Drink driving

After years of falling deaths as a result of drink driving, the figure stalled at around 240 between 2010 and 2014, leading to fears that educating motorists was no longer enough to stop them from driving while drunk.

In 2015, the most recent figures available, there was a drop to 200, but a spokesman for charity the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said the overall numbers were too low for this to be seen as a definitive reduction.

Hmm. However:

Breath tests for alcohol have fallen by a quarter over five years, figures show, as campaigners warn that drunk drivers are getting away with it.

The fall in breath tests also hasn’t caused a rise, has it? Meaning that we were possibly overdoing the number before?

21 comments on “Drink driving

  1. Persistent crime level that even large disincentives won’t shift. People who can’t measure risk properly.

    Same reason we still have occasional spouse murders despite almost certainty of going to prison.

  2. Back in the 70s, in my industry/location at least, banned for driving while drunk was almost a badge of honour. Such has been the change in public disapprobation, however, it’s almost a thing of the past – the police can afford to take their foot off the pedal. Public shaming aside, losing your licence in a rural area or when it is integral to your employment is the kiss of death. That’s not to forget the possibility of injuring or killing someone.

  3. BiW: A persistent level of risk-flaunting where at this point, the risk largely comes from being pulled over while barely intoxicated, and still getting one’s life ruined with this drunk-driving bullshit.

  4. Just a statistical sidepoint. Is there an assumption being made here by the statisticians on that 200 figure. Those drivers involved in a fatal rta found to be over the limit are assumed to be the cause and so is the blood alcohol. The normal background chance having a fatal accident should be removed. In other words if a stone cold sober people have accidents then at least some of the accidents the drunks have would have happened anyway, a point that never comes across in such stories.

  5. Hallowed Be: Wait, are you telling me that if there are people driving around at 5am on a Saturday morning after waking up for work at 5am the previous day for work, they might have accidents even if sober? Even young males with no decent outlet for their testosterone in our disgustingly neutered society?

    You’re not in favour of drink driving, are you? Why do you support drunks running over babies?

  6. I remember the breathalyser coming in, and concern at automatic penalties with virtually no discretion. That was bad law (and still is). The level however was set such that if you exceeded it you were likely to be a danger to others. Reducing it arbitrarily to catch more drivers than on any scientific grounds is just vindictive and for puritans to gloat. Most people are caught the morning after, with residual alcohol in the blood. Whether they still pose a danger, when the initial effects – over confidence etc. – have worn off is a moot point.

  7. PR- I’ll think you’ll find drunks are better drivers than babies. That’s all i’ll type on the matter as i’m in the middle lane.

  8. Reducing it arbitrarily to catch more drivers than on any scientific grounds is just vindictive and for puritans to gloat.

    Try living here in Scotland, here a whiff of the barmaid’s apron will get you done for “drink” driving…

    The current limit in Scotland is:

    – 22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath (the ‘breath limit’)
    – 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood (the ‘blood limit’)
    – 67 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of urine (the ‘urine limit’)

    My decision to give up the car a few years back (for health and financial reasons) look more like a good decision every year.

  9. The ZMan had a podcast up recently where he mentioned a guy who’d been caught DWI about a hundred times. Short of jailing the guy for a long time – and that’s not going to happen – there’s not much you can do with people like this.

  10. “said the overall numbers were too low for this to be seen as a definitive reduction.”

    You can guarantee that they wouldn’t have been saying that if there was an increase of even 1 from last year.

  11. Would I be accused of racism if I wondered if the current crop of drink drivers have names like Bill and Steve, or maybe now include a few Stanislavs and Piotrs? Who might be more immune to the blandishments of anti-drink driving campaigns?

  12. Jim,
    You’ll be suggesting next that the “rise in antisemitism” is not mainly among blokes called Dave or Pete.

  13. The French limit is about 60% of the UK limit, which doesn’t stop them driving like fucking lunatics on the motorway.

  14. @Tim are you saying that the falling number of breath tests hasn’t caused a rise in the number of deaths, therefore there were too many breath tests before?

    Surely not!

  15. @Rob,

    iirc France and many others have graduated fines & bans depending on how much driver is over limit.

    UK ban regardless if 10% or 500% over limit is wrong.

    Scotland’s SNP seem determined to return Scotland to C17 puritanism which was reversed in late C20.

  16. Did Scottish Puritanism/Calvinism ever go away? Is a national character influenced by movements like Calvinism or does a national character create them?

    Is Japan ordered and efficient because of Japanese or in spite of them? Why do the French have fairly frequent revolutions/bloodbaths and the British don’t?

    No idea.

  17. Bloke in Wiltshire said:
    “People who can’t measure risk … we still have occasional spouse murders despite almost certainty of going to prison”

    With some wives it’s rationally worth doing even if you’re certain to go to prison. Average time behind bars for murder is only 17 years.

  18. Gamecock
    “Do y’all really say ‘drink driving?’
    Sounds like drunk writing to my American ears.”

    Driving while drunk is one thing, drinking and then driving is not exactly the same thing.

  19. @djc

    Drink-drivng, Eat-driving, Shave(electric)-driving, MakeUp-driving – even whilst stationary – is illegal in UK, unless you’re a cop.

    UK & EU Gov’t would like all driving to be illegal, except for Gov’t “important people” – rather like USSR.

    The voters must walk, cycle or use public transport.

    The Global Warming scam has provided them with an excuse to accelerate their socialist plans.

    Be grateful you have POTUS Trump.

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