Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

British drink drivers could be banned from travelling to USA? Watch

Announcements
    Online

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    I'd love to know how many of you have driven whilst over the limit without realising it. Whilst I have no time at all for those who intentionally drink and drive, a couple of my friends have been caught over the limit when they honestly believed they had waited long enough to drive - it's far more common than you may think.
    Never actually. Don't drink anything before driving
    If you want to drive the next morning then don't drink too much the night before
    Ignorance does not excuse that you are over the limit
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sammylou40)
    Never actually. Don't drink anything before driving
    If you want to drive the next morning then don't drink too much the night before
    Ignorance does not excuse that you are over the limit
    Did you not understand the phrase 'without realising it'?
    Neither of the friends I've known to get caught had been intending to drive. Both times an urgent situation came up and to the best of their belief they had waited long enough (or not drunk enough in the first place) to be legal. That doesn't excuse it, but some of the self-righteousness in this thread is pretty obnoxious.
    Online

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Did you not understand the phrase 'without realising it'?
    Neither of the friends I've known to get caught had been intending to drive. Both times an urgent situation came up and to the best of their belief they had waited long enough (or not drunk enough in the first place) to be legal. That doesn't excuse it, but some of the self-righteousness in this thread is pretty obnoxious.
    Since when is without realising it an excuse?
    I understand quite well thanks
    The only obnoxious thing in this thread is drink drivers
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sammylou40)
    gnorance does not excuse that you are over the limit
    Exactly.

    I know of someone who was impacted by the whole night before thing and banned and frankly whist it may have been more understandable 20 years ago now there's plenty of campaigns about people should know better anyway.

    If I'm driving the next morning I won't have more than 2 and even then that's unlikely, especially as I'm often driving in Scotland.

    Personal responsibility and all that.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    So what ?
    What is wrong with this ?
    • Community Assistant
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Did you not understand the phrase 'without realising it'?
    Neither of the friends I've known to get caught had been intending to drive. Both times an urgent situation came up and to the best of their belief they had waited long enough (or not drunk enough in the first place) to be legal. That doesn't excuse it, but some of the self-righteousness in this thread is pretty obnoxious.
    Firstly, 'Without realising it' is no defence. Imagine saying that for any other crime?

    Secondly, doesnt matter if they were or werent intending to drive - they drove- end of.

    Would you be saying the same thing about the 'self-righteousness', if they had killed someone through driving drunk? I think not...

    Its my belief you shouldn't be allowed any alcohol in your body in you want to drive and the penalty should be a hell of a lot tougher than it is.

    I would support drink drivers to be: banned from driving for 5 years and issued with a £1000 fine.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Here's a map of Blood Alcohol limits across Europe:

    Name:  european_drink_drive_limits_map.jpg
Views: 15
Size:  345.7 KB

    Given most other countries manage with lower limits without struggling 'not to realise' or thinking 'to the best of their belief' that they were under the limit, I don't see why we can't. We are unusual in having such a high limit in the first place - if we can't even manage to stay under that, then there's a problem.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jack22031994)
    Firstly, 'Without realising it' is no defence. Imagine saying that for any other crime?
    Erm... you're clearly not aware that intent to commit an offence is an important element of criminal law! It's called mens rea. It's not applicable in all cases, but if, for example, you pick something up in a shop, browse a little, then forget to pay before you walk out, that's not theft because there was no intent to steal.

    Secondly, doesnt matter if they were or werent intending to drive - the drove- end of.

    Would you be saying the same thing about th 'self-righteousness', if they had killed someone through driving drunk? I think not...

    Its my belief you shouldn't be allowed any alcohol in your body in you want to drive and the penalty should be a hell of a lot tougher than it is.

    I would support drink drivers to be: banned from driving for 5 years and issued with a £1000 fine.
    There seems to be a misapprehension here. I'm not trying to justify drink driving. My friends were caught, punished, and suffered heavily as a result, without complaint. I just think the moral grandstanding of some (to paraphrase, "they're all scum" "lock them up and throw away the key") isn't justified. I also strongly suspect that at least some will have (unknowingly and unintentionally) driven whilst over the limit themselves, because it takes less than you may think to put you over.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    The laws for DD in USA are ludicrous. Not as strict as ours that's for sure

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Community Assistant
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Erm... you're clearly not aware that intent to commit an offence is an important element of criminal law! It's called mens rea. It's not applicable in all cases, but if, for example, you pick something up in a shop, browse a little, then forget to pay before you walk out, that's not theft because there was no intent to steal.



