Telegraph’s Tim Blair floats Pedestrian 08 Policy on line

25/09/2012

And unfortunately doesn’t go into any detail about the four key components of the policy:

  1. All venues to have available, near blood test quality, audio visually capable, BAC Testing Machines for self testing by alcohol users.
  2. A simple, easy to understand limit on where “Responsible Drinking” ends, put into law.
  3. 80% of the program budget spent on educating users about staying under Point 08, and the risks of binge drinking.
  4. 20% of the program budget spent on targeted, on street, pedestrian RBT.

No information given letting readers know that only campaigns with a hard legal edge work! (WHO)

No information about the failure of RSA nor the litany of tragic outcomes from this failure of government policy.

No information about how P-RBT could routinely detect and divert, underage alcohol users, goon baggers – nor how it would clean up Kings Cross, other Sydney and NSW trouble spots, including public transport.

It’s not serious is it? Just an absence of facts about a deadly serious subject.

Meanwhile, Healthland reports this finding:

Exposure to alcohol in utero leads to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in about 40,000 newborns every year in the U.S.

And:

For every one additional drink the mothers consumed between their 43rd and 84th days of pregnancy, their babies had a 16% greater chance of being born smaller than average, which may put them at greater risk for mental and physical problems. Their infants were also more likely to have birth defects, such as a 25% higher risk of a smooth ridge linking the nose and upper lip, a 12% increased risk of an abnormally small head and a 22% greater chance of unusually thin upper lips.

Which would undoubtedly be of great concern to some challenged individuals at this blog


NY Times Links reports a pedestrian 08 like policy would have avoided Afghan Massacre.

19/03/2012

The truly tragic massacre in Afghanistan has motivated the NY Times to write this:

Nearly every combat outpost in Afghanistan is automatically part of a volatile mix: a hardened enemy, increasingly sophisticated and deadly land mines, nervous young soldiers, powerful weapons and machinery, suicide bombers, the stress of multiple deployments, searing heat, unfriendly locals, unfamiliar languages.

The U.S. Army has concluded that adding alcohol to that mix is unwise.

But now, with the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, alcohol has been suggested as a possible causal factor in the killings…

And:

The military’s General Order No. 1 prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol in five countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, alcohol finds its way onto bases and outposts, either passed from soldiers from other countries, smuggled in from local markets or delivered in care packages from home. Sometimes the alcohol is disguised as mouthwash — usually gin or vodka doctored with blue-green food coloring.

And:

An assistant secretary of the navy, Juan Garcia, said a pilot Breathalyzer program in submarine units had yielded a 45 percent decrease in “alcohol-related incidents.’’

The Moral of the Story?

Even in heavily disciplined environments, only random breath testing delivers!

Only random breath testing will find the illicit alcohol.

No one in Australia and the UK can point to a single harm minimization program that can instantly produce a 45% decline in Alcohol Harms.

In fact, so out of touch are the Australian Drug Foundation, that Mr Geoff Munro, National Policy Manager, hadn’t even heard of the U.S. Navy’s pioneering success.

And, he admitted he had nothing to do with the Northern Territory’s outstanding success with Drinking Licensing in Chronically Affected areas.

Nothing effective comes from the ADF.

I’ve repeatedly challenged Mr Munro to come up with one policy innovation that the ADF has come up with.

He refuses to believe a projected 5% increase in ethanol consumed, “despite” all the “evidence based” measures supported by Mr Munro.

Come up with it Geoff! All the programs that led to a population wide decrease of 45% of toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive alcohol, that you recommended, and you achieved!



Alcohol Riddled UK, struggling to find sensible regulation

21/02/2012

With one of the world’s largest problems dealing with alcohol, the UK is struggling to assertively introduce sensible, researched regulations to mitigate against the omnipresent marketing success of Big Liquor.

See this Guardian Link here: Can we afford not to have minimum pricing for alcohol?

Other articles at the Guardian here: Alcohol pricing: a battleground between heath groups and drinks industry

And here: Give people a drinking licence, and take it away if they cause enough damage

The UK appear to be choking on an inability to confront the mega corporations dominating their communities.  There seems to be a reluctance to take on one of the key tactics with this amazingly powerful lobby. This is to call them to account for what they are, what they have done, and what they continue to do.

