Transport MEC opposes lowered alcohol limit

2012-08-07 09:34

Cape Town - Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle says lowering the blood alcohol limit for drivers will lead to fewer prosecutions, it was reported on Tuesday.

"What that means is when you bring the limit down so much, other factors can play a role, so the smaller you make the interval, the higher the chance that other factors can play a role," he told the Cape Times.

This could lead to fewer prosecutions as test results might have "unintended consequences".

He also didn't support the proposed amendment to the national road traffic amendment bill because there was no scientific evidence a further reduction in the alcohol limit would lead to fewer accidents.

The national transport department was considering lowering the blood alcohol limit from 0.05g/100ml to 0.02g/100ml.

In effect, drivers would have to drink less than a can of beer, one shot of whisky or 75ml of wine.

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald told the newspaper that if the amendment was passed into law, people would be forced to change their attitude towards drinking and driving.

  • clay.gray.505 - 2012-08-07 09:43

    I don't know if I agree with this guy. I enjoy a drink but I think anything that can be put into place to lower drunk driving is good for the country.

      lydonmcg - 2012-08-07 09:51

      This is going to do absolutely nothing to stop drunk driving. The current limit is set at a level where the average person is far from drunk. Those that are driving drunk and causing accidents are those that completely disregard the limit. How is lowering the limit any more going to stop people who disregard the limit in the first place? This is merely "punishing" those who do pay mind to the current, more reasonable limit, and make sure to stay below it.

      andrew.arde - 2012-08-07 10:10

      The only way to stop drunk driving is harsher penalties. There was a post by a N24 user yesterday saying that it is more about responsibility than the number of drinks you consume. Harsher penalties for DUI will increase one's sense of responsibility and make them think twice about DUI.

      louwc - 2012-08-07 10:17

      Drinking and driving is certainly not a good idea. Public transport however does not help this situation. When I go out to a funtion where surely I know some drinks will be flowing, I budget for the use of Goodfellas or Nite Owls to take me and my car back home. or . Problem is they are relatively expensive and therefor not everyone can afford them. When companies have a do like a year end function where booze is provided, they should make a deal with transport business like mentioned above and provide transport home. Or experiment with the idea of a "dry" function - it is the responsible thing to do!

      sean.carbutt - 2012-08-07 10:20

      Ok i have translated the crap that this idiot has belched forth. What he meant to say is this. Lowering the limit will lead to less revenue. In reality, lowering the limit will not lead to fewer arrests just like lowering the speed limit does not make people drive slower. But then again, our traffic departments are completely useless and corrpt, so one should not expect loads of intelligence from them

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-07 11:04

      One shot of whisky is not drunk driving.

      stephen.reeves.908 - 2012-08-07 11:32

      @sean: No, I dont think you get the picture. The laws around alcohol limits and drunk driving are very stringent. Breathalyzers and blood tests have to be done in very certain conditions, in very strict time frames. For example, if you have a cigarette before your blood test, it isn't admissible in court. If they lowered the limit to 0.02, the margins for error would be tiny, and thus the rules and regulations around testing would be even more stringent, and with our police/traffic dept. process and procedure is not always there best strength.

      Press - 2012-08-07 11:35

      Neither is two.

  • Gavin - 2012-08-07 09:44

    a few years back, they dropped the speed limit in order to conserve/consume less fuel, as result the accident rate shot up. This sort of thinking is like trying to un-ring a bell.

  • Viggiance Vee Adoons - 2012-08-07 09:50

    i agree with the MEC, this isn't gonna be a solution but will result in another disaster

  • tebo.go.5 - 2012-08-07 09:52

    Fighting a loosing battle, as long as there are parking lots at a pub, people will always bring cars

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-07 11:59

      Make bigger pubs with no parking lots. Good thinking Tebo:)

  • charl.cilliers - 2012-08-07 10:09

    Rather give us reliable safe public transport. If one can take a bus to say a kilo from your favourite watering hole, have a couple of drinks, hop back on the bus and get home safely. No need to drive.

  • Billy - 2012-08-07 10:16

    the only thing lower the alcohol limit would do, is put more money in their pockets. why dont you just go park outside Spur or what ever. people that drive drunk are not going to stop because the limit is lower, they ignore the limit completely in the first place. this is the same kind of thinking that said lowering the speed limit would reduce speeding fines. its unrealistic

  • albinorocker - 2012-08-07 10:21

    Must be an ANC idiot MEC. Why don't they learn from the Western Cape?

      yuu.mee.351 - 2012-08-07 10:25

      Idiot! Read article! It is a WC mec, from the DA, how dumb are you?

      Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-08-07 10:50

      Hahahahahaha. What are the chances that albinorocker will suddenly backtrack and agree with Carlisle's commen?