    There seems to be a misapprehension here. I'm not trying to justify drink driving. My friends were caught, punished, and suffered heavily as a result, without complaint. I just think the moral grandstanding of some (to paraphrase, "they're all scum" "lock them up and throw away the key" isn't justified. I also strongly suspect that at least some will have (unknowingly and unintentionally) driven whilst over the limit themselves, because it takes less than you may think to put you over.
    I know intent is an important part of criminal law. Thats why manslaughter exists.

    Comparing drink driving to unintentionally forgetting to pay for something is a false equivalency. One doesnt kill people, the other can and does.

    The drink drive limit should be 0 anyway - then there is no justification for driving when you've had a drink.

    Again, would you be complaining about the 'self-righteousness', if your friends had killed an innocent bystander while driving drunk?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jack22031994)
    I know intent is an important part of criminal law. Thats why manslaughter exists.
    Then why did you think it so absurd to apply "I didn't realise" to any other crime?
    Comparing drink driving to unintentionally forgetting to pay for something is a false equivalency. One doesnt kill people, the other can and does.
    That's a straw man argument, as I clearly didn't make that equivalency. It was merely an example of the importance of mens rea in some (but not all) crimes.

    The drink drive limit should be 0 anyway - then there is no justification for driving when you've had a drink.
    If it was realistic to expect no trace at all of alcohol, why is the limit for aviation not 0?

    Again, would you be complaining about the 'self-righteousness', if your friends had killed an innocent bystander while driving drunk?
    I've said all I'm going to say. Seeing things in absolutes tends to be a luxury for the inexperienced.
    • Community Assistant
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Then why did you think it so absurd to apply "I didn't realise" to any other crime?

    That's a straw man argument, as I clearly didn't make that equivalency. It was merely an example of the importance of mens rea in some (but not all) crimes.


    If it was realistic to expect no trace at all of alcohol, why is the limit for aviation not 0?


    I've said all I'm going to say. Seeing things in absolutes tends to be a luxury for the inexperienced.
    I didnt apply 'I didnt realise' to any other crime. I was being sarcastic

    Its not a straw mans argument. You did make the equivalency to prove your point. Why didnt you use murder/manslaughter as the example then?

    I dont know - Im not an aviation expert. Both should be 0. I dont want to get in any vehicle where its driver has had any alcohol. In Germany the limit for new drivers is 0 so it can be done

    Its an easy yes or no question tbh, unless you actually condone their actions even if they had killed an innocent person while doing so
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    I'd love to know how many of you have driven whilst over the limit without realising it. Whilst I have no time at all for those who intentionally drink and drive, a couple of my friends have been caught over the limit when they honestly believed they had waited long enough to drive - it's far more common than you may think.
    Without realising it? Surely you only would have yourself to blame yet again? It doesn't really matter whether you believed it or not, people were put at risk.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Did you not understand the phrase 'without realising it'?
    Neither of the friends I've known to get caught had been intending to drive. Both times an urgent situation came up and to the best of their belief they had waited long enough (or not drunk enough in the first place) to be legal. That doesn't excuse it, but some of the self-righteousness in this thread is pretty obnoxious.
    I'm sorry Curly, but there simply isn't a reason for drink driving, whether they intended to do it or not. Breathalysers are cheap, and in France they're a legal requirement - realistically, your friends shouldnt have drove if they weren't absolutely certain of their BAC levels; the onus is on them to ensure they're under the limit before driving, not by just "feeling okay to drive".

    This does beg the question, how come your friends were pulled over and checked? Was it a random stop, or did the officers spot their driving was erratic? If the latter, this only reinforces the point - feeling okay doesn't equate to being fully able to drive safely.

    I appreciate one can not realise they even have alcohol left in their system, because they feel completely fine, but this simply isn't a good enough check.

