Thursday, May 5, 2011

Andrei Driving home after Mass is now a crime

For the under twenties that is.

They have reduced the alcohol tolerance for young drivers to zero for under 20s, which if you are being literal about it means they cannot legally drive because there is always some alcohol in the blood regardless of whether you drink or not.

And they have raised the driving age to sixteen.

In truth we read of young people being killed on a regular basis, they are more often than not well over the adult levels of blood alcohol usually unlicensed or disqualified drivers and basically anti-social people for whom laws tough or lenient matter not a whit, they break them all.

My two oldest are driving in Australia these days that being a place where they have a better future after the all depredations of recent Governments, the current price of gasoline precludes my boy from driving except on rare occasions to shift a plethora of musical instruments to were they need to be Or to bring them back to where they belong (When am I getting my Bass back Nik?)

Which leaves little Tanya, 15 now but showing no inclination to get behind the wheel of a car.
She better hurry she has until August to get her learners permit, after that she will have to wait another year.

12 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...


That sounds like a cop-out, whereby they were unable to decide what was safe and so cut it down to nothing.

BobbyD said...

No it makes sense, even one beer will impact their driving and reaction time and without the experience it's not a very good combination. Plus we all know where one beer leads, so better just to let them know that none is acceptable.

Although it does seem a bit hypocritical when we have a ridiculously high adult limit that will literally allow people to drink close to 10 or so beers and still be under the legal limit.

Lucia Maria said...


This post is not talking about one beer. It's referring specifically to a small sip of red wine, most likely equivalent to a teaspoon or so. That is what the average Catholic Mass goer imbibes during Holy Communion. And now, someone who is below 20 years of age will not even be able to have this small amount on a Sunday morning and drive home!

KG said...

None of it will matter--until people are properly trained drivers and until getting a licence actually involves more than parrotting the road rules and as long as the policing emphasis is primarily on speed.
Without some material incentive for people to become expert drivers, the stick approach will continue to fail. And young men have always wanted to drive fast and no doubt always will, so perhaps it'd be smarter to go to some effort (and expense) to at least make sure they know what they're doing.

Anonymous said...


...there is always some alcohol in the blood regardless of whether you drink or not.

Citation please.

Lucia Maria

It's referring specifically to a small sip of red wine, most likely equivalent to a teaspoon or so.

And will this be measurable?

Lucia Maria said...


Measurable in what way?

Lucia Maria said...


The current licence testing regime does involve more than just the road rules. It's a 3-stage system that doesn't allow any person to even start to learn to drive a car until they've passed the road rule test, thus getting a Learner's License. Then they have to wait 6 (or 3 months if over 25, I think) before they can go for their Restricted Licence. Which is a half hour test, where you are deemed safe to drive yourself between 6am-10pm (no passengers, unless they are related to you and live with you). Then you have to wait another period of time (I forgotten what, and it's also halved for older drivers) before you can go for your full Licence. That is a full hour long driving test, including checking where you look while driving, and having to talk through your thinking processes while trying to do something difficult (such as do a U-turn on a busy 70K speed zone road, which I would NEVER do normally). I thought it was quite vigorous, but then, it's never enough to deal with every situation, which I rely on my Guardian Angel getting me through!

KG said...

Lucia Maria, I've spoken to a number of people who've told me that their practical test was a joke--drive around the block, park it and that's that. Apparently in West Auckland even that isn't necessary if you get the "right" examiner.
I've qualified to drive for the S.A. Police,(basic, intermediate and advanced Highway Division) for the Army (which included an advanced as well as a defensive driving course)and believe me, the current NZ and Australian licensing regimes come nowhere close to addressing driver attitudes and traffic-reading skills.
The first priority of driver training ought to be shaping attitude and in this the current arrangement is a monumental failure.
Better an expert with a few beers onboard than a stone-cold sober moron showing off to his or her mates.

Andrei said...

LRO The average human digestive system produces approximately 3g of ethanol per day merely through fermentation of its contents. Catabolic degradation of ethanol is thus essential to life, not only of humans, but of almost all living organisms. In fact, certain amino acid sequences in the enzymes used to oxidize ethanol are conserved all the way back to single cell bacteria[1]. Such a functionality is needed because all organisms actually produce alcohol in small amounts by several pathways, primary amongst the fatty acid synthesis[2], glycerolipid metabolism[3], and bile acid biosynthesis.[4] If the body had no mechanism for catabolizing the alcohols, they would build up in the body and become toxic. This could be an evolutionary rationale for alcohol catabolism also by sulfotransferase.

Right out of wikipedia. It is part of our biochemistry to make it - thereby making Zero blood alcohol a nonsense. You are a criminal by being alive, under 20 and driving a car by the letter of the law.

Your offense would be compounded by eating a green salad with vinegarette dressing with your lunch or appying Tobassco sauce to your sausage at a barbecue,

Lucia Maria said...


Yeah, that's what it was a number of years back - just a verbal test of a few road rules and then a drive around the block. I don't know when it changed, but I did my full test several years ago after being on a Restricted Licence for two years because doing the talking while driving thing really freaked me out. By the time I did the test, I was OK with it. Though even now, in some situations, I really need that part of my brain that talks to help me concentrate on what is going on on the road.

But anyway, I can assure you that what I've described in my comment above was what the situation was several years ago. The kids today are getting tested far better than people my age were getting tested at the time that I was a teenager.

I totally agree with you on attitudes of drivers, but that's a whole different thing altogether, and requires a spiritual dimension. What I mean is, I pray for prudence as well as protection when I drive, because I know I can be a bit agro and impetuous. I've had a few driving incidents told to a priest in Confession already!

Lucia Maria said...


I never knew all that - pretty amazing, really! Makes the law even more of a joke.

BobbyD said...

All the machines have an inbuilt margin of error that would cause tiny amounts of alcohol such as a teaspoon of wine to read 0.

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