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-08-08 11:17

      jumping the gun there sonny? haha

  • yuu.mee.351 - 2012-08-07 10:21

    A drunkered speaking

  • andrew.whale.39 - 2012-08-07 10:23

    I think that the drunk driving is a symptom. Yes, be responsible and be accountable (which is I feel is more important for this topic). I think having a 24 hour regulated public transport would also help this matter. The initial problem with that is that our drinking culture will abuse that and make this unpleasant for everyone else not sharing their festive states. Hence on-board security. But lowering the limit is not well thought through. I'd say zero tolerance, that way, if you are sick and need medicine with alcohol or other measurable narcotics, you know you cannot drive and it then it take away that "maybe I'll get through" factor out of it. I'd like to see a marriage between harsher punishment and having public services cater for this.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-08-07 10:23

    Ican just imagine he also likes to socialise too much.

  • mikki.vanzyl - 2012-08-07 10:31

    The problem is not only alcohol per se, but the attitudes of drivers -- drunk or sober. It's people who risk other people's lives because of their own fragile egos. They use cars like deadly weapons. The more macho the driver (males and females alike, but more likely males), the more dangerous the driver! (Insurance companies know women are safer drivers). Start seeing the trees and stop focusing on the wood. Stop DANGEROUS DRIVING, and yes, alcohol is one factor, but only one. While we're passing more laws with little ability to implement, what about making a law about space invaders? Have a law that prescribes safe following distances.

  • eric.martinsich - 2012-08-07 10:39

    How is it possible to stop drinking then driving when we have:- Alcohol at every sporting venue At Every Dance Place At every Pub At Most Government "parties" At Most Private Company "Parties" Every home braai etc etc. What are we saying. Have one then go home. If this is the case every single company selling alcohol will close down. decent Public Transport to get home. From every place. Stopping Drinking then driving is a Pipe dream and this is reality.

      Press - 2012-08-07 11:34

      Exactly - it will just train people to become used to breaking the law . . .

  • eldrick.smith1 - 2012-08-07 10:43

    I believe that a total ban on drinking when you drive. If a person wants to drink , stay at home and drink as much as you want. A drunk driver is a danger to everyone on the road.When they get caught let them clean the road sides and all the accident sites for drinking and driving, This may bring some sense into there small minds.

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-07 11:11

      Have you ever even touched alcohol? Trying to claim that one shot of whisky makes someone drunk just makes you look ignorant. I bet you are a bigger danger on the road then I am after I have a glass of whisky and water at a resturant.

  • TshilidziPhuravhathu - 2012-08-07 10:52

    Lets see you go to a party to only have less than a can of beer and still have the balls to say I had a great time last night...

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-08-07 10:54

    Terrible logic by the MEC. The idea behind this is to force people to not even consider taking a drink before driving. If you know that the limit has been set so low then you simply won't risk even drinking. Whereas in the current limit, people will take a drink knowing that they are still fine. But the inevitable happens because one drink leads to another. The next thing you've downed enough to get you intoxicated.

      stephen.reeves.908 - 2012-08-07 11:42

      If the logic was, as you say, to to stop drinking entirely; why do they not put a zero tolerance on this. Make the legal limit 0.00? I disagree with your statment.

      Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-08-07 11:53

      See my reply to Marthinus below.

  • marthunis.britz - 2012-08-07 11:01

    I would say make it 0.00000 then if there are anything in your blood you are over the limit this works in other countries so why not do the same here? We need to have a lot more officers testing for drunk driving and not just hiding in the bushes with a speed camera, that is the only way this would work.

      Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-08-07 11:06

      I think they are catering for stuff like mouthwash and cough mixture, which can trigger off readings on breathalysers.

      Barefoot - 2012-08-08 08:24

      By that logic you'd be dragging sober people from their cars to test them at your own expense (assuming you pay taxes)- you know how much 1 test costs?

  • lunga.swelindawo.9 - 2012-08-07 11:12

    do not drink and drive finish and klaar,1tot leads you to many tots.

  • nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-08-07 11:20

    Driving drunk is irresponsible. Decreasing the limit does not result in peole being more responsible - it simple means more people will be over the limit, and the court system will collapse. Unroadworthy cars are probable a bigger danger than drunk drivers, and that problem is even easier to deal with, why is noone lookingat it? Is it because it will affect mostly the poor ANC voters who run around with these pieces of scrap on oru roads? 90% of rubble removal trucks in the Centurios area are not roadworthy and the traffic police just look on? The law is not about road safety but political expediency. Can it statistically be proven that the problem is caused by people who have a level between 0 and o.5 mg/l? There is just an attack on the alcohol industry driven by some daft campaign and has nothing to do with road safety. If they were worried about road safety, they would even look at the traffic light cycles which force taxi drivers to look at the light on teh side, as there is no RED-AMBER cyclet to tell you to be "ready" so they guess sometimes wronlgy when it is a multi pahse light with consequences sometimes.

  • Bokrichard - 2012-08-07 11:21

    What a wonderfull bussiness opportunity. Job creation. Get Me Home Taxis. If these taxis are also subsidised it would even be a greater chance of making BIG BUCKS. Of wat praat ek alles.

