DRINK DRIV­ING: IT’S AL­WAYS A CHOICE

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

Hello again read­ers and wel­come to the third in­stal­ment in this se­ries where Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice (pic­tured Moss­man Con­sta­ble Peter Jarvie) will pull apart each of the Fatal Five. Last week fo­cused on inat­ten­tion when driv­ing. This week, the true stal­wart of the Fatal 5, drink driv­ing: The re­al­ity is that al­co­hol is as much a drug as the other il­licit drugs that are out there. Al­co­hol is a widely so­cially ac­cepted drug where the oth­ers are gen­er­ally less so, pri­mar­ily due to the so­cial and legal ram­i­fi­ca­tions in­volv­ing their use. While al­co­hol use is a com­mon el­e­ment of so­cial and recre­ational in­ter­ac­tions, there needs to be some legal frame­works when it comes to mix­ing al­co­hol and driv­ing. Al­co­hol is a de­pres­sant which acts on the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, af­fect­ing the abil­ity to func­tion men­tally as well as phys­i­cally. The spin-offs can be poor judge­ment, im­paired vi­sion and hear­ing, a slow­ing of re­ac­tion times and an in­abil­ity to think clearly and make quick de­ci­sions — all pretty im­por­tant at­tributes when you con­sider the op­er­a­tion of some­thing as com­plex as a mo­tor ve­hi­cle. For this rea­son there is leg­is­la­tion spe­cific to drink and drug driv­ing. The gen­eral blood al­co­hol limit presently sits at .05 and has been so since Queens­land was brought into line with other states many years ago. Queens­land also has in place a zero al­co­hol limit for pro­vi­sional li­cence hold­ers.

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