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'[OT] rules, impairment limits'
2004\09\23@170246 by Robert Rolf

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> On Thu, 2004-09-23 at 14:45, Mike Hord wrote:
>
>>>Many people have NO CLUE how many drinks comprise the "legal limit",
>>>which dramatically increases the number of drunk driving occurrences
>>>because people simply "didn't know" they were over the limit. On top of
>>>that the limit isn't even a constant, it depends on person, physical
>>>activity, time, heck even genetics.

Which is why the guys on Mythbusters didn't get easily drunk.
They're both large heavy men so lots of blood volume and fat
to dilute the blood alcohol.

{Quote hidden}

If the arbitrary line is ZERO, then there is no argument or debate.
If they can have zero tolerance for drugs in sport, why not for driving
(including cannibis [pot]). There would be a LOT fewer deaths.

R

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2004\09\23@234613 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 23, 2004, at 2:01 PM, Robert Rolf wrote:

> If they can have zero tolerance for drugs in sport, why not for driving
> (including cannibis [pot]). There would be a LOT fewer deaths.
>
They don't have 'zero tolerance' in sports.  You're allowed to take
enough asprin to give you ulcers, for instance, and numerous other
"non performance enhancing" drugs.

So where do you stand on, say, antihistamines?  Is it better to be
driving while slightly groggy on benadryl, or having a eyes-watering
sneezing fit?  What if your reaction to the antihistamine is stronger
than average?  What if less than average?  What about ALL of those
"may cause drowsiness" drugs?

Someone wouldn't drive till a half-hour after their single beer.  Isn't
that right about the time the blood alcohol level from the beer peaks?
How long DO you have to wait?  Can you have a glass of wine before
dinner,
and drive after dinner?  A beer at lunch, and drive home after work?


BillW

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2004\09\24@045911 by Howard Winter

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Bill,

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 20:40:18 -0700, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

>...<
> Someone wouldn't drive till a half-hour after their single beer.  Isn't
> that right about the time the blood alcohol level from the beer peaks?
> How long DO you have to wait?  Can you have a glass of wine before
> dinner,
> and drive after dinner?  A beer at lunch, and drive home after work?

In aviation, the rule-of-thumb is "minimum 8 hours bottle-to-throttle", and that's for a small amount of
drink, say a pint of beer.  I have to admit that most people wouldn't use this time-limit when driving, but if
you find yourself unable to drive for any reason you can just stop the car and walk home, or sit there, or
whatever.  If you are flying you have to find somewhere to land and then do so safely, which could be a really
serious problem!

To extend the problem you mention: what about driving the next day after drinking the night before?  A lot of
people tend to think you "sleep it off" but it's entirely possible to wake up with more alcohol in your blood
than the legal limit if you've been drinking heavily.

In the UK the limit (80mg/litre, if I remember rightly) is what is used by the police - none of the "sobriety
tests" that we've seen on American "Police video" television.  If the police officer suspects you've been
drinking he can require you to take a breath test.  If you fail that, or if you refuse to take the test, you
are arrested and further tests are made at the police station (another breath test, then either blood or urine
sample).

Now while this is straightforward to administer, it does have the problems that others have mentioned, in that
nobody knows how much they can drink and remain under the limit, and it makes no allowance for variability
between persons.  

I think a much fairer test would be of reaction time.  This is the ability (or one of them) that drinking
impairs, and this is what we want drivers to have at a reasonable level.  If driving with a reaction time
longer than a certain value was made an offence, people could test themselves and find out how much they can
drink before being impaired, and this does take personal differences into account, and solves the "morning
after" and other problems.  And it would stop some people driving when they are stone cold sober, but
shouldn't be driving anyway!  :-)

Further, it could be built into the car, so that when you go to start the engine you have to pass a reaction
time test first, or it won't let you!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\24@130631 by Lawrence Lile

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> I think a much fairer test would be of reaction time.  This is the ability
> (or one of them) that drinking
> impairs, and this is what we want drivers to have at a reasonable level.
> If driving with a reaction time
> longer than a certain value was made an offence, people could test
> themselves and find out how much they can
> drink before being impaired, and this does take personal differences into
> account, and solves the "morning
> after" and other problems.  And it would stop some people driving when
> they are stone cold sober, but
> shouldn't be driving anyway!  :-)
>
> Further, it could be built into the car, so that when you go to start the
> engine you have to pass a reaction
> time test first, or it won't let you!

While we are at it, maybe an intelligence test:

"Can you talk on a cell phone and chew gum at the same time?  No?  In the passenger seat you go!"

"What is the square root of 3.78 squared?  Don't know?  Hit the ejector seat button."

"Have you had trouble unsubscribing from the PIClist?  Yes?  Then no driving for you, buddy."



-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com

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2004\09\24@132918 by Mike Hord

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> Someone wouldn't drive till a half-hour after their single beer.  Isn't
> that right about the time the blood alcohol level from the beer peaks?

The estimate I always hear is that one beer is demolished by the body
every hour.  It usually takes me about an hour to drink a beer, then I
give it (minimum) half an hour more to work its way out.

Usually, though, I just don't risk it.  My wife drives, and I relax.

The big question is what effect food has on it.  Does drinking a beer in
ten minutes on an empty stomach equal drinking a beer in an hour while
eating a large dinner?

Mike H.
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2004\09\24@135349 by Marcel Duchamp

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At 10:29 AM 9/24/04, you wrote:
> > Someone wouldn't drive till a half-hour after their single beer.  Isn't
> > that right about the time the blood alcohol level from the beer peaks?
>
>The estimate I always hear is that one beer is demolished by the body
>every hour.

24 beers in a case,
24 hours in a day;
coincidence?
MD

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2004\09\25@095816 by Gerhard Fiedler

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>>The estimate I always hear is that one beer is demolished by the body
>>every hour.
>
> 24 beers in a case,
> 24 hours in a day;
> coincidence?

In Germany, the standard is 20 half-liter bottles in a case. Guess most
people there sleep at least four hours a day :)

But seriously, I doubt that any rule of thumb could be anywhere near the
truth, other than by accident. The individual differences and the
differences in situation seem to have such a large influence that any
general rule is doomed to be not more than a myth.

Gerhard
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