Friday, May 11, 2007

Drink driving and the limit.

This story is from to day's independent.

"SINN Fein TD Martin Ferris has been found to be under the legal limit for drink-driving.

Mr Ferris - who took to the election campaign trail yesterday in his Renault car - said in a statement issued early yesterday that the results of samples taken from him three weeks ago were negative.

Gardai in Tralee said that Mr Ferris's reading was not negative and that there was alcohol in his system, but they confirmed he was not over the legal limit.

Mr Ferris was stopped in the early hours after leaving a pub near his home in Ardfert to drive the short distance home on April 22. After failing two breath tests, he was arrested and taken to Tralee Garda Station, where he gave a urine sample.

He later admitted on radio to having drunk two pints and a glass of wine earlier that night, but said he felt confident he was not over the legal limit. The TD, who is seeking re-election, also said he would owe the people of his North Kerry constituency a huge apology should he be over the legal limit.

He said yesterday that if he found himself in that position again, he would not get behind the wheel of his car.

"Obviously I have been very worried over the past-two-and a half weeks, I have been very worried. I am very relieved that the result came back negative," he told Newstalk radio station. "I believed it at the time and I said it publicly at the time that I wasn't over the limit. I believe my position at that time has now been vindicated."

I'm not sure his position is 'vindicated', I think he had what I might describe as a lucky escape.
Now as far as I can make out he drank 5 units of alcohol and yet he was barely half the legal limit. But it seems to me the drank rather a lot. Am I wrong? What is the limit? I scampered off to check out what the Road safety dudes had to say on the matter.
"An average of 250 drivers are arrested each week for driving while under the influence of an intoxicant in the Republic of Ireland

According to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety 90% of blood and urine specimens and 81% of breath specimens analysed in 2002 were above the alcohol limit for driving. Of the blood, urine and breath tests certified in 2002 the Medical Bureau of Road Safety found that;

The mean alcohol level in blood was 174 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres (The legal limit being 80 mg/100ml)
The mean alcohol level in urine was 216 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres (the legal limit being 107 mg/100ml)
The mean alcohol level in breath was 57 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres (the legal limit being 35 ug/100ml)
International research indicates that alcohol is a contributory factor in up to 40% of road collisions and in Ireland, it is conservatively estimated that alcohol is the primary cause of 25% of all road collisions and 33% of collisions resulting in fatalities."
Right, but in terms of drinking what does this all mean? How are we, Joe Public, to guage those readings? Is one drink okay? Two? Three?
There must be some sort of scale at work. It is entirely possible that a six foot man has two pints and feels no real effects but his wife, five foot nowt drinks the same and feels tipsy, many factors must be taken into account, length of time since last drink, how much food was consumed, is the drinker on any medication, and so forth.
It is not an exact science.
But you can be very sure that there are men and women all over the country reading the news of Martin Ferris today and thinking, 'okay, so two pints and a glass of wine is fine and dandy. Maybe three pints since he was only at the half way mark.' But it isn't fine, really, what might be fine on one day might be very NOT fine on another.
I don't have the moral high ground here, I often drive home from the paramour's father's home on a sunday having had a glass of wine of two with our Sunday roast. Has my driving been impaired? I don't think so, but what if it was? What if the second or two of reaction time was dulled. Would I be able to live with myself if something happened?
Dunno. But I need to examine my own actions. Maybe I need to say, right, I'm driving a large automobile that will crush the delicate bones of anything that crosses its path so I"d best be giving driving my utmost attention.
And for the sake of all drivers and pedestrians out there I hope nobody reads the Ferris case as an excuse to up the level that they risk drinking.



Blogger aquaasho said...

I've been breathalyzed 3 times recently at those random checkpoints (I don't drink so luckily not an issue). So there's lots of these checkpoints about. A colleague of mine was breathalyzed after at least 3 drinks, and it came up as ZERO on the machine? I don't geddit?

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Me neither, there was someone on the radio earlier saying that the self check kits-to see if you are over the limit or not- are very risky, one woman drank a whole bottle of wine and she came up under the limit. If I had drunk an entire bottle of wine I would definitely be suffering symptoms and by that I mean drunk.

12:48 p.m.  
Blogger Glinda the good witch said...

