Al­co­hol and driv­ing a bad mix at any age

The Compass - - Editorial -

I’m writ­ing this with re­gards to the new law in place for the tol­er­ance of drink­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

I am 20 years old and I have had my li­cence for over four years now. I want to state that I am not writ­ing this to ar­gue that it should be ac­cept­able to drive un­der the in­flu­ence at any age, be­cause I would never say that any amount of al­co­hol is ac­cept­able to con­sume be­fore driv­ing a ve­hi­cle.

But with re­gards to age I do be­lieve this law can be mis­lead­ing and dis­re­spect­ful to those un­der the age of 22. I be­lieve that it is un­ac­cept­able at any age - re­gard­less of whether or not you are over the age of 22.

By spec­i­fy­ing an age for al­co­hol tol­er­ance you are dis­re­gard­ing younger driv­ers’ abil­i­ties, and there are many - in­clud­ing my­self - who might find this of­fen­sive and an in­sult to their com­pe­tence. No mat­ter what age you are, it does not de­fine if you should be el­i­gi­ble to drink and drive at all.

For ex­am­ple, if you are over 22 and just re­ceived your li­cence, you have the same ex­pe­ri­ence level as some­one who is 16 and had just re­ceived their li­cence at that same time.

I be­lieve that the law should be looked at in re­gards to a per­son’s height and weight, not age. Many adults over the age of 22 can be of equal or lesser height and weight than some­one un­der this age; this would ul­ti­mately af­fect how much con­sump­tion of al­co­hol would be ac­cept­able to con­sume be­fore driv­ing a ve­hi­cle.

Bot­tom line is that no one should drive un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol, but as this is hard to con­trol at times, I un­der­stand why laws are put in place to al­low some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for con­sump­tion. But it should not be defined by age but ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tific rea­son­ing, such as bas­ing rules on height and weight.

Rather then plac­ing an age on this, why not look at the length of time a driver has had their li­cence? Say­ing that at age 22 and up it is ac­cept­able to drive after hav­ing a small amount of al­co­hol, is ba­si­cally say­ing that younger driv­ers are more at risk for drink­ing and driv­ing, which is not the case.

It has been shown in past events that many more adults over this age have been ar­rested for im­paired driv­ing. Many of those over 22 years of age are still at the same risk of driv­ing while un­der the in­flu­ence as those who are un­der­age.

Sim­ply put, it is not fair to say that those who are un­der 22 are not ca­pa­ble of mak­ing the right de­ci­sions while un­der the in­flu­ence.

Mi­randa Chafe

writes from Par­adise

Rather then plac­ing an age on this, why not look at the length of time a driver has had their li­cence?

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