Why a zero blood-alcohol limit has merit

By March 13, 2020 News, Safety

Australia’s peak road transport and traffic agency Austroads has suggested the legal blood-alcohol limit to be reduced to zero, in an effort to combat the nation’s ongoing drink driving problem.

A 2020 report from Austroads has urged policymakers to decrease the existing legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving from 0.05 to 0.00 per cent, along with introducing a host of other tough measures to curb road fatalities.

The report claimed drink driving is involved in about 18 per cent of all road fatalities nationally, resulting in more than 200 deaths a year and thousands of injuries.

Ideally, the report said, the BAC limit should be reduced to zero, or at least to 0.02 per cent in the “medium term”.

Additionally, Austroads called for the frequency of random breath testing to be increased, immediate roadside licence suspension to be implemented, the fast-tracking of vehicle technology development, support and treatment for alcohol-dependent drivers improved and, finally, the price of alcohol to be increased.

Another recommendation was the expansion of interlock technology, which prevents a driver from starting their car’s engine if a pre-fitted breathalyzer registers them as over the legal limit and is now widely used in New South Wales as a court-mandated measure for mid-range (0.08-0.149 BAC) offenders.

It’s important for drivers to recognise the danger alcohol has on the driver, even if within a legal limit. Always consider making other arrangements when drinking any amount of alcohol including delaying your drive, getting picked up, or hailing a taxi or ride-share alternative.

Does your workplace have an up-to-date alcohol policy? AfMA’s Fleet Management Guide provides up-to-date information for members on a variety of topics including drivers and alcohol. Contact our office today for more information.