  • nicksimp101 - 2012-08-07 11:26

    Which is more dangerous? A person who has had one beer and drives or the person who sits right up your ass on the road? Or is the 1 drink driver more dangerous than the person who has had a long an hectic day at work and is exhausted? Or the person who got up at 5am to get to work after only getting 4 hrs sleep? Or the person doing 100km on suburban streets? Bottom line is, 1 drink driver gets a criminal record, the others a fine or nothing at all.

      lizette.wilsenach - 2012-08-07 13:33

      I have never seen a person to drunk to drive after even 3 drinks.

  • Robert - 2012-08-07 11:32

    If my memory serves me correctly in terms of the regulations governed by the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act 54 of 1972 soft drinks are limited to 0,05% alcohol by volume where after they are classified as alcoholic beverages. Would a binge on your favourite soda that contains this amount of alcohol then not jeopardizes your efforts to remain within the legal limit?

      Barefoot - 2012-08-08 08:21

      0.05mg/100ml of blood. a 330ml can of anything with 0.05% alcohol wouldn't be enough to give you a Blood alcohol content of 0.02g/100ml maybe if you weighed 3kg.

  • silas.mooi - 2012-08-07 11:37

    Haaiiii maannnn, this DA MEC. He's just completed writing By-laws on barking dogs, now he is trying the same stroke on traffic laws. Nx!!!!!

  • sue.robertson.9083 - 2012-08-07 11:45

    so what is really being said is that they would prefer to have drunken drivers so that they can have more prosecutions , more money. Money is the root of all evil, forget safer roads and less accidemts due to drinking and driving. The rest of the world has far harsher punishments for drinking and driving,so take a leaf out of their book !

  • talana.basson - 2012-08-07 12:05

    seriously. is there anybody out there that becomes drunk on 1 can of beer? im much more disorientated when im tired and on the road. money money money.

      lizette.wilsenach - 2012-08-07 13:36

      Is there anybody out there that becomes drunk on 2 beers?

  • ndou.miranda - 2012-08-07 12:11

    I think people who drinks should just hire drivers to avoid all this amendments.

  • charles.brink.90 - 2012-08-07 12:12

    And still the cause of the majority of deaths on our roads, the un-roadworthy taxi with its unlicensed driver, is again laughing at the lawmakers......Cheers...hik !!!

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-08-07 12:16

    I agree with the MEC , lowering the blood alcohol limit for drivers will make the WC ungovernable .

  • jayne.oldewage - 2012-08-07 12:23

    You can lower it, fine, but please pleas please sort out the public transport or lack thereof!!!!!

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-08-07 12:25

    guess what, he is from wc, mojority of people there like busing all the time

  • sean.crookson - 2012-08-07 12:43

    Didn't Carlisle just sack his spokesperson surrounding allegations that he is teetotal and didn't fit in? His logic doesn't make sense. If they lower the limit, less people will drink & drive, hence the arrest rate will certainly drop. Is that not what we want? We also don't have scientific evidence that speed trapping & fining reduces bad driving, yet he says little about that.

  • Erna - 2012-08-07 12:50

    I agree that lowering the alcohol limit is going to do nothing to curb drunken driving. Honest and better policing and less bribery is the answer to many ills in this country.

  • terrence.zulu.9 - 2012-08-07 13:14

    give that minister a "bells"

  • francois.olivier.108 - 2012-08-07 15:14

    An alcohol limit of 0% will be better. Then you will not be tempted to have a drink. It gets more difficult to stop once you have that first drink.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-08-07 15:46

    The biggest killers on our roads are unroadworthy, unlicienced taxi drivers and over crowded taxis on our roads. Why is there not alot of effort being put into that. You hear more about taxi accidents and the high fatalities of deaths than you do of drunken driving. I agree drunk driving is bad but you have also got to hit these taxis hard as more people are killed by them. But this is typical of out traffic cops, they to scared of the taxis and most of these cops are corrupt and get bribes from taxi owners, hence they go for the weak targets, yes the law abiding citizens.

  • michael.fowler.7568596 - 2012-08-07 17:42

    What is this going to do to the restaurants and tourism industry? It means I cannot take my wife out for a meal and enjoy a single glass of wine, even though I NEVER drive over the limit. Will restuarants have to increase food prices exponentially to stay in business? What about responsible wine tasting in Stellenbosch? I just get the sense that very little thought on the effects this may have on law-abiding citzens and businesses.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-08-08 08:24

    Ooyes! Mr MEC,Just try ur lucky for presidency,You will definitely emerge victorious becouse 75% are drunkard pple. And party's name shall be Boozers Emancipation Party ( BEP)

  • damien.williams.3939 - 2012-08-08 11:17

    Until the government can provide safe and reliable public transport so that people who wish to go out and drink can get home safely, they'll NEVER combat drunk driving. Living in the southern suburbs of cape town is a nightmare as the only public transport in the evening is your own car or a really expensive private taxi service.

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