drink driving

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16 Jul 2012 18:19 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Probably the most effective solution to improving safety on the road, would be to fit every vehicle with a ‘black box’ type recorder, which would provide information in real time on all aspects of how drivers control their vehicles.  Such a ‘box’ could also include a drink and Drugs element if thought worthwhile.


It could also ensure that any driver breaking the law is prosecuted automatically, and eliminate the claims, so often made, that the police were lying when they reported what they witnessed.

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16 Jul 2012 18:36 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

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John please, are you sure it's not the heat?

So we are going to have a sat nav type voice ask us 'would you kindly blow in the bag Sir' and then say 'Sorry sir you appear to be over the limit - your nicked'




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16 Jul 2012 18:54 by bergspyder Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

At the risk of flogging a dead horse here, I'd like to add that most of the "vehicle stories" on EOS (i.e. UK cars in Spain) would be resolved by a central traffic authority in Brussels. But 49% of Brits would vote "out" on Europe (40% "in") so I don't think the UK is ready. Look at RHD; Sweden & Iceland just switched over to LHD one night to comply with neighbours, no real problem (but expensive; all those signs & paint....), so why not the UK? No, like with the euro, it just won't happen so live with the restrictions "abroad". BTW, talking Sweden (where alcohol is difficult to buy) ** EDITED - Offensive to other member ** johnzx is not totally correct: some non-alcoholic beer is non-alcoholic (e.g. http://www.sanmiguel.es/cerveza/0-0-sin-alcohol) and anyone who drank liters -- sorry, pints -- of <1% beer knows he'll never get even vaguely drunk (but need the toilet a lot). I say again; we're adults, we know (or should) what is "good" and what is "bad", we don't need local authorities (or each other) to tell us how to behave, and when we do decide what we do, accept the consequences. Yes, I agree that won't bring back the child mowed down by a DD but life's never without risk+


This message was last edited by EOS Team on 18/07/2012.

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16 Jul 2012 19:07 by fazeress Star rating. 74 posts Send private message

Personally I think you shouldn't drink any alcohol and then drive! My husband and I have a good plan.  He does 50% of the driving, there, and I do 50% driving home!!  Now although this may not suit many it works well as I couldn't give a fig if I have a drink as I'm still able to have a good time without alcohol!

Or you could stay at home and drink and invite your friends over to yours, then its their problem not yours!! 


This message was last edited by fazeress on 16/07/2012.

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16 Jul 2012 19:30 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 I'm afraid,  bergspyder, we do sometimes need the authorities to tell us what to do.  Drink driving is a particularly bad one, so is driving with seatbelts, putting kids in special seats, not having front seat cots with airbags etc.  Some people are rather, shall we say, stupid without being regulated.  Like the comments (not on here, yet) "I'm a better driver when I've had a few".  Sorry, you're not.  Your reactions are slower and just that point bit of a second could make all the difference.

Regarding swapping over the sides of roads, Iceland with a population of less than half a million and Sweden with less than 8 million when they switched in 1967 is a bit different to UK switching.  Just think of all those millions of cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side (most cars in Sweden already had the steering wheel on the left even though they drove on the left), all those buses and trams with the entrance doors on the wrong side, all those motorways in UK which Sweden didn't have in 1967.  360,000 road signs changed overnight, I would imagine the UK has rather a lot more than that (there seems almost that many just approaching one roundabout in UK!).  They can't even arrange the security at the Olympics properly or work out a way to sell tickets let alone anything approaching as complicated as switching the side of the road!

Anyway, there are still 82 countries in the world which drive on the left.  Why not all the others switch?  Just because Henry Ford put the steering wheel on the left because he didn't think Americans could change gear with their left hand doesn't make it right (or is that left?).  Anyway, they nearly all drive automatics there now.

Edited to add

Oh, and Ireland changed to .5mg last year with .2 for new drivers (drink Ireland).  Luxembourg changed to .5 in 2007 with truck/bus drivers etc being limited to 0.2 , despite what some irresponsible websites still report.









This message was last edited by bobaol on 16/07/2012.

