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Govt ignored advice to save lives with lower drink-drive limit

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, September 21st, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: alcohol, same old national - Tags: , , ,

The government was told that lowering the drink-drive limit would save 33 lives and $238 million a year. They ignored it. Why? I reckon the only money they were worried about was donations from the booze barons.

Reminds me of the water quality regulations. Government extended the timeline because of the ‘cost’. Ignored the benefits of better water.

Same with air quality regulations. Canned because of cost. Benefits that outweighed the cost ignored.

Not to mention that billions is being wasted on roads while kindergarten funding is being cut.

These idiots don’t bother with basic cost vs benefit analyses. It’s all about pay-offs for their mates. And donation kickbacks.

29 comments on “Govt ignored advice to save lives with lower drink-drive limit ”

  1. Bunji 1

    And National MPs won’t be allowed a conscience vote on whether they want to send 33 people to their deaths each year. John Key had said it would be for Darren Hughes’ Bill proposing the limit drop, but someone obviously had a word with him and he changed his mind. These Nats like to do the window dressing on alcohol, but refuse to do what will work.

    And it’s not entirely fair to suggest they don’t bother with cost benefit analysis – we know that the highway from Puhoi to Wellsford to help John Key & Stephen Joyce get to their holiday homes quicker has a cost benefit of 0.8 and transmission gully has 0.6. But they’re of National Party Significance, so a mere thing like economic sense doesn’t come into it…

  2. jcuknz 2

    Of course it couldn’t be a sane approach to not wishing futher restrictions on the majority of us who drink a little and would be turned into criminals … of course not. Sadly they don’t seem to be doing anything about the alcoholic addicts who are the real problem.

    • Bunji 2.1

      Above 0.05g alcohol/100ml blood your reactions are significantly slowed. To the point of 33 people/year dying, dozens injured and a cost to the economy of $238 million.

      I certainly can’t justify me having an extra drink before I drive if that’s the cost – can you? It sounds pretty criminal to me.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      so why is it so important to be able to drive around with even slightly impaired judgement.? when did it become an issue of democratic right to be able to inflict the after effects of drinking alcohol on others when it is known that one will have to drive a car afterwards?

      do you not understand the effects alcohol has on thought processes? that overconfidence that leads to unnecessary risk taking, coupled with inaccurate distance judgement, heightened aggression levels, and a corresponding drop off in skill levels?

      if you drive knowing what you risk, then my freind, you are guilty of, at the least, having no regard for the rights of people to go about their normal activities without the danger of being wiped out by an impaired driver pushing a ton of lethal weapon.(car)

    • Ari 2.3

      So you think it’s worth 33 people dying a year so that the odd mostly responsible drinker can drive while they’re tipsy enough to be at a significant risk of causing accidents?

      I’m all for social freedom, but you don’t have the freedom to impair yourself driving a dangerously fast vehicle like a car. I’d rather people didn’t drink at all if they’re driving- it’s the responsible thing to do. We’re not talking about people who are drinking at home here having police bust in and close up their party, so I’m not sure how it’s really appropriate to talk of drinkers being “criminalised”. This is an issue of safety, and I think using any other drug that impairs your attention or reactions while you drive is equally as serious.

      • grumpy 2.3.1

        It’s not 33 a year idiot, read the research, piss poor though it is.

        And 0.00% would save even more!!!!

        Why have all these pommie experts not been able to convince their own (UK) govt., who have stuck with 0.08%???

  3. the sprout 3

    another great triumph for the alcohol industry.
    what’s 33 lives per year compared to the alco-dollars to made.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      most of them would probably be poor anyway. no loss compared to the millions the wholesalers can make. not to mention stanley key. (damn, i wasn’t going to mention him) and who else within the govt i wonder?

  4. Paulp 4

    “Why? I reckon the only money they were worried about was donations from the booze barons.”

    Don’t see anything like this in the register of donations to political parties. You got some proof?

    Could bring the govt down if you did show a link between donations and the drink-drive limit, so assume you don”t.

    • ianmac 4.1

      I thought that it was still impossible to see who donated to whom?

      • Ari 4.1.1

        It’s not impossible, it’s just that many donations are funneled through anonymous trusts, which still have the right to make political donations in New Zealand. You can see everyone else’s donations just fine. =/

    • bbfloyd 4.2

      Paully… the conflict of interests have been exposed, and promptly ignored by the media poodles. “bring down the govt”, don’t be naive.