Hmm, having worked in an A and E where we had an extremely accurate breathalyzer (as accurate as the blood alcohol) I wonder have de Guards bought a dodgy lot of them? to save money like....
Totally agree with your point about Ferris. It comes across as if he is saying two pints and a glass of wine is fine, lads and ladies. Not on. I think the alcohol limit should be reduced to about half its current level - where 5 units of alcohol is deemed legally ok to drive, just essentially proves that the legal limit is too high. Oh and I like a drink myself by the way. Oh and I have got behind the wheel in my young and crazy days with probably an illegal limit of blood in my alcohol stream... which would have started off as an "ah sure I'll only have the one or two". A tolerance closer to zero would stop that kind of thing, I think. By the way does anyone remember the drink driving campaign which went "If you drive...two will do". V Irish. Now Ferris could start his own campaign, "two and a glass of wine? You're fine"

1:39 p.m.  
Blogger Caro said...

I find it really hard to believe he was only at half the limit after two pints and a glass of wine. I definitely wouldn't chance driving with that much. You think your reactions aren't affected but try touch-typing after a few drinks when you don't feel at all drunk, tis amazing how much your motor skills are impaired without you even noticing...

2:36 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Of course, anything that cuts down your reaction time is dangerous, but I think everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. Assigning percentage numbers seems arbirtrary to me, but I guess you have to start somewhere. A person's reactions to X number of drinks is going to be different depending on whether they've eaten, how rested they are, how stressed they are, etc. The legal limit here is equal to say...the Spouse and I sharing a bottle of wine with dinner - which isn't very high. But where someone like himself would be unimpaired, I would be maybe a bit...'relaxed,' and even if not 'dangerous' per se, we don't know what my reaction time would be to something or someone darting out in front of me or some other idiot doing something stupid in the next lane. And of course it's because women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, which sucks. And it would be dangerous to impose a different limit for men and women...

I don't know. I am very careful and prefer not to break the law, but sometimes I'll admit I've driven when I've had a couple of drinks. Never absolutely DRUNK, but I don't honestly know what a breathalyzer would have said.

Having said all that, a couple of pints and a glass of wine seems pretty harmless to me - given the person in question is male. I would have been impaired, but a male, who weighs 100 pounds more than I do? Yeah, probably not drunk.

2:40 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm sure he wasn't drunk, just I'm surprised he wasn't over the limit, especially as the limit is quite low here.

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Mairéad said...

I'm surprised he wasn't over the limit too. I've never believed fellas at weddings who say they'll be fine "after that big feed"!!!! Were the results tampered with I wonder??? Word around here (Cork - Kerry border) is that FF set him up! He takes loads of their votes back there. How ironic then if SF got him off? He'll be even more popular now - "sure it could happen to any one of us" man-of-the-people-type-thing.
I think you're right that many, many people will review their thinking now and believe that 2 pints and a glass of wine is ok. Not good progress.

5:06 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I'd have thought he'd be over the limit on that too.

Over here all the bars have parking lots and you can't walk anywhere so the system is set up for failure a lot more than in Ireland or the UK where pavements are plentiful and walking and public transport are more common; taxis are easy to get even in wee towns; we live a lot closer together; and pubs are often within walking distance.

The Upper Midwest is still all gung-ho about drink-driving with men actually bragging about their DWI arrests. California is a lot better apart from dumb kids and old die-hards. But people still do a fair job of designating a driver and all that. In the UK and Ireland, with taxis far more readily available than in the US (outside the East coast cities that is) there really is no good reason for driving drunk.

5:56 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

I hate politicians, slimey teflon coated cunts.

11:13 p.m.  
Blogger valrossie said...

It’s just made it into the flickr blog, flickr member, Colleenm has put together a fantastic collection of scans of images taken around Ireland during a trip in 1972. Of particular interest to readers of this blog would be the set of images in and around County Dublin. It’s amazing to see just how much the city has changed since then, and even more so just how much the people have changed as well. This is a fantastic collection that’s well, well worth checking out when you have a spare moment.
California Dui

4:58 p.m.  
Blogger Aries said...

It can be anything when we drunk and drive.I have faced this situation.I have met with an accident and it was luck that i am still alive.I got only injured in my leg or else it would have been anything.Since then i have trying to appeal people on various forum and communities that DUI is dangerous for life.


Tax Relief

3:19 a.m.  
Blogger Ronald said...

It is nice to find a site about my interest. My first visit to your site is been a big help. Thank you for the efforts you been putting on making your site such an interesting and informative place to browse through. I'll be visiting your site again to gather some more valuable information. You truly did a good job.

IRS Tax Attorney

12:41 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved
every little bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new things you post?
Also visit my website ; This Post

7:40 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You've done a formidable job
and our entire community will be grateful to you.

Check out my webpage: healthy diet plans

2:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
I'm sure they will be benefited from this web site.