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16 Jul 2012 20:09 by bergspyder Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

Good one, BoBaol! I totally agree. Not that I know (I'm an "oldie") but young ones tell they drink -- etc -- at friends, then sleep there, then take taxi to work "just to be sure" which just has to be right & "common sense" Talking of which, in France in summer heat, car no aircon, family decided baby better in pram on roof rack. Luckily for baby, it was péage (toll motorway) so when they went through kiosk, the guy called police who caught the vehicle and mom & dad didn't understand why..... I also agree that more than 50% of the world drives on the left (in terms of population, not vehicles) which poses the question you did, but is the UK Europe or not? My own belief -- unsubstantiated & probably unsupported -- is UK should have become 51st State in 1945. On a purely personal note, I've favoured automatics for reasons you suggest but I'm also a biker and won't ride in the UK; knowing you (the driver) should be towards the middle of the road (not the ditch) isn't good enough. Which I think shows what this thead is saying: Driving is dangerous anywhere/anytime. I suggest the authorities are doing a terrible job -- but maybe the best in the circumstances?

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17 Jul 2012 01:14 by Foxilady Star rating in surrey. 277 posts Send private message

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You would all be driving on the left in Spain if Napoleon had been right handed lol


If I shine too brightly, then put your sunglasses on oy vey

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18 Jul 2012 06:07 by prospain Star rating in Spain & Hong Kong. 38 posts Send private message

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Of course a driver slightly over the limit (whatever that limit might be) could be a more competent driver than a bad driver who has consumed no alcohol. However, that is impossible to legislate for. The limit should be zero ‘’end of’’. That would eliminate all this crap about carrying a breathalyser, the temptation to just have one more, and ‘’know all’’ who reckons he can drive better than anyone after a skin full. Also the different limits for Joe Public and a commercial driver (bizarre).
I just wonder about the motives of the government and the police in stepping up their drink driving enforcement laws. Is it a genuine case of road safety concerns, because we all know how sincere and honest Spanish civil servants are? Or is it a blatant case of raising much needed revenue.
If it is revenue fair enough. Make the limit zero. Make the fine 5,000 euro, which can be paid in instalments if needed. Minimum 5 year ban. I bet drink driving offences would then drop through the floor. But is that what the politicians want? Probably not. Why?


This message was last edited by prospain on 18/07/2012.

Don't steal. The government hates competition.

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18 Jul 2012 07:56 by guslopez Star rating in Lorca, Murcia.. 745 posts Send private message

Well the drug testing started off badly last week when a motorist ran over a police bike & clipped the officer whilst they were having the photocall ! Over the last week they have conducted 101 drug tests with a 90% failure rate !!! worrying isn't it ?


Todos somos Lorca.

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18 Jul 2012 09:06 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 The problem with a "zero" alcohol limit is that it would mean exactly that, zero.  You couldn't drink the night before (or possibly for several nights) as alcohol stays in the blood for some considerable time.  Some medications, such as some antihistamines, contain alcohol.  A little of that Christmas cake with the sherry or brandy in?  Sorry, zero is zero.  And put that chocolate liquer down this instance!!   What do you mean, you accidentally swallowed a bit of that mouthwash?  Right, it's a taxi to work for you today, my lad.  

And, after 50 years or so of "tippling", I could probably lay off the booze for a month and still have a little bit of blood left in my alcohol stream.  

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18 Jul 2012 09:39 by prospain Star rating in Spain & Hong Kong. 38 posts Send private message

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Sorry bobaol I don not agree. Your argument is old clap trap. Just looking for any excuse. Yes if you want to get blind drunk and legless the night before you have a problem, and quite rightly so. So bobaol save it for saturday night and if you cannot, go see a doctor.


How Long Does Alcohol Stay in the Body?
David J. Hanson, Ph.D.
After alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream it leaves the body in two ways. A total of about ten percent leaves through the breath, perspiration, and urine. The remainder is broken down through the process known as metabolism.
The rate at which alcohol is metabolized is the same for virtually everyone regardless of their height, weight, sex, race or other such characteristics.

Alcohol is metabolized at the rate of .015 of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) every hour. Thus a person with a very high BAC of .15 will have no measurable alcohol in the bloodstream after ten hours (.15 divided by .015 = 10). Here are some other examples:

BAC Level
Metabolism Time in Hours


Anyone drinking more than than BAC of .15 in one session on a regular basis is putting their heath at risk and is not a fit and proper person to hold a driving licence.

Don't steal. The government hates competition.

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18 Jul 2012 10:18 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Alcohol is destroyed by the body at the rate of about half a pint per hour (And that is UK beer which is less strong than the average Spanish beer), however, there are several factors which affect that, including the state of one’s liver and one’s general health. For example of you have a cold it will take longer.
I will never drink more than a small glass of wine or one small can of beer and that is when I am using my car.  When using my  motorcycle (699cc) I stick to soft drinks.