    Personally, I keep a reasonably accurate breathalyser (which I might add, was not breaking the bank) in the car for those emergencies when I might need to do what your friends did - I keep this because I consider myself a responsible driver, who understands the effect drink driving can have on people's lives. If someone can afford the luxury of driving, they can afford a breathalyser; it's cheaper than a DR10 on your record!
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by IWMTom)
    I'm sorry Curly, but there simply isn't a reason for drink driving, whether they intended to do it or not. Breathalysers are cheap, and in France they're a legal requirement - realistically, your friends shouldnt have drove if they weren't absolutely certain of their BAC levels; the onus is on them to ensure they're under the limit before driving, not by just "feeling okay to drive".

    This does beg the question, how come your friends were pulled over and checked? Was it a random stop, or did the officers spot their driving was erratic? If the latter, this only reinforces the point - feeling okay doesn't equate to being fully able to drive safely.

    I appreciate one can not realise they even have alcohol left in their system, because they feel completely fine, but this simply isn't a good enough check.

    Personally, I keep a reasonably accurate breathalyser (which I might add, was not breaking the bank) in the car for those emergencies when I might need to do what your friends did - I keep this because I consider myself a responsible driver, who understands the effect drink driving can have on people's lives. If someone can afford the luxury of driving, they can afford a breathalyser; it's cheaper than a DR10 on your record!
    There's a limit to how often I can say words to the effect of "I'm not trying to justify drink driving" before I come to the conclusion that the people reading have a comprehension problem, and I'm pretty much there.

    My original point - and I'll concede I could have made it clearer - was that it's very easy to be over the limit without realising it and to think you're safe to drive. Assuming that anyone who is caught for drink driving is a piece of reckless, irresponsible scum is a really bad idea, because (assuming you don't consider yourself to be in that category) you then get into the mindset that you must be under the limit because you aren't reckless and irresponsible. I realise that's still not particularly well worded but I'm a helicopter pilot and reading crash reports often the initial reaction will be "how could the pilot be so stupid/reckless?" - and then you realise that generally they were (they're often deceased) experienced, conscientious pilots who made mistakes that are understandable when you put yourself in their position. Thinking it couldn't possibly happen to you is incredibly dangerous.

    As for breathalysers, they're not a bad idea but they're not a silver bullet. Unless you've had it properly calibrated there's still uncertainty there, and indeed if it's under-reading it might encourage you to drive when you shouldn't. My understanding is that (in the UK) if you blow a positive sample at the roadside you then need to provide a second sample at the station on a bigger, calibration checked machine. In any case few people regularly have one in their car in the US or UK - indeed I think it's fairly rare for US police to have them anywhere outside a police station. Incidentally, the French system is a bit odd in that the requirement for breathalysers is that they're in the car and unused, so if you're concerned you may be over the limit and check then technically it's illegal for you to drive anyway! (Obviously you could carry spares, but I suspect most people have what's required and no more).

    To add context, neither of my friends were pulled over on suspicion of drink driving:
    Friend 1: Friday night, UK. He was on his second beer when he got a phone call from his brother to say he'd had an accident. He wasn't hurt badly enough to warrant an ambulance, but needed to go to A&E. On the way there friend 1 was pulled over for a faulty light, routinely breathalysed and found to be slightly over the limit.
    Friend 2: Sunday morning, US. I can't remember why, but he and his housemate needed to get home at about 5am (I think they might have gone back with a couple of girls and housemate was obnoxious enough to get kicked out). Small town, no taxis at that time in the morning, 7 miles from home. Friend 1 had left his car in town with the intention of coming back the next day to pick it up. He'd not been drinking heavily and had stopped 5 or 6 hours earlier. Thought he was ok to drive, pulled over (not uncommon when it's quiet, it's happened to me when I've not had anything to drink and there's been nothing wrong with the car), passed the field sobriety tests. However, they also shone a torch into the eyes and his pupils were a little slow to dilate so he was taken to the nearby station to be breathalysed and found to be slightly over the limit.
    I'm sure everyone will now tell me how they wouldn't have driven in either situation and what they would have done instead, but it's just unrealistic. Making the right decision is dead easy when you have no incentive to do something and no penalty to not doing it.

    It's very easy to make the right choice when you have no involvement with a situation and know the outcomes. It's much harder when there's pressure on you to make a marginal call. Just to reiterate one last time for the hard of thinking, that's not a justification for drink driving, or indeed any other wrong doing. Anyway, that really is the last I have to say in this thread.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    How are your GCSEs going so far?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.