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Monday, 30 July 2007

Drink Driving.

Yes, it is illegal in the U.K. and rightly so. However, the laws governing such things are weak at best and next to useless at worst.

Upfront I will tell you that I had my license taken away due to restricted, sometimes no, movement in my right, and increasingly, left leg. At the time this was dictated to me I was not a happy person. However, time, as always, has made me see sense and through that gaining of commonsense I now agree with the decision. Back when the decision was first imposed I went against it and drove. This going against medical advice lasted for approximately 6 months during which time nothing untoward happened until one day late at night right out of the blue my legs stopped functioning. Whilst this was nothing unusual in my general day to day activities it was unusual for it to happen whilst driving. Driving at 50MPH on an open road and having no control over the cars pedals was a scarey experience. It lasted for around 5 minutes during which time I hit nothing and managed to keep the car straight. Also, there were no other cars around which no doubt helped with the fact that I hit nothing nor anyone else hit me.

That incident hit home. I never drove again.

What has this to do with drink driving? Well, I am trying to hit the point home that if you are incapable of driving you should not do it. I never had a alcoholic drink when I knew I needed to drive. I drank in moderation the previous night if I knew I had to drive the next morning. It really is not rocket science. Do not drink and drive and remember that the drinks you had the night before are still in your system the following morning and to a lesser extent, but still prevalent, the following afternoon.

Here now are my strongly held views on how drink drivers should be treated by our Law system here in U.K.

I strongly believe that the time is right, actually any time is a good time, to bring in a policy of 'zero tolerance' towards drink drivers in the U.K.

Heavy fines of 2,500 UKP for those over the limit which in a zero tolerance arena means none at all whilst driving. For every 0.1g per litre (g/l) of blood over the 0 (zero) baseline add an extra 100 UKP. So, if you are found to have alcohol in your system measured at 0.5g per litre (g/l) of blood then you would get a fine of 2,500 plus 5x100 UKP which equals 5,000 UKP. This is for the first offense only.

On being arrested a second time for driving whilst having alcohol in your system would find the person fined 5,000 plus 100 UKP for every 0.1g per litre (g/l) of blood over the limit of 0 (zero) plus an automatic 6 month ban from driving.

On being arrested a third time then 7,500 plus 100 UKP per 0.1g per litre (g/l) of blood over the limit of 0 (zero) and an automatic life time ban from driving.

If you are involved, not just caused, an accident and found to have alcohol in your system then 3 months in jail would follow plus a fine of 1,000 UKP for every 0.1g per litre (g/l) of blood over the limit of 0 (zero) plus an automatic 6 month ban from driving.

If this happens a second time then a 1 year jail sentence would follow plus a fine of 5,000 plus 100 UKP for every 0.1g per litre (g/l) of blood plus a ban for life from driving.

If you someone is killed, whether of not the drink driver caused it, whilst driving with alcohol in your system, no matter how small an amount, would see this person automatically banned for life from driving any vehicle but would also have a 5 year jail sentence attached plus a fine of 10,000 plus 100 UKP per 0.1g per litre (g/l) of blood over the limit of 0 (zero).

Failure to pay any fine would see an additional 1 month per 1,000 UKP of the fine converted to a jail sentence. If the person already has a custodial sentence then this wil be added to the end of it. If the person does not have a custodial sentence then they will have.

These Laws would be just for car drivers. They would include any form of transport ranging from the basic bicycle to 60tonne lorries.

This absolute zero tolerance to drink driving would soon get the message home to those who drink and drive as a way of life and would I suspect within a year see drink related car accidents cancelled completely.

The chances of seeing such laws enacted in the U.K. or anywhere else in the world for that matter, are almost zero but one can dream that one day perhaps those who govern this country will see some sense and enact something very similar into the Law of the Land. Then and only then will we see a massive drop in drink driving related accidents. Then and only then will our roads be safe again for our children to play not on the roads but on the pavements beside them.

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