UK A&E Departments and Ambulance paramedics should be clamoring for random pedestrian breath testing and a pedestrian 08 law.

This is a behaviour changing policy model that works. Comprehensively works.


1.1 million people random breath tested in 50 days

12/01/2012

The efficiency and effectiveness of random breath testing cannot be doubted.
As part of its summer routine, Victoria Police via their vaunted Booze Bus Teams took control of our roads, barely inconvenienced a safe driver, and RBT’d an astonishing 1.1 million drivers over a 50 day period.
The Melbourne Herald Sun reports this operationOperation Summer Stay – put 2610 over the limit drivers – off the road. They lost their licenses.
How effective is random breath testing as a societal wide, behaviour changing program?
This is the quote that reveals the answer:

Mr Walshe said the drink-driving test rate of one positive per 432 motorists was poor, but an improvement on one in 332 last year.

This means that VicPol had to test 432 motorists to find and remove 1 drunk from the road.
Last year, they had to test 332, to find and remove their one drunk.
This number, by and large, keeps improving.
DUI drivers are being removed from our roads.
We need to keep up this good work and extend the same model of enforcement and behaviour change to our streets. To our entertainment (drinking) districts employing pedestrian random breath testing.
The model is proven! Beyond doubt.
Meanwhile, this humble site, made the big time in the US, featuring on reddit.com, the social media site, upon which a group called “crippling alcoholism” has been created.
This is the discussion.
Warning, the site link above contains a four letter word.
A lot of obviously distressed and unwell people on this site…
I did my best to engage, prior to being – politely – banned from the group.
I don’t wonder why! [Edit: Note: I’ve recently gone back to the site, and, showing a level of intellectual and cultural cowardice, this site has removed all my contributions with “[deleted]”.  Giving yet another example of why so many drinkers are totally unaware of the toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive nature of their recreational drug…]
And thanks to producers and Louise Saunders of the ABC Hobart for the spot this morning on the discussion surrounding drunk driving / dui.
It seems that the idea of mandatory RBT machines in all pubs, thus enabling fewer surprises, better education via the audio visual education facilities these machines can bring, and of course, a totally unambiguous, easy to understand, maximum pedestrian BAC Limit, went down well with the listening public.

Mike


Can $450k per year change your eyesight, hearing and policy options?

19/03/2011

Although her police and ambulance officers and A & E staff are getting bashed most nights by the alcohol afflicted, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally recently said “wowsers” to Scott Weber, the NSW Police Union, Ambulance Paramedics and their colleagues, the Doctors, Nurses and Security Staff at our Accident and Emergency Departments.

As Scott rightly pointed out in his Punch Article, Who are you calling a wowser Kristina?:

The facts speak for themselves.

  • Alcohol-related violent incidents are growing by over 6 per cent a year;
    The number of paramedics assaulted a year has increased by over 60 per cent since 2006-07;
  • There were 2,855 assaults against police in NSW;
  • And it’s estimated that 70 per cent of these assaults against police were alcohol-related.
  • But Premier Keneally cannot see these statistics, hear the cries of the victims nor speak ill of the perpetrators – Big Liquor.

    Getting BAC Testing into the survey options list
    An interesting survey at Adelaide Now.

    5.3% doesn’t look much, but, some of our now successful political parties and politicians started with less…

    Democracy Doesn’t Come Cheap!
    New MatildaI suggest you read Norman Thompson’s article on NSW party political funding in New Matilda.

    A Quote for those too busy to click:

    In the past 10 years while Labor has been in power, the AHA and hotels companies have contributed over $4.5 million to the NSW ALP. The Coalition only managed to obtain a little over $2 million during this period.

    Every alcohol dollar given to Labor, Liberals and others in NSW was based on Addiction and or Binge Drinking. That’s the rub. That’s why funding of political parties by the purveyors of addictive substances is so wrought with moral dilemmas. Have no doubt, the money received was based to a large degree on the grief of addicts and their families and the strangers they hit, hurt, killed or injured.

    Obviously, this sort of spending would cause ructions in any association. But as a former AHA President said: “Democracy doesn’t come cheap!”. And here.

