Tuesday, July 27, 2010


That is the only way to describe the government's decision yesterday not to lower the blood-alcohol limit for driving from 80 to 50 mg/100 ml and instead punt it for two years to allow for "further research". As the National Addiction Centre points out, we do not need more research: there have already been 60 studies whose results support the reduction. As for the effect of a reduction,

the Ministry of Transport had estimated reducing the blood-alcohol limit to 50mg could save between 15 and 33 lives, prevent up to 680 injuries and save between $111 million and $238m every year.
With its gutless decision, this government has clearly signalled that it would rather see those people killed and maimed than risk offending the subset of its supporters who refuse to take responsibility for their own behaviour. We should pile the corpses on John Key's lawn, and see how he feels about it then (something we should also do for their similarly gutless decision on air pollution).

It is not difficult to not drink and drive. It is simply a matter of taking responsibility for your own behaviour and planning ahead. Once upon a time the right purported to value that sort of thing. I guess they don't anymore. Instead, they'd rather kill 30 of us a year, maim another 680, and spend $238 million cleaning up the mess because they're too scared to confront the fact that some of their friends are irresponsible drunks.