Interesting, but do we really think lowering the legal blood-alcohol tolerance will result in a reduction of drunk drivers on New Zealand roads?
It’s a little bit like bringing back the death penalty for murderers and expecting that it will make a difference to the nation’s homicide statistics; just as murder is generally an impetuous crime of passion, neither is there a great deal of logical forethought running through the mind of a prospective drunk driver.
The most likely thing to come from the lowering of this threshold will be the penalising of those typically conscientious social drinkers who never intended to flout the law and who never would have done any harm on the roads either but who have underestimated these new restrictions and although their 320 breath-alcohol reading is still below the old limit it’s above the amended version so…
Then there are those hardened drinkers who make a habit of imbibing over half their bodyweight in booze before driving home – they were over the limit then and you can be damn sure they’ll be over the limit now. The difference is that these wily veterans know how to avoid being caught.
Ultimately, the frequency of drunk driving might come down a little as good folk who might have occasionally slipped up turn abstemious but the recidivist drunks, those guys are going to get behind the wheel no matter the consequences.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Wai Bovver
Photography by Way Starr Thyme