Drink driving as a criminal offence?

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Ambitious1999
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Drink driving is perhaps one of the few crimes where intent to break the law is not always the case unlike other crimes like theft.

I mean if a person goes shoplifting and steals a shirt then they clearly intended to break the law, its theft and they knew that, same with most other crimes, they know the risk of getting caught and the consenquences.
However if a person has several pints of beer the night before and next morning feels ok and drives a car or motorbike and is caught over the limit then it's a crime but there was no deliberate intent at all to break the law. They did not know they were over the limit so there was no intent.
Of course if some idiot has 5 pints of strong lager in the pub, feels totally drunk and decides to drive straight away knowing full well they are over the limit, then that in my opinion is far more serious as they had intent to break the law. Yet the punishment is the same for the unaware morning after DD'ver and the person driving back from a night out who IS aware they are over the limit.

Drink driving is also one of the few crimes where the criminal act is defined by a very thin line (35 mg of alcohol in breath). No other crime is defined quantitatively like this for instance a thief can't be under the shoplifting limit and get away with it but only be prosecuted if they steal goods over a certain value and thus be over the shoplifting limit, same with assault, drug dealing etc.

Many people say the DD limit should be zero, but then people would be getting prosecuted for using breath freshner containing alcohol or even drinking fruit juice that's passed its best before by date and has slightly fermented.

Please discuss.
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999tigger
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Your usual drivel. Go and do a law degree. Go and read up on strict liability.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by Ambitious1999)
Drink driving is perhaps one of the few crimes where intent to break the law is not always the case unlike other crimes like theft.

I mean if a person goes shoplifting and steals a shirt then they clearly intended to break the law, its theft and they knew that, same with most other crimes, they know the risk of getting caught and the consenquences.
However if a person has several pints of beer the night before and next morning feels ok and drives a car or motorbike and is caught over the limit then it's a crime but there was no deliberate intent at all to break the law. They did not know they were over the limit so there was no intent.
Of course if some idiot has 5 pints of strong lager in the pub, feels totally drunk and decides to drive straight away knowing full well they are over the limit, then that in my opinion is far more serious as they had intent to break the law. Yet the punishment is the same for the unaware morning after DD'ver and the person driving back from a night out who IS aware they are over the limit.

Drink driving is also one of the few crimes where the criminal act is defined by a very thin line (35 mg of alcohol in breath). No other crime is defined quantitatively like this for instance a thief can't be under the shoplifting limit and get away with it but only be prosecuted if they steal goods over a certain value and thus be over the shoplifting limit, same with assault, drug dealing etc.

Many people say the DD limit should be zero, but then people would be getting prosecuted for using breath freshner containing alcohol or even drinking fruit juice that's passed its best before by date and has slightly fermented.

Please discuss.
Been caught drink driving have you mate? Tut tut.
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TheMcSame
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DD has a defined limit, because without it, how would you draw the line? What would be considered dink driving and what wouldn't? Whereas theft... Theft is theft. You can drink a bit of alcohol and be perfectly fine (in fact some studies have even suggested a slight boost in reaction times, whether that's down to alcohol or not is another matter). You can't really steal and not steal if you get what I'm saying... Maybe taking more free samples than you're supposed to I guess (though I wouldn't exactly call that stealing)?

Also, I'm sure the case of "feeling fine" has been made before... You might feel fine, but you actions may not reflect that. Feeling fine and being fine are two different things. Although, I don't think police should bother with people who are slightly over the limit, write them up a caution (2 cautions = Dink driving offence) and let them go on their way, it's a waste of time and money taking them back to the station if they're basically guaranteed to blow under the limit by the time they get there (roadside breathalysers can't be used as court evidence as far as I'm aware).

As you said, I wouldn't support a 0 mg alcohol limit, because it isn't practical... To even suggest that someone is unfit to drive after drinking as little as a can of shandy is downright idiotic...
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IWMTom
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(Original post by TheMcSame)
DD has a defined limit, because without it, how would you draw the line? What would be considered dink driving and what wouldn't? Whereas theft... Theft is theft. You can drink a bit of alcohol and be perfectly fine (in fact some studies have even suggested a slight boost in reaction times, whether that's down to alcohol or not is another matter). You can't really steal and not steal if you get what I'm saying... Maybe taking more free samples than you're supposed to I guess (though I wouldn't exactly call that stealing)?

