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


Australian Drug Foundation has No Knowledge of U.S. Navy Success

15/03/2012

In an unbelievable display of ignorance, Last Night, Mr Geoff Munro, Senior Policy Sifter for Australian Drug Foundation, admitted no knowledge of the U.S.Navy’s success in embedding a Pedestrian 08 Like Campaign.  The U.S. Navy program shares with Pedestrian 08: A declared max Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limit; Breathalyzer Machines (on All Ships); Random Breath Testing (RBT); as well as adding fixed time and place testing. Finally both programs provide consequences for transgressors.

Geoff has a thing about identifying “evidence” for the potential of Pedestrian 08 as the genuine life saving policy that it certainly is. (In this business, “Evidence Based” can be code for “Do nothing because no one else has done it yet” or “I can’t back this because minister xyz says I can’t”)

He has a problem relating the success of Australia’s most successful life saving measure against the many harms committed by Big Liquor – in this case Drunk Driving (DUI) – largely beaten by our famous Motorist Point 05 Campaign. This is the model on which Pedestrian 08 stands.  “No evidence!” declared Geoff. He chooses not to see the success of RBT as used by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to detect errant Commercial Pilots.  “No Evidence!” Nor does he know about what happens to Aviation Safety when you withdraw this safety measure. Witness the recent news of a struggling Indian Airline who couldn’t afford to maintain their Random Breath and Drug Testing. This resulted in one pilot caught by other authorities trying to fly his jumbo on a BAC of 0.09! Not to mention a building total of 50 – that’s FIFTY other transgressors on drugs and or alcohol fortuitously caught by other authorities. That would be “No Evidence!” I suppose Geoff! Leading to the biggest news so far reinforcing this model: The recent success and expansion of the U.S. Navy via its Nuclear Powered Submarine Fleet involving a whopping 45% Turnaround – “No, I haven’t heard of it” and 5 mins later: “No evidence”.

The ADF are fundamentally out of the loop on this one. Totally out of the loop. This is a PR machine. That’s it.

Geoff was presiding over a the first forum funded to raise awareness of Victoria’s Secondary Supply laws, along with advice to parents on how to handle children and alcohol.

Geoff and company acknowledged a guess that only ten percent of any audience of parents at any forum would know of the toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive nature of alcohol.

Yet, their presentation gave no facts to parents likely to deter them passing on their own habits and addictions onto their children. Eg: Big Liquor Maims Babies (FASD), Big Liquor causes Cancer, Big Liquor sells a toxic substance, Big Liquor promotes addiction, violence etc.

As I stated:”I don’t get it. The parents don’t know the dangers – no one else is going to tell them – and you are working for the government. You don’t warn them so they think it’s a drug with no side effects like they see it on TV? Who is going to tell them!”

Dissembling response only.

It then gets worse! The presentation included a line advising Parents not to supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 15. What a disgrace! A government funded front refusing to outline dangers to parents who may well need the truth about this killing, maiming drug of addiction. Then they move on to advising Parents to supply their child with Underage Drinking.

What is going on at the Australian Drug Foundation?

Geoff also acknowledged not being involved, in any way, in the Northern Territories recent success with Drink Licenses. (The N.T. gained an instant 15% drop in offenses).

It seems governments and authorities don’t look to Geoff’s ADF when ever anything effective needs to be done.


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


Irresponsible Parents prove need for Pedestrian RBT, Fines, Education and Behaviour Change

02/11/2011



Seven out of 10 under-age drinkers caught in the Cornish holiday resort of Newquay were given alcohol by their parents

BBC Cornwall reports the above, and more:

Most of the teenagers caught drunk and disorderly said they were sent to Cornwall with alcohol [from Parents]…
…although some parents were shocked about their children’s behaviour, others verbally abused officers who confiscated the alcohol…
…one officer was verbally abused by a parent who accused him of stopping her son “having fun”. The teenager was one of four 16-year-olds caught with 64 cans of Special Brew.

