Yet forty years of advocacy research has proven just the OPPOSITE of what the advocates wanted to prove--the amount of alcohol that 90% of Americans normally consume IMPROVES their ability to drive.
This German study also found that between 6.7% to 12% of Germans drink and drive, and that of those who do drink and drive, 90% of them have a BAC lower than 0.10 and 10% have a BAC greater than 0.10.
The safest American drivers are thus prohibited from driving.
How many fewer fatal accidents would there be if everyone, even the dirvers who don't drink at all, had an accident rate equivalent to the German drivers with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.08? Even if we used the most conservative estimate that their accident rate is one third lower than non-drinking drivers, with 42,000 traffic fatalities every year, a one third reduction would save 14,000 lives per year.
How many lives are lost because DUI laws discourage American drivers from drinking and driving? If three times as many people would drink and drive if the DUI laws didn't exist, we could assume that there would be three times as many safer drivers with a BAC less than 1.0, as well as three times as many dangerous drivers with a BAC greater than 1.0.
Using round numbers, if this proportionately increased the percentage of drinking drivers to 30%, the percentage of drinking drivers with a BAC less than 1.0 to 27%, and the percentage of drinking drivers with a BAC greater than 1.0 to 3%, the tradeoff would be as follows:
BAC < 1.0:
27% less 9% who currently drink and drive = 18% increase in drivers with a 33% lower accident rate = 18% x 33% = 6% reduction in fatalities.
BAC > 1.0
3% less 1% who currently drink and drive = 2% increase in drivers with a 60% higher accident rate = 2% x 60% = 1.2% increase in fatalities (6.9% of the drivers have a BAC greater than 1.0 and have 11% of the accidents, 11% / 6.9% = 1.6).
The net effect would be a 4.4% reduction in fatal traffic accidents, saving 1,848 lives per year.
On Tue, 07 Dec 1999 16:11:22 GMT, Jim HANDS &/or Sarah CURRAN <email@example.com> wrote: > Primarily because to do so ties up a Doctor or a Doctor and a Nurse (Person > Qualified to take Samples of Blood) for a few hours, and ties up our > hospital system unnecessarily.
That is convenient, but not a worthy excuse to deny someone the ability to prove their innocence.
> Calgary hasn't used the Borkenstein Breathalyzer for years; it was quite > subject to variations in readings from Interferents such as mouthwash; the > digitized and self- contained BAC Datamaster C screens for interferents and > can recognize them as such; besides, mouth alcohol (such as mouthwash)
Assuming this new breathalyzer has been scientifically proven successful at accurate readings, I imagine it is the old Borkenstein Breathalyzer which was the subject of the case in Ontario. If it was known to be inaccurate, then a blood test would be the only way to verify blood alcohol content.
> dissipates quite quickly (usually less than 15 minutes) and the investigator > has to wait at least 20 minutes (it generally takes a lot longer than that) > between when the Driver is first stopped and performs the first test.
Is this a new proceedure? My friend was pulled over once for a breathalyzer at a checkstop, and I waited no more than 5 minutes before he returned to the car and we drove off. This was approximately 5 years ago.
-- Scott Barker firstname.lastname@example.org Linux Consultant http://www.mostlylinux.ab.ca/scott
"Mudge" <NOSPAMcurmudgeon@ukgateway.net> wrote in message news:email@example.com... > Patrick Parslow wrote in message > <firstname.lastname@example.org>... > > > > >Well actually Tim, I think I was saying that I had seen some research which > >indicated that you are less likely to cause an accident when drunk, although > >I think it also fell into categories of drunkness (well, levels of > >intoxication). I just can't falmin' remember where it was. If it is the > >case, I can see a possibility for why - people who are intoxicated but not > >grossly so will tend to drive very carefully in order not to get stopped. > >NOT that I am suggesting it should be done - merely reporting that somewhere > >sometime ago, I remember seeing the research. > > > The research which served as the basis for the 1967 breathalyser law (R F > Borkenstein et al: The Role of the Drinking Driver in Traffic Accidents > (Bloomington, Indiana University, Department of Police Administration, 1964) > did actually show that there was a small reduction in accident risk between > blood alcohol levels of 10 and 40 mg, as compared with zero. Ah good I am not going mad - although the research I remember was in the 70s (or I wouldn't remember it :-) > > However, it is unlikely really to indicate that consuming a small amount of > alcohol will make you a slightly better driver. It is probably a combination > of the fact that people driving after one or two small drinks are likely to > be driving at times when the roads are quieter than average, and that they > may try to compensate for the alcohol by making an effort to drive more > carefully than usual. IME most seem to drive when the roads are busy - pub kicking out time. I don't think my driving improves with alcohol, but I do know that my darts playing and my ability to do multi-choice tests do, up to about the three pint mark... > > Mudge > > -- > "All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" > ...Edmund Burke > http://members.tripod.co.uk/Curmudgeon/ > (Remove "NOSPAM" to reply) > > > Pat