  5. tc 5

    Hey paulp….start with sideshow’s ‘blind’ trust and his vineyard holdings.

    It as much about vested interests/investment values not being impacted as it is about donations and this gov’ts dodged a few issues that would adversley impact consumption and therefore liquor industry profits.

    As for bringing the gov’t down, you need an MSM with a spine/integrity and an opposition with fire in the belly and focus……..move along people nothing here to see.

  6. anarcho 6

    So you lot going to go on the wagon in protest? Hell if this couintry had a week long drinking strike things might happen…. or not.

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      much better to brew our own beer. or distill our own spirits. if we really need to drink that badly.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      I am already permanently on the wagon! 😀 And believe me, if I can do it, anyone can… Drink driving is an appalling crime. (I had a father who did it all the time – he got caught of course, and lost his licence for years – it was enforced much better then.)

  7. tc 7

    I personally look for the local boutique beers now….support a local industry with so much more quality and flavour V donating to the mostly foreign owned ‘locals’ like DB and lion who pursue a bottom line rather than quality beers.

    Tasted Lion Red/export gold/tui’s lately ?…..the prosecution rests.

  8. Disengaged 8

    Up to 33 lives a year could be saved by changing the limit. The Ministry of Transport also stated that:

    “statistics showed people with a blood alcohol level between 0.08 and 0.05 caused 30 deaths between 2006-2008”

    So that’s 10 people a year on average. While any death is too many, I’m not convinced that lowering the alcohol limit alone would save those lives in any case.

    Better driver training, encouraging better car maintenance and getting more people to use public transport would probably result in far more lives saved.

    • Loota 8.1

      This is a lot of effort and heartache over 10 deaths per year (I hate how they manipulate the numbers and our reporters are too stupid to use a calculator), when at least 1200 NZ’ers die of accidents and injuries every year.

      Those are 10 real lives, but it is also rounding error material.

      More important question: how many lives are lost per year to drivers who are more than twice over the limit, and/or disqualified/driving contrary to the conditions of their license?

      I have a gut feeling that it will be way more than 10 per year.

      QUESTION: why isn’t more attention being paid to that.

      Too hard to enforce existing laws is a probable answer…

      • bbfloyd 8.1.1

        another aspect that i havn’t seen mentioned in all this, and indeed any other debate, or article, is the cost of non fatal accidents caused by mildly impaired drivers. i personally know more than a few people who have had low speed collisions, or hit posts, fences, a brick wall in one instance.
        lots of bruises, some gashes, and two broken arms from memory. some of these people were able to get insurance to pay out, but most were denied as they had been under the influence when they did the damage.

        my point is, that if i know people who have had that happen, then how many others have similar experience. and how much does all that cost in medical/police/insurance over a year. not to mention acc/ loss of earnings.

      • grumpy 8.1.2

        And how many of the 10 per year are below the age which will now have zero tolerance. We are probably now only talking of “saving” 1 or 2 lives a year.

        • mcflock

          [assuming, for the sake of argument, the estimate of “1 or 2” is accurate] oh, fair enough then.
          Your right to drink and drive shouldn’t be infringed. /sarc

  9. Tigger 9

    More hypocrisy from the ‘value for money’ lot.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    One point is that most people who drink responsibly probably don’t get near the .08 limit anyway. That is because people most likely take a precautionary approach to the amount they are drinking. That is, they probably prefer to be well under the limit to avoid the possibility of inadvertently going over the limit and losing their licence.

    So, it might well be that most people who drink then drive are actually at or under 0.05 anyway simply because they are being cautious given the drastic consequences for being caught driving over the limit.

    Perhaps some of the research that is being done will shed further light on this point.

  11. infused 11

    Great analysis there Zetetic, should be a blogger. Oh wait…

  12. Roger 12

    Its all for show, that’s what they do. They prattle on about how they are concerned about our alcohol consumption and drink driving and decide to look into the matter. On a regular basis they remind us how concerned they are in between their usual “9 long years and nothing” bullshit when opposition question them. The final step….”Well, we are really concerned about this issue, we have painstakingly decided after much deliberation that we are very concerned but we are keeping things the way they are for no obvious reasons”.

  13. prism 13

    The papers are full of the NACTs not taking the opportunity of even a small change say a sunset pilot law governing levels of alcohol, and might have added a few other things.

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