    Spending $450 k a year on most things can go a long way to achieving your aims.

    What’s this got to do with Pedestrian 08?

    It’s important to realise the connections between Big Liquor, Advertising, Sponsorship, Media Involvement, Politicians and political parties and the fact that laws and regulations are written to INCREASE binge drinking. Thereby creating a greater need for pedestrian 08.


    Operation Unite. Great, but what’s the message?

    04/02/2011

    Operation Unite, a joint operation spanning the police forces of Australia and New Zealand was run once more.

    Operation Unite YouTube Announcement

    This could kill

    See NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione’s announcement here.

    Such joint, concerted operations aimed at the victims of Big Liquor should be encouraged.

    Note that the alcohol affected are victims too.

    Many lives would have been saved from either death or injury because of this operation.

    Many, many more would be saved if the message was more clearly spelled out!

    Few of the arrested and fined idiots caught up in this operation would have a clear idea of when exactly they went wrong.

    Will they change their behaviour? Do they know how much is too much? How many will be repeat offenders?

    Whereas, a motorist pulled over for a breathalyser will know exactly where the boundaries are, where and when their transgression commenced and what the probable penalties would be.

    How many of the alcohol afflicted caught up in Operation Unite would have gone home knowing exactly what went wrong – what was it exactly that was illegal? – and what point in time was their errant behaviour was set in motion?

    What Operation Unite needs at its core, is a clear boundary to enforce.

    What Operation Unite needs to enforce is responsible drinking.

    You need to clearly define what responsible drinking is,  in the context of mixing with your fellow citizens in public, in order to have any chance of getting past the message “Don’t upset the police!” – which may in fact be the only campaign message being transmitted during Operation Unite.

    Note, that you cannot get an clear, easily understood answer from police, Big Liquor or Government to this question:

    What is responsible drinking?

    This boundary should be the maximum safe blood alcohol content for a pedestrian: A BAC of point 08.

    That’s a simple, easy to understand, true message in need of Government and community promotion.

    If you work for a police force, ask for it and get your colleagues to ask for it:

    We want a max BAC of 08 for Pedestrians

    Advertise it, Educate the public, Enforce it, like you enforce point 05 for motorists.

    Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe recently stated that 70% of Victoria Police workload was alcohol related.

    By enforcing a maximum BAC Limit of point 08, Operation Unite should be part of a campaign to reverse that statistic.

    Along with the alcohol epidemic hitting our ambulance and hospital services…


    Fight them off with Opera. ABC – Stateline – Reporters forced to leave train for own safety – and on a Tuesday!

    20/11/2010

    Reporter Kerrie Ritchie and victim of a previous train violence assault Paul Taylor had to leave their Frankston train due to the fear invoked by alcohol fuelled, fellow patrons.
    Not all violence on our trains is alcohol related, but the statistics are compelling:
    70% of all assaults in Australia have alcohol at their core.

    The subject of this story was previously a victim of Frankston Line Train Rock Battering Incident described in the Herald Sun here:

    Train Assault Victim

    Train Assault Victim Tim Redmond injured 4th June 2010

    In the ABC story, Paul tells the story of the terror he and his young son experienced.

    They were part of a football crowd returning home.  AFL football events are often Binge Drinking Events…

    Paul Taylor and ABC feeling the heat of alcohol related tensions
    Some good can come out of this story if the wider ABC starts listening to real people like Paul with these real experiences.

    Fight them off with Opera
    Quote of the year for me comes from Paul Taylor who said of the violence on trains:

    The problem is we tippy-toe around the problem. We play music to scare them off, like you know, ban smoking on the streets of Frankston to move them on. You know we’re just too scared these days to come out and say ‘that’s not tolerated. Stop’. We don’t want do that, we don’t want to confront them, we’d rather fight them off with opera.

    Someone please get the word to Paul and Kerrie Ritchie and crew.
    A Pedestrian 08 law and program of enforcement would have eliminated every incident he and Kerrie Ritchie and crew filmed for this excellent segment.
    Multiple attempts have been made to contact the ABC.
    With the exception of ABC South Australia, we haven’t been able to elicit any interest.


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