Timmy Elsewhere

At The Times.

Of much greater importance, though, is what such lower limits will do to our opinion of the law in general. A pint at lunchtime could put you over that 20mg limit in the evening commute. A law that punished a man for driving after a pint of shandy would be regarded widely as silly. Such a law would be to the detriment of our reputation as a law-abiding people, a reputation built on the general agreement that we aren’t scofflaws because we tend not to have laws at which we scoff. We most certainly do not want to make the drink-driving laws an object of derision — not after the past few painful decades of convincing everyone that the ones we have are sensible and reasonable.

When there was as an attempt to reduce the permitted level of alcohol consumed in Portugal, the bus drivers took action. They drove in convoy through Lisbon and surrounding towns, bringing the traffic to a halt. The reduction in the limit was scrapped once they had pointed out that it would have abolished every Portuguese man’s God-given right to a copa of vinho with his lunch.

Yes, there really are things that Johnny Foreigner can teach us. Not how to reduce deaths on the road perhaps, but the correct way to react to politicians passing stupid laws.

7 comments on “Timmy Elsewhere

  1. The trouble is that if you tell the average Portuguese that he can have a small glass of the local plonk with his lunch, he’ll do just that. If you tell the average Brit the same thing, he’ll have nine pints of lager.

  2. It’s to encourage people to join the Labour Party. If you have too much to drink and have an accident, you can just drive off, shouting: “You know who I am!”.

    As an added bonus, the police forget to charge you with leaving the scene without giving your details.

    Now, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here, I am absolutely not insinuating that anyone in the Labour Party does drink and drive.

    Just that the circumstances of a recent precedent would be a great help to someone who did…

  3. “The trouble is that if you tell the average Portuguese that he can have a small glass of the local plonk with his lunch, he’ll do just that. If you tell the average Brit the same thing, he’ll have nine pints of lager.”

    Nice bit of casual racist hate mongering there Ian… 😛

    Back to the topic, frankly I think that if you have the money to drink you have the money for a cab…

    You don’t only have responsibility for yourself, but also others — and your freedom ends where your fist (or car) touches my nose (or other body part).

    As someone who relies on precise timing and physical control of my body and who works with rather dangerous machinery(and loves drinking), I can tell you that
    even a small tipple is not worth months in hospital or death — and even if I don’t kill or maim myself, a small amount of alcohol severely diminishes the quality of my output visibly, so does a hangover the next day, to the point that I won’t bother working that day until the evening, because it costs more than it earns in the the end.

  4. “Nice bit of casual racist hate mongering there Ian”

    Not at all; just pointing out the comparative scarcity of the terms “Portuguese lager louts” and “Portuguese soccer hooligans” in news reports. I assume that Portugal has its share of louts, but I also assume that the attitude to drinking there is more like France than Toxteth.

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