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Thread: Alcohol shake-up targets drink culture

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    Default Alcohol shake-up targets drink culture

    Alcohol shake-up targets drink culture
    4:00AM Friday Jul 31, 2009
    By Stuart Dye

    Any more than two drinks should put drivers over the legal limit, says a report heralding the country's biggest alcohol law reforms in 20 years.

    "By international standards New Zealand's record in this area is lamentable," says the Law Commission report, which suggests a raft of law changes to curb binge-drinking.

    The report, Alcohol in Our Lives, says the country needs to consider sweeping changes, including more taxes on alcohol, greater restrictions and powers around licensing, shorter opening hours for pubs and changes to the purchasing age.

    And it says the blood-alcohol limit for drivers should drop from 0.8g per 100ml to 0.5g for those over 20 and to zero for teenagers.

    More here.
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    Any amendment to the drink-driving law is good news as far as I'm concerned, it's common practice here to drink and drive and it's simply not acceptable. Personally I think there should be a zero tolerance on blood alcohol for anybody and everybody - drink-drivers are a curse and a menace to society

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    I'm with you WG. No one should ever take the risk of driving while drunk, or even just under the influence, because that one act of irresponsibility could cost the lives of innocent people. How can someone live with that?

    I have seen drunks who couldn't even walk straight, but considered they were still perfectly capable of driving. They shouldn't put themselves in the position of being able to drive in the first place i.e. leave their car at home when they are going to drink. I guess it's another problem when they drink at home and then drive.

    When someone goes over a certain limit (which varies for different people and in different circumstances e.g. whether they have just eaten or not or are on certain medications) they are no longer capable of making a judgement about whether they are safe to drive or not. And that's where the real danger lies .
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    Call to block drink sales to 18-year-olds
    4:00AM Friday Aug 14, 2009
    By Wayne Thompson

    A member of a West Auckland licensing trust wants it to become the first in the country to stop bottle store sales to teenagers.

    Linda Cooper said the Waitakere Licensing Trust's monopoly put it in a unique position to voluntarily adopt the Law Commission's suggestion of splitting the purchase age of alcohol.

    This would mean refusing to serve people at its off-licence premises until they were 20, but continuing to serve 18-year-olds in its bars and restaurants.

    "It's a good compromise," said Ms Cooper, who is also a Waitakere City councillor and the council's youth advocate. "It's not penalising the good 18-year-olds who drink responsibly.

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    Police U-turn on drink drivers
    By GREER McDONALD - The Dominion Post
    Last updated 05:00 19/08/2009

    Police could be ordered to create a public register of drink drivers with photographs after a U-turn over the controversial policy of naming and shaming offenders.

    The move comes just days after The Dominion Post revealed that police stopped sending drink-drive lists to news media because of concerns around the privacy of offenders.

    The about-face came on the day that the Government unveiled a 10-year strategy to improve road safety.

    Police Minister Judith Collins said she welcomed the "commonsense" decision by police to review the policy change.

    "People have a right to know if the person in the car next to them is a drink driver," she said. "They should have nowhere to hide."

    Mrs Collins said she would ask police whether more information, such as photographs of all drink drivers, could be made available to the public and for publication.

    "Every drink driver is a potential killer and society should condemn them as such."

    Drink-drive convictions had leapt by about 12,500 or more than 50 per cent since 2002, she said.

    Acting Deputy Commissioner Michael Player, also the general manager of public affairs for police, said yesterday that the issue of supplying lists to media centred around the fact that the information was not owned by police.

    The policy decision to no longer send lists of drink-drive convictions to the media was based on "internal legal advice" but he conceded that police had "got ourselves tied up into a bit of a conundrum".

    Mr Player acknowledged the deterrent effect of publishing names and said public support for it to continue had led to police reviewing the decision and reversing it. "We'll be talking to our colleagues in justice and courts to find a solution."

    Police Deputy Commissioner Lyn Provost, who takes over as auditor-general this week, was unavailable to comment yesterday and Commissioner Howard Broad is on leave.

    Police Association president Greg O'Connor said he did not believe the policy change had been very well thought through.

    "It's not a good look ... the road policing part of the organisation won't be happy," he said. "The name and shame aspect is an important part of keeping the road toll down and drink drivers off the road."

    Mr O'Connor said Mrs Collins' call for the issuing of more information, such as photos, was one that she and the commissioner should debate.

    "The public don't want to think the minister is running the police."

    From here.
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    Drink-driving limits 'ridiculous' - minister
    Page 1 of 2 ..... 4:00AM Thursday Sep 10, 2009
    By Mathew Dearnaley

    Motorists have been given a strong lead that tougher drink-driving laws are on the way.

    Transport Minister Steven Joyce yesterday described existing legal alcohol limits for drivers as "ridiculous".

    Speaking to a conference of traffic experts in Auckland, Mr Joyce said he could drink three-quarters of a bottle of wine in 90 minutes yet still have every chance of being under the legal alcohol limit for adult drivers.

    "That's just ridiculous," he told the Local Authority Traffic Institute conference.

    But he said heavy advertising when the existing adult limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood was introduced in 1978 had made it difficult for him to gain popular acceptance for a further cut.

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    Call for alcohol detectors in drunk drivers' cars
    10:52AM Monday Sep 21, 2009

    Cars belonging to repeat drunk drivers should be fitted with a disabling device that detects breath alcohol levels, lobby group CrossRoads says.

    The group, a subsidiary of the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST), said the devices were used successfully in the United States, Britain and Australia.

    Their introduction would save lives.

    "We're talking about the toughest nut to crack - recidivist drunk drivers," CrossRoads spokeswoman Megan McPherson said.

    "There is no magic bullet, as recidivists don't care about the law, or the safety of others."

    Of the 30,000 drunk drivers convicted last year, 10,000 had one previous conviction and 1500 had at least four, she said.

    More here.
    Mother Bear

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