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18 Jul 2012 11:25 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 Oh dear, prospain, jump in quick without reading other posts, eh?  If you read before, I do not drink at all, not even a half pint, when I'm driving.  I do not get "blind drunk and legless" the night before despite what you insultingly assume.  You ignore the bit about medication etc.  I have advocated a lowering to 0.2 rather than the 0.5 in most countries and the 0.8 in UK which I reckon is far too high.  Zero is just a problem but 0.2 is fine.  I have also said that, if you bothered to read lower down, that people who think they are better drivers when they've had one or two are just fooling themselves.

However, much easier to assume and criticise on the web rather than read, isn't it? 

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18 Jul 2012 11:37 by Foxilady Star rating in surrey. 277 posts Send private message

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If one is a "social" drinker then it is my opinion that zero alcohol whilst driving is an easy option,  If though however, one is an alcoholic ie dependendant on alcohol then it's a different story and these people will find excuses for having to drink and drive, or sometimes just blatantly say I don't care I am driving.

I personally believe in zero tolerance when it comes to operating a car or motorbike, then there are no grey areas and it's simple. 

My partner rides a BMW 1150, a big bike to operate and would never dream of taking a drink before driving, but he is a "social" drinker and doesn't feel  deprived as it is his choice to do this.

There is absolute evidence that mind altering drugs whilst driving impairs ones ability to react, ie ones reflexes are impaired.

I think for the safety of others everyone should be responsible and not drive while under the influence.



If I shine too brightly, then put your sunglasses on oy vey

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18 Jul 2012 12:36 by fazeress Star rating. 74 posts Send private message

Some of these posts are making me Lol!  I'm not sure why the member down the page is happy to take a small glass of wine before driving a car but would stick to soft drinks when riding the (699cc) motorcycle!  Why not just stick to soft drinks when you're driving then even if you have a sherry trifle or piece of christmas cake etc.... you're surely not going to be over the limit?  I both drive a car and ride a motorcycle (599cc) and I just wouldn't bother to drink any alcohol if operating either.

What is it with drinking anyway?  Why can't people have a good time with their friends but not drink alcohol?

Driving the morning after is always going to be a risk if you've had a skin full the night before and I've known people who've been caught out, its not worth taking the risk and if you need your licence, say for your job, then don't have a skin full the night before then you know you'll be ok should you get stopped!

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18 Jul 2012 12:54 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

 If as a bike rider you don’t understand why I don’t drink when on two wheels (even though the laws permits it) then I guess non bikers won’t have a clue either. 

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18 Jul 2012 14:35 by bergspyder Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

Couldn't agree more, Bob, and a great post. On the issue of drugs,  we need to go into the "Is a drunk driver more dangerous than one who had a quick joint?" debate. I don't know but (so far) cops who stopped me were able to decide if I was driving dangerously or not, for whatever reason. Anecodote -- for fun only -- last time I was stopped at 96kph in 60 limit -- I didn't see sign so my fault -- I used the "no ablo espanol" thing but the cop switched into reasonable english; when I said "no speako english", he switched into good french (the car's registered there). It cost me €150 & we both laughed on how he'd "got me". But there is, in my view, a serious question: We all know cops aren't mental heavyweights (or honest) but what was this at least trilingual guy doing on a roundabout, with 4 others, in 2 new 4x'4s, and how many do they need to fine to recover that cost (including minimum quotas)? Personally, I believe public servants -- paid by the public -- should serve the public+ 

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18 Jul 2012 14:52 by fazeress Star rating. 74 posts Send private message

Johnz, you didn't understand my thread?  I'll try to be clearer!  Of course I understand why you wouldn't drink when contemplating going out on 2 wheels, but if you don't drink cos you're going out on the bike why would you bother if driving in a car?  I know that has 4 wheels, unless some bugger's nicked one, and more protection, but why?

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18 Jul 2012 15:14 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

                      I will not break the law but I also don't have hang ups on drinking within the limit permitted by law.
I consider that the way people drive, experience of how to drive in a variety of circumstances, concentration on the task, avoiding distractions, general alertness, roadworthiness of the vehicle, etc.  are more important in avoiding accidents,  than not drinking within the legal limits.

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18 Jul 2012 15:21 by bergspyder Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

johnzx, having a small 700cc bike doesn't mean you know when to ride or not. Your self-imposed limits are certainly laudable but take a big bike & pay the price. Which is why the French put a "moratorium" on motorway speed limits during the 24hour races to keep bikers there -- where they statistically don't kill themselves -- but I can tell you (as a "big" biker) that approaching a car at legal limit of just 130kph at twice that speed still means you're approaching a stationary object at 130kph. Take a day over here and I'll show you+

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