It is true that alcohol improves coordination in small doses. This is why it is banned in certain Olympic events like shooting. I noticed a slight improvement when I played pub darts when younger, although if you carry on your aim gets much worse. -- R. Mark Clayton MClayton@btinternet.com
On Thu, 8 Jun 2000 11:11:33 +0100, "JNugent" <JNugent@AC30.freeserve.co.uk> wrote: >On that basis, you *could* argue that the law should *encourage* drivers to drink before driving. >When we arrive at such a position, it is reasonable to suspect that we may have gone wrong with our >reasoning somewhere along the line. Indeed. Said reasoning being that the law has both the ability and the duty to micro-manage people's lives - reasoning which is derived from the implicit assumption that the only reason anything ever goes wrong is because the state hasn't taken sufficient control over people's lives. -- Marc Living (remove "BOUNCEBACK" to reply) *********************************************** Nor shall we proceed against a freeman, nor condemn him but by lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. http://www.holbornchambers.co.uk ************************************************
JNugent wrote: > > >As more accidents are caused by sober drivers than drunk drivers, > >it's a silly argument anyway. > > On that basis, you *could* argue that the law should *encourage* > drivers to drink before driving. > When we arrive at such a position, it is reasonable to suspect that > we may have gone wrong with our reasoning somewhere along the line. Indeed. And this shows how easy it is to go astray with careless application of statistics - EITHER way. Danny email@example.com
"Zaccary Charlesworth" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:>ray johnstone <email@example.com> wrote in message >firstname.lastname@example.org...
>>drivers were middle-aged white men who drank (alcohol) every day.
>Which means that it's safe to drink and drive ?
Yes. According to the Borkenstein data, regular drinkers at our legal limit are nearly twice as safe as sober teetotallers.Removing them and replacing them with TTs will make the roads more dangerous. I have personal knowledge of two deaths that occurred when an inexperienced sober driver took the wheel in place of a drinker. See the link at my home page or read my book for more details. J.R.Johnstone (Ray Johnstone) email@example.com www.iinet.com.au/~ray
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, J. Lower <email@example.com> wrote:
>Good grief! I have to suspect these numbers. If I ever drink 10 beers in
Well, you can't expect a group like MADD to have much in the scientific credibility department, now can you? Kind of like our resident expert witness loon.
>2 hours you'd better hope I don't get behind the wheel of a car.
Well, assuming that you are a 170 male who had 3550 ml of typical, OTC beer that runs about 2.7 weight % alcohol (~3.2 by volume), I show the following: tavern:~/bac$ baccalc usage: baccalc weight(lb) sex(0=m/1=f) volume_drunk(ml) v%EtOH time(hours) tavern:~/bac$ baccalc 170 0 3550 3.2 2 Instantaneous BAC: 0.16176 (g/100 ml) BAC after 2 hours: 0.12776 (g/100 ml) So, you'd be illegal to drive after 2 hours. Now, let's look at Joe Sixpack. He gets his real 3.2 weight % beer (nothing light for him) which is about 4% by volume. Let's look at his BAC assuming that he chugs the 6 pack very quickly (in say 15 minutes): tavern:~/bac$ baccalc 220 0 2130 4.0 1 Instantaneous BAC: 0.0937475 (g/100 ml) BAC after 1 hours: 0.0767475 (g/100 ml) BAC after 2 hours: 0.0597475 (g/100 ml) BAC after 3 hours: 0.0427475 (g/100 ml) BAC after 4 hours: 0.0257475 (g/100 ml) BAC after 5 hours: 0.00874749 (g/100 ml) BAC after 6 hours: 0 (g/100 ml) Yea, Joe's a bit tubby. But all of this assumes that he metabolizes the EtOH at the average rate of 0.017 g EtOH/hr/100 ml. Some folks and ethnicities have higher and lower metabolisms. There are a plethora of good references on the web. Try: http://www.intox.com/Drink_Wheel.html as a start and browse around some. If anyone is interested, I could make the source code to baccalc available. Tim -- Tim Melton firstname.lastname@example.org Quest Consultants Inc. http://www.questconsult.com/~tam P.O. Box 721387 (405) 329-7475 Norman, OK 73070-8069 Fax: (405) 329-7734
