Vic: Calls For 0.02 Blood-Alcohol Limit Rejected By Govt, Opposition

Trevor Collett | Jul 11, 2014

Victoria’s state government and opposition have both rejected calls for the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers to be lowered to 0.02.

The current limit is 0.05, as it is in every other Australian state and territory, but Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUAC) believes it has evidence that a 0.02 limit could reduce the road toll.

Victoria Police have backed MUAC’s views, calling for public debate on a lower BAC limit and even supporting a BAC limit of zero.

"Even though we've had the lowest road toll in 90 years we've still got more to do because people are still dying and being hurt on our roads," Victoria Police Inspector Martin Boorman said, speaking with the ABC.

"Saying, well, if you're going to drink don't drive, if you're going to drive don't drink. [A limit of zero] makes it a very simple yes/no question."

But Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews have both declared their respective political parties will not support any change to blood alcohol laws, on the eve of a Victorian state election in November.

Mr Napthine said it would take substantial evidence of the benefits to road safety to convince the government to lower the BAC limit, adding that "a knee-jerk change" would damage the hospitality industry and lower quality of life standards for Victorians.

The Premier said his government was instead committed to making roads safer in Victoria, as the most effective way to reduce road trauma.

The MUAC report estimates one fifth of Victoria’s road toll last year involved a driver over the .05 limit. It also notes that 10,000 people were caught drink-driving in Victoria in 2013.

The report says that high-range drink-drivers reduced their drinking by between by 30-50 percent, when legal blood-alcohol levels were reduced.

MORE: Victoria news, drink driving news

Filed under: victoria, Victoria Police, road safety, drink driving, laws, road toll, News, blood alcohol limit, monash university accident research centre

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  • H8r says,
    4 months ago
    I think a greater deterrent would be more police on the roads.
  • MotorMouth says,
    4 months ago
    Those figures have the smell of smoke and mirrors to me. How can they possibly know what effect lowering the limit had on people's drinking habits? More telling, though, is what they didn't talk about. How many road deaths were caused by driver's with a blood-alcohol level below 0.05? I'd suggest it would be no more than the rate for completely sober drivers.

    Realistically, I think all they have to do is wait anyway. Young drivers these days seem to have a way better attitude to drink-driving than anyone my age ever has. My nephews are all in their 20s and none of them will have even one drink if they are driving, even though they are all on full licenses. OTOH, whether or not I am driving is rarely a consideration when it comes to how much I have to drink.
    • CP says,
      4 months ago
      It's too low and the machines used roadside have certain tolerances and a defined measurement of uncertainty. What impairment would a person have that was 0.02 anyway?
      • MotorMouth says,
        4 months ago
        I agree with every point, it is patently absurd, especially when most of the world still has a legal level of 0.08.
  • Raven says,
    4 months ago
    1 like
    Realistically it should be zero. No guess work needed to tell if you're over or not.

    Trouble is society thinks it's ok to drink and drive. Should have the same consequences as the BS hoon laws.
    • zaffod.beeblebrox says,
      4 months ago
      Yes let's have a zero blood alcohol limit that will stop accidents, because there will be no one driving as we all have alcohol in our system all the time from naturally fermenting sugars in our body.
      • i2 says,
        4 months ago
        Learn medical records and specifications of measuring devices. In the body, there is alcohol, natural, but not in such a quantity that would show devices. Even after the fermented milk product in which 0.5% of alcohol.
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