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Sure, go ahead and drink a few, then go for a drive. No, really, go to the pub now (if it is open) or go downstairs and open a few cans/bottles, swig them down quick then find the car keys.
Do this if you want to be a danger to yourself, other drivers and society in general. I know it was not right of me to tell people that at the beginning, but knowing that this is such a big issue, especially at the moment, I am sure everyone is reading this after the first paragraph.
I feel…quite strongly about this, as although I have not had any experiences where I have been in a car with a drunken driver, I believe that this is something can easily be commented on.
The first question that is usually raised when in the pub when a mate is seen delicately sipping a coke is usually "You driving tonight then?" I am glad that when the answer is yes that it is a glass of coke and not a cleverly disguised pint of Guiness. I have to say that most of my mates that I go to the pub with do not drink if they are driving. In fact, it is all of them. I believe that one pint is fine to drink at nine o’clock if consumed slowly with the driver jumping in the car four hours later. Do you disagree? One pint consumed, a drive four hours later. This is acceptable for me. What I do find distressing is hearing that some people believe that they are nowhere near the definition of a ‘lightweight’ and can handle several shots or pints and still manage to drive safely.
Now, the issues. The legal limit. What is it, a pint or two? Want to know why I do not know what the level is? Because I do not really care. The limit should be zero. Being a student who has a few mates with cars I know that there is a tendency for people to drive from their home into town and then drive home after the club. Fair enough, but as long as they do not consume any alcohol I do not mind asking for a lift.
The government has had debate on this issue, but the law has not changed. Why? I do not know. It seems amazing to hear that the level of drink driving is rising every year, and at the same time hearing the government say that something must be done about it. I agree. But it is them who can alter the law by making the limit lower (zero as a preference) and as a result saving lives. I do not know the statistics for injuries and deaths for drink driving, but it is rising, that I do know.
Should I be worried? My mates do not drink and drive, so why should I care too much about the limits etc? Well, there are plenty of deaths per year of people being hit by drink drivers. The…arguably ‘wrong’ outcome here is that the pedestrian is killed and the driver escapes with no injuries. That could be me, and it makes me slightly angry how I am helpless about the fact my life could be in the hands of ‘idiots’ that decide to drink and drive.
OK. That is my opinion, but what about the facts? Well, I am sure that most people reading this opinion have had some alcohol to drink at some point in their lives (yeah?!) and know the effects. Well, to clarify, consuming alcohol will ‘disable’ your senses in many ways. Well, imagining that the person in question has had a few pints, and is pretty ‘merry’ but not quite ‘bladdered’ or ‘gatted’ or ‘rat*rsed’ or whatever phrase is used in your part of the country. His (got to be male!) vision will become impaired, the surroundings will start merging a bit when he turns his head, he will grow in confidence (which is why driving when drunk is so dangerous) and will probably have a constant smile above his chin. After a few more he may start to find it hard to walk as co-ordination collapses to a low level, and the smile may turn to a dull look as he realises he has had too much. I do not know whether you have tried these ‘drunk glasses’ before, but I for one fell over and felt quite sick! When I imagined myself driving in that state, I realised how dangerous the act is.
Anyway, before I bore you (if I have not already!) I will just give a brief summary. Basically, any alcohol is dangerous to have in your system when behind the wheel, do not do it. By all means, a pint is fine if you are going to drive a few hours later (my opinion) and if there is a MP reading this, in PM’s question time, how about raising the point about the latest drink driving figures and seeing how Blair reacts. After all, Euan, his son, knows all about drinking! I do believe more needs to be done about this in some way.