On Sun, 16 Dec 2001 17:48:38 -0000, Brian Watson put finger to keyboard and typed: > >"Mark Goodge" <email@example.com> wrote in message >news:firstname.lastname@example.org... > >> Apparently, people with a small amount of alcohol in their blood are >> actually less likely to have an accident than those with none. > >(Quote source, please - that sounds like bollocks) Quoted in the Sunday Times today. It's online at http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/article/0,,9017-2001581058,00.html, but you'll need to register. I was surprised by it, so I looked up a few sources via Google, which confirmed it. Here are a couple of relevent qotes: The study?s most surprising finding was that there is actually a decrease in the risk of suffering a serious or fatal accident with a low level of alcohol in the blood (up to 40mg per 100ml of blood ? the UK limit is 80mg). (Sunday Times) For drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) up to 0.04%, the alcohol-related accident risk is nearly identical to or even less than that for sober drivers. (Quoted from research carried out by the University of Wuerzburg, Germany) The original data refered to in both the ST and UW quotes is from "The Role of the Drinking Driver in Traffic Accidents" by R F Borkenstein et al. This is the definitive research into drinking and driving, and has been confirmed as accurate by subsequent studies. Unfortunately, I can't find an online copy of the original, but I did find http://members.tripod.co.uk/ukdd/danger.html which quotes some of Borkenstein's figures. >However ... "and people casually driving at just over the legal speed limit >may be marginally less likely to knock people over than people who are >over-attentive to staying just within the limit." Indeed, and much the same factors are possibly responsible for the "Borkenstein Dip" - the fact that drivers with a small amount of alcohol are likely to be taking more care about their driving in order to compensate for their perceived impaired ability. Even small amounts of alcohol in the blood (under 40mg) impair reaction times, but there's more to being a safe driver than pure mental quickness. At lower alcohol levels, the relatively minor impairment in reaction time can easily be overruled by other factors. The danger comes at higher levels, when drivers may be under the mistaken impression that they can continue to compensate for their impaired ability. Mark
The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
It is not the aim of this site to play down the risks of drinking and driving. Alcohol and motor vehicles represent a dangerous and potentially lethal cocktail. Although the figures have been falling steadily in recent years, each year in Britain over 400 people are killed in road accidents where excess alcohol is a factor. Thousands more are seriously injured. Being below the legal alcohol limit is no guarantee that your driving ability will not be impaired. At 50% above the limit, your chances of being involved in a fatal or serious injury accident are five times higher than those of a completely sober driver. Twice the legal limit, and that figure rises to twenty times. (See the table below)
Once you have had a few drinks, the only thing that will reduce your alcohol level is time, and plenty of time at that. Your body can only metabolise one unit of alcohol per hour (the equivalent of a half-pint of ordinary strength beer). After a heavy drinking session, you could still be over the limit the following morning, or even much later in the day. There are cases of people being convicted of drink-driving when they had not had a drink for twenty-four hours. Black coffee or hangover medicines might make you feel better, but they will not bring your alcohol level down any quicker.
And if you are so arrogant and thoughtless that you couldn't care less about endangering the lives of others, bear in mind that 60% of the deaths in drink-related accidents are of the drinking driver himself. Drinking and driving really does wreck lives, and the life it is most likely to wreck is your own.
Stay low - stay safe!
The principal source of data on alcohol and accident risk is a study carried out by R F Borkenstein and others in the US State of Indiana in 1964 ï¿½. This was used as the basis for the original UK breathalyser legislation in 1967. The table below is an interpretation of Borkenstein's findings which shows the risk of a fatal or serious injury accident at various levels of blood-alcohol concentration, as compared to the risk for a completely sober driver. This needs to be seen in the context of the fact that the accident risk for a sober driver doing an average daily mileage on one particular day is less than one-sixth the chance of winning the jackpot on the National Lottery, in other words absolutely infinitesimal.
A feature of these figures that has intrigued statisticians is the reduction in accident risk between 10 mg and 40 mg, sometimes referred to as the "Borkenstein dip". This is certainly valid, not just a statistical quirk, and has been reinforced by other studies. However, it is unlikely really to indicate that consuming a small amount of alcohol will make you a slightly better driver. It is probably a combination of the fact that people driving after one or two small drinks are likely to be driving at times when the roads are quieter than average, and that they may try to compensate for the alcohol by making an effort to drive more carefully than usual. But this underlines the fact that, at these low levels, alcohol does not impair driving ability at all.