Also, I'm sure the case of "feeling fine" has been made before... You might feel fine, but you actions may not reflect that. Feeling fine and being fine are two different things. Although, I don't think police should bother with people who are slightly over the limit, write them up a caution (2 cautions = Dink driving offence) and let them go on their way, it's a waste of time and money taking them back to the station if they're basically guaranteed to blow under the limit by the time they get there (roadside breathalysers can't be used as court evidence as far as I'm aware).

As you said, I wouldn't support a 0 mg alcohol limit, because it isn't practical... To even suggest that someone is unfit to drive after drinking as little as a can of shandy is downright idiotic...
We have one of the highest drink driving limits in the world, it's ridiculous.

You're right about the roadside breathalyser btw.
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by IWMTom)
Been caught drink driving have you mate? Tut tut.
Then I'd also have been charged with not having a car licence or insurance and taking without owners consent and probably a load of other offences lol.
I've not passed my car driving test yet, don't have my own car and thus no licence or insurance lol. so no.
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by IWMTom)
We have one of the highest drink driving limits in the world, it's ridiculous.

You're right about the roadside breathalyser btw.
I agree but a zero limit would be crazy. The courts system would not be able to cope with people being prosecuted after having a can of shandy. Having a skinfull on a Saturday night would be a no no if you need to drive on Monday morning as you might still have a few mgs left from Saturday night. Also we simply don't have enough police ( We have lowest policing levels since 1985!)
Secondly thousands of people a month would be criminalised with a DD conviction making Britain's crime rate the highest in the world and them losing their jobs and becoming more or less unemployable causing unemployment to spiral.
Also think of the crisis in education and healthcare if teachers, nurses and doctors are sacked because they got a criminal record for having 1 mg of alcohol in their breath lol.

Having said that they do have a zero limit in Russia and Czech Republic. But how that works I don't know. They do have a lot more police in those countries and maybe DD is only treat as a motoring offence as opposed to a criminal offence.
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jkls92
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I wouldn't mind if it wasn't a criminal offence. Fines and bans are OK, but jail, criminal record and community orders aren't. There should be liability in case of damages though.

I've done it recently. Even scratched the car. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4875904
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
I wouldn't mind if it wasn't a criminal offence. There should be liability in case of damages though. Fines and bans are OK, but jail, criminal record and community orders aren't.

I've done it recently. Even scratched the car. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4875904
I agree. A criminal record does have hugely damaging consenquences it can destroy families, careers and even prevent people travelling to USA or Australia. Criminal records should only ever be issued as a last resort and consideration taken on how it could affect the defendants life if having a previously clean record.

I agree if perhaps if a person is slightly over the 35 mg limit but say under 50mg but no damage done or dangerous erratic driving and offender has a clean record, then perhaps treat it as a motoring offence with points, a fine and possible ban the first time then a criminal offence second time.

Also a sobriety test should be conducted in addition to a breath test before deciding to prosecute. Some people can feel quite tipsy after just 1 pint of beer or 1 glass of wine but be well below the legal limit. While others can have 3 or more pints and feel fine.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
I wouldn't mind if it wasn't a criminal offence. Fines and bans are OK, but jail, criminal record and community orders aren't. There should be liability in case of damages though.

I've done it recently. Even scratched the car. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4875904
Considering drink driving increases your risk of killing people quite significantly, I'd say it should be treat with absolute severity. Jail time is enough of a deterrent for most people other than the dip****s that get behind the wheel knowing fine well they've had a drink.

Breathalysers are cheap - it's a drivers responsibility to ensure they and their vehicle are in good enougj condition to drive.
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jkls92
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(Original post by IWMTom)
Considering drink driving increases your risk of killing people quite significantly, I'd say it should be treat with absolute severity. Jail time is enough of a deterrent for most people other than the dip****s that get behind the wheel knowing fine well they've had a drink.

Breathalysers are cheap - it's a drivers responsibility to ensure they and their vehicle are in good enougj condition to drive.
I don't like it when criminal law deals with possibilities. On that occasion, I drove because I knew I was in the conditions to do it safely, there was no one on the streets at that hour and the trip was very short. Taking the risk of going to jail if someone dies is a sufficient deterrent for those who actually aren't in the condition to drive.
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Steve82
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(Original post by Ambitious1999)
Drink driving is perhaps one of the few crimes where intent to break the law is not always the case unlike other crimes like theft.

