one in three road deaths in WA involved at least one driver who was over the legal 0.05 limit. Every year in WA more than 15,000 people are booked for drink driving.

  • over 0.05g/100mL : Fine of $250 to $500 for a first offence.
  • over 0.08g/100mL : Fine up to $1,500 and disqualified for 3 months or more.
  • over 0.15g/100mL : Fine up to $2,500 and disqualified for 6 months or more.
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I can’t stand to be detrimental – definitely not least when as dental hygienist, but the type of story view isn’t what was like, the first para was a little bit misleading imho – just what exactly do others reckon? And then again I can be fully inappropriate. It is just my own intitial ideas with regards to your own post.

Just wanted to share some factors that will increase drunk driving accidents which are:

Age. Cited as one of the most important variables related to crash risk, age affects the judgments of most drivers. Young drivers are inexperienced not only in driving but in drinking and combining the two activities often prove to be disastrous. Young people’s lack of driving experience, coupled with inability to handle their drink, renders them less likely than more experienced drivers to cope successfully with hazardous situations.

Gender. Research shows that women metabolize alcohol differently from men, causing women to reach higher BAC’s at the same doses. However, laboratory studies of alcohol impairment of driving skills among women are rare and the results are inconclusive.

Combining medications with alcohol. Combining certain medications with alcohol increases crash risk. Sedatives and tranquilizers alone can impair driving skills and can have a deleterious effect when combined with alcohol.

Alcohol tolerance. A driver who drives on familiar route under the influence of some alcohol may develop alcohol tolerance and can navigate this area without any mishaps. But given a an unexpected situation, such as a bicycle darting in front of the car in a blind corner, this same driver would be at the same risk for a crash as a driver with the same BAC who is not familiar with the route.

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