ï¿½ R F Borkenstein et al: The Role of the Drinking Driver in Traffic Accidents (Bloomington, Indiana University, Department of Police Administration, 1964)
Robert F. Borkenstein, Inventor of the Breathalyzer, Dies at 89 By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Robert F. Borkenstein, who revolutionized enforcement of drunken driving laws by inventing the Breathalyzer to measure alcohol in the blood, died last Saturday at his home in Bloomington, Ind. He was 89.
The Breathalyzer is a portable device that can determine whether the person being tested is legally drunk. It measures the proportion of alcohol vapors in exhaled air, a proportion that reflects the content of alcohol in the blood.
Before widespread use of the device, police officers investigating an accident or noticing a weaving car looked for symptoms like a flushed face, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. If the suspect then went to sleep in the police station, they might have sufficient basis for charges.
Getting a conviction was harder still. Defense lawyers might say the suspect had been staggering because of the long hours he worked, and bring in friends to say he had had no more than two beers. The defendant might maintain that his eyes had been red as a result of allergies.
But the Breathalyzer provided scientific evidence of intoxication.
"This technological innovation enabled traffic enforcement authorities to determine and quantify blood alcohol concentrations with sufficient accuracy to meet the demands of legal evidence," the National Safety Council said in naming Mr. Borkenstein to its Safety and Health Hall of Fame International in 1988.
The ratio of breath alcohol to blood alcohol is 2,100 to 1, meaning that 2,100 milliliters of exhaled air will contain the same amount of alcohol as one milliliter of blood.
For many years the typical legal standard for drunkenness across the United States was 0.10, meaning 0.10 gram of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Many states have now adopted 0.08 as a standard, and the federal government has pushed others to do so.
Robert Frank Borkenstein was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Aug. 31, 1912. His youthful passion was science experiments, and he went to work in a photography shop after graduating from high school. He developed a new color printing process, which was sold to other businesses.
He started working for the Indiana state police in 1936, did early research on the development of the lie detector and rose to captain in charge of laboratory services.
He collaborated with Dr. R. N. Harger of the Indiana School of Medicine to develop the Drunkometer, one of the first instruments that accurately measured blood alcohol. This led to Mr. Borkenstein's independent invention of the smaller, easier-to-use Breathalyzer in 1953. Subsequent, even more accurate devices to detect drunkenness use infrared radiation, among other means.
Mr. Borkenstein received a bachelor's degree in forensic sciences from Indiana University in 1958 and then joined the faculty there as chairman of a newly formed department of police administration.
Over the years he was chairman of the National Safety Council, consultant to the President's Task Force on Highway Safety, president of the International Committee on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, and president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
His wife, the former Marjorie K. Buchanan, died in 1999. He had no immediate survivors.
In 1981, Mr. Borkenstein supervised a study, financed by the liquor industry, whose findings suggested that a driver who had had less than two ounces of alcohol might be less dangerous than one who had had none. He theorized that some alcohol might help a driver's performance behind the wheel by relaxing him.
Nonetheless, Mr. Borkenstein continued to advocate abstinence before driving. He also lamented the effects of alcohol consumption on the job, which in 1995 he estimated cost American employers $115 billion a year.
"One way to keep from sacrificing our standard of living is to keep our people sober at work," he told The Associated Press. "If we can make life better simply by controlling alcohol, that's a very small price to pay."
LL.D., Indiana University; D. Sci., Wittenberg University
Prof. Robert F. Borkenstein began his career with the Indiana State Police in 1936. He invented the Breathalyzer in 1953 and retired in 1958 as captain in charge of Laboratory Services.
His academic career began in 1958 when he received an A.B. degree from Indiana University. Also in 1958, he became a professor at Indiana University's Department of Forensic Studies.
In 1963, Prof. Borkenstein received an honorary D.Sc. degree from Wittenberg Univesity. He became chairman of the Department of Forensic Studies. In 1971 Prof. Borkenstein became director of Indiana University's Center for Studies of Law in Action.
In 1987, he received an LL.D., or honorary doctor of laws, degree from Indiana. Such an honor for a working professor is extremely rare.
Prof. Borkenstein's awards, honors and memberships are too numerous to mention. He is known worldwide for his contribution to the field of chemical tests for blood and breath alcohol.
Intensely curious about the human condition, Prof. Borkenstein inspires others to higher levels of achievement. His beloved wife, Marjorie, died in 1998.