My weblog: apothederm stretch mark cream reviews

4:44 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post.
Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

Stop by my blog post :: bmi calculator for women
my page > bmi calculation

8:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heavy ѕmokеrs thesе ԁaуs lοcate quіtting
pretty challenging.

Checκ out mу wеbpаgе; V2Cigs coupon Codes

5:19 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon yоur blog and ωanteԁ to say thаt Ι have really enϳоyed bгowѕing your wеblog posts.
In any case I'll be subscribing to your rss feed and I'm hoping
уou wrіte once more soon!

Feel fгee to surf to my homepage - relevant internet page

9:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The flex waistband demands a load of consumers.

my web-site; flex belt coupon

10:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The belt could be worn wherever so you can get a fantastic operate out taking a cat nap or washing home.

Here is my web-site;

12:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited many blogs but the audio quality for audio
songs current at this site is genuinely superb.

Also visit my webpage Abercrombie and Fitch

9:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

І gоt thiѕ website from my friend who shаred
ωіth me сoncеrning thiѕ web
раge and at the moment this time I am visiting this web site and reading veгy informаtivе posts at this placе.

Fеel free to visіt my weblog - v2 Cigs review

4:03 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really realize
what you're speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my website =). We could have a hyperlink alternate contract between us

Feel free to surf to my weblog Authentic Kris Letang Jersey

5:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I log on to your blog like every week. Your story-telling
style is awesome, keep doing what you're doing!

Here is my webpage; Louis Vuitton Outlet

9:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!

my blog post ... NFL Jerseys Cheap

10:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there friends, its fantastic article on the topic of teachingand completely explained, keep it up all the

Feel free to visit my blog post - nfl jerseys cheap

6:12 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I should check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to
going over your web page again.

Also visit my web blog wholesale nfl jerseys

6:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there to all, how is everything, I think every one
is getting more from this website, and your
views are pleasant for new users.

Visit my weblog - Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

7:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
It will always be helpful to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.

Here is my web site; Discover More

5:07 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this blog. It's simple,
yet effective. A lot of times it's challenging to get that "perfect balance" between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you've done a very
good job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Internet explorer.
Superb Blog!

my website -

12:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful publish, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector don't notice this. You should proceed your writing. I'm confident, you've a great readers' base already!

my webpage ... pointe shoes

1:01 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you're just too magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

Feel free to visit my website Louis Vuitton Purses

12:56 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its like you learn my mind! You appear to know a
lot approximately this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something.

I think that you could do with some percent to pressure the message house a little bit, however instead of that,
this is magnificent blog. A great read. I'll certainly be back.

Have a look at my site ... Sac a main Guess

1:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that's both
equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you
have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough men
and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

Here is my homepage - Chaussure De Foot

1:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there, I found your site via Google whilst looking for a related topic, your web site got here up, it appears to be like good.
I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hi there, just turned into alert to your blog via Google, and located that it is truly informative. I'm
gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you happen to continue this in future.
A lot of people will likely be benefited from your writing.

My homepage: Nike Air Jordan

1:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic however I'd figured I'd ask.
Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe
guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
My site goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you are interested feel free to send me an email.
I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the

Visit my blog post; Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

7:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your website.

Stop by my homepage ... Get More Information

8:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd most certainly donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i'll settle
for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my
Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my
Facebook group. Talk soon!

Here is my page :: Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

3:49 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting
more from this web site, and your views are good in support of new users.

Stop by my website - Mulberry Outlet

4:31 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paragraph writing is also a excitement, if you
be familiar with after that you can write otherwise it is complex
to write.

Here is my website

7:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so
she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with

Look into my weblog - Cheap NFL Jerseys

10:24 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, after reading this remarkable post i am as well cheerful to share my knowledge here with mates.

Here is my page :: Look At This

1:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, after reading this remarkable post i am as well cheerful to share my knowledge
here with mates.

my homepage Look At This

1:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

my website - Click This Link

1:11 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up to every one, it's truly a pleasant for me to pay
a quick visit this site, it consists of important Information.

Review my web page - Michael Kors Handbags (

4:56 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

Here is my web-site ... Kobe Bryant Shoes

1:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after going through some of the posts I realized it's new to me.
Anyways, I'm definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I'll
be book-marking it and checking back often!

Also visit my web site - Wholesale Jerseys Cheap

6:55 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well
written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

Look into my web site - Kevin Durant 5 Shoes

1:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets
I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest
twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Have a look at my website :: Louis Vuitton Bags

4:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This web site really has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask.

Here is my blog ... Air Jordan Pas Cher

5:30 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home