I mean if a person goes shoplifting and steals a shirt then they clearly intended to break the law, its theft and they knew that, same with most other crimes, they know the risk of getting caught and the consenquences.
However if a person has several pints of beer the night before and next morning feels ok and drives a car or motorbike and is caught over the limit then it's a crime but there was no deliberate intent at all to break the law. They did not know they were over the limit so there was no intent.
Of course if some idiot has 5 pints of strong lager in the pub, feels totally drunk and decides to drive straight away knowing full well they are over the limit, then that in my opinion is far more serious as they had intent to break the law. Yet the punishment is the same for the unaware morning after DD'ver and the person driving back from a night out who IS aware they are over the limit.

Drink driving is also one of the few crimes where the criminal act is defined by a very thin line (35 mg of alcohol in breath). No other crime is defined quantitatively like this for instance a thief can't be under the shoplifting limit and get away with it but only be prosecuted if they steal goods over a certain value and thus be over the shoplifting limit, same with assault, drug dealing etc.

Many people say the DD limit should be zero, but then people would be getting prosecuted for using breath freshner containing alcohol or even drinking fruit juice that's passed its best before by date and has slightly fermented.

Please discuss.
The difference being between shoplifting a shirt and drink driving is that you're unlikely to kill innocent people stealing a shirt. Drink driving is unacceptable, people die, children die, it's not ok.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
I don't like it when criminal law deals with possibilities. On that occasion, I drove because I knew I was in the conditions to do it safely, there was no one on the streets at that hour and the trip was very short. Taking the risk of going to jail if someone dies is a sufficient deterrent for those who actually aren't in the condition to drive.
You have no idea if you are in a safe state to drive when you are inebriated.
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obie1
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I totally agree with you. Been pulled over @ w/end... mortified... Knew I was over. My stupid mind didn't even think of what could or might happen... Totally feel like **** but i know I did wrong. Moment of madness is going to change my life
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Angela1001
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Drink driving should be punished as a criminal offence. If I am even arrested for DD I loose my State Registration and am unable to work any more. I have seen too many people seriously injured from DD - even just over the limit people!
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ThuggerThugger
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Just to let you know, going to the shop and stealing doesn’t mean you’ll go to prison, its probs unlikely you’ll go unless you stole like thousands. But yes drink driving should have way more serious consequences, I say atleast 6 months in prison.
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by Angela1001)
Drink driving should be punished as a criminal offence. If I am even arrested for DD I loose my State Registration and am unable to work any more. I have seen too many people seriously injured from DD - even just over the limit people!
It is a criminal offence - I have a pal who has been done for DD - twice. I don't think she will ever get her licence back, insurance will be too high. As she has a criminal record, she now cannot go to the USA - where she was hoping to live. She has to declare it to any jobs she applies to. She is always scrounging lifts off people. She has a probation officer and has had to do 200 hours of community service. And she is still drinking.

If you are arrested for DD, you may not lose your state registration. You have to declare it. Not declaring it will get you in trouble. If you are drunk at work you can be struck off.
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princetonalec
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Drunk driving should be a crime, because people are bad enough drivers sober.
My brother has been knocked off his bike twice, one time landing in hospital with blood clots in his legs and being unable to walk without crutches, and he was lucky to have survived that one.
When you add alcohol to the mix? Sorry but you hav no excuse. If you could afford to buy a pint you can afford to pay for the taxi home, especially in the age of uber where rides are just getting cheaper and cheaper.
As far as i'm concerned (from someone whose family as both a lot of drinkers and a lot of bikers) the second you get behind the wheel even slightly buzzed you should be held accountable for that. There is literally no excuse which will be good enough for me.
Can't afford the taxi after a night out drinking? Don't go out to drink then. There is absolutely no excuse in this day and age.
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Angela1001
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(Original post by squeakysquirrel)
It is a criminal offence - I have a pal who has been done for DD - twice. I don't think she will ever get her licence back, insurance will be too high. As she has a criminal record, she now cannot go to the USA - where she was hoping to live. She has to declare it to any jobs she applies to. She is always scrounging lifts off people. She has a probation officer and has had to do 200 hours of community service. And she is still drinking.

If you are arrested for DD, you may not lose your state registration. You have to declare it. Not declaring it will get you in trouble. If you are drunk at work you can be struck off.
I most certainly will as it brings my profession into disrepute!
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by Angela1001)
I most certainly will as it brings my profession into disrepute!
Don't know if you are a nurse. I look at the nmc hearings every month. The nurses that get struck off are the ones who don't declare it. One chap a couple of years ago was allowed to stay on the register despite I think 5 convictions for dd because he was never drunk on duty and people spoke up for him.
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