People going out for a few drinks can easily be over the limit when they drive home, police say
People going out for a few drinks can easily be over the limit when they drive home, police say Jacklyn Wagner

Counting drinks not best science when driving

THE latest statistics on drink driving show it's easy to be caught just over the limit, with police officers recommending everyone make arrangements for getting home if they plan on having a drink.

The majority of drink driving offences in the Gladstone region in 2011/12 year were between the levels of 0.05 and 0.1.

The trend of the majority of drivers being caught below 0.1 is consistent across Queensland.

The Queensland Police stance is it's better to be safe than sorry, and don't drive if you are planning on drinking.

Gladstone Senior Sergeant Jim Vogler said people often thought they were right to drive when they were not.

"What they're doing is going out thinking they can have a few drinks, without realising that they're going to be over the 0.05."

Snr Sgt Vogler said that despite debate on whether being just over .05 was a danger to the community, laws needed to be in place to regulate blood alcohol content.

"Laws are there for a reason. The basic reason for laws is for safety," he said. 

Peter Broelman

"If you know you're going out, make sure you have made proper arrangements to get home.

"Might sound a bit harsh, but try telling that to someone who has had their family wiped out by a drink driver."

The common method of counting drinks per hour is not reliable and will not hold up if you blow over when intercepted.

"It's not an exact science and every person is different," Snr Sgt Vogler said.

"When it comes down to counting drinks per hour, it can be a risky thing to try and ensure that you remain under the limit.

"Everyone has a different metabolism, and this has a big effect on some readings."

There are a number of personal breathalysers on the market, but they can often be unreliable.

"The trouble with those is you're at the mercy of whether they're calibrated, whether they're functioning right," Snr Sgt Vogler said.

"We previously had a case where a fellow got picked up for drink driving in the morning, and he said he tested himself on his own device and came under. Unfortunately he was still over the limit.

"Our instruments are calibrated regularly. They're set up to Australian design standards. A lot of the ones people buy off the internet are not as accurate.

"If you register over the lawful limit on the road, you are taken back to the police station for a further test on a more accurate instrument."

 

What method do you use to avoid being over the limit when driving home?

This poll ended on 30 November 2012.

Current Results

I count my drinks and eat food.

25%

I never drink and drive, even on an open licence.

68%

I check a personal breathalyser device first.

0%

I wait until the next morning to drive.

6%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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