The campaign ‘Newquay Safe Partnership’ was formed in 2009 after two teenagers were found at bottom of cliffs in two separate incidents.

There is little doubt that a great percentage of Great Britain’s parents are either unwilling, unable or just too ignorant to responsibly guide their children through the alcohol wars of teenage years.

The Police effort here, is focused on Drunk and Disorderly Offenses.
Is this leaving a problem until it is too late?
Do police have a viable mechanism for the wholesale population wide detection of underage drinking?
Do they consider this, their role as a law and order body?

Where parents fail, the State ‘Nanny’ has to take over.
Pedestrian Random Breath Testing (P-RBT), that includes public transport, allied to heavy fines and heavily publicised educational messages offers the most hope for:

  • Identifying the largest cohort of offenders as quickly and as efficiently as possible; and
  • Changing their behaviour by unambiguously delivering a message about where acceptable behaviour ends

It is Not acceptable for children to fall off cliffs, under trains, and under cars because of Parent Supported Underage Drinking.

Underage drinking is a scourge against the very development of children:


Reaching for responsibility – are we there yet?

17/10/2011

Last Melbourne Cup Day – yes, it is a proclaimed public holiday here – Race Goers crossing Flinders Street from Young & Jackson’s famous bar, were handed a brochure proclaiming a fictitious Point 08 Pedestrian Limit for Race Day and how all Responsible Servers of Alcohol would, quite reasonably, provide an easy mechanism for Users to be able to accurately self test the amount of drug in their system via their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Level.
Many of the Users were already so inebriated – at 10 in the morning – that they:

  1. Took the ‘Limit’ literally [they believed it] :) ;
  2. Confessed that they were already ‘over the limit’;
  3. Look really worried – and plainly paused for thought;
  4. Took the brochure.

A year has gone on and as the Melbourne Age reports (Oct 14, 2011) the Melbourne Race Club has moved to doing something like the above hoax, this time for real:

Race-goers at tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup will be able to see whether they exceed the blood-alcohol level as part of a plan to help prevent the racing carnival turning into tragedy.

Two breath-testing devices were today installed in the members pavilion at Caulfield racecourse to give some of the expected crowd of 40,000 the option of getting an alcohol reading before they got behind the wheel.

It is believed the devices, which charge people $2 for a breath test and are claimed by their manufacturers to be as reliable as the ones police use, have never before been installed for a major metropolitan race meeting.


And the motivation?:

Melbourne Racing Club spokesman Josh Rodder said the innovation was a “good cultural thing” to help people know how much alcohol they had consumed.

“It’s good to have just as a guide, so they’ve got an idea how much they’ve had if they are driving, or if they want to avoid having too much to drink,” Mr Rodder said.


And regular readers can see the holes:

  1. Not enough machines for the massive, massive crowd;
  2. No published pedestrian limit (what’s the guideline for a pedestrian?);
  3. No mention of the behaviour changing mechanism of:
    a) Clearly and simply proclaiming a max legal pedestrian limit;
    b) Advertising and marketing the pedestrian limit;
    c) Modify so called RSA guidelines to include a minimum number of BAC Testing machines, that guarantees immediate testing;
    d) Include point of sale audio visual education messages on the BAC Testing machines;
    e) Providing police for Pedestrian Random Breath Testing (RBT).

This more complete plan of law, education, testing and action would truly ensure “a good cultural thing”.

Avoiding incidents as reported in Herald Sun (Oct 16, 2011):

More than 60 people were thrown out of Caulfield Racecourse and three arrested as police cracked down hard on public drunkenness.

However, one woman had to be helped into a wheelchair by two St John Ambulance paramedics and pushed to a first aid station because she was so drunk.

And a fight between a group of young men had to be broken up by police.


By the way, we had our 10,000 visitor, on these pages recently.
Thanks so much for your interest and support.


Election news: was on Adelaide Radio with Carol Whitlock – profit over life

11/11/2010

I just finished an interview with Carol and listeners. Thanks for that Carol.
Read the rest of this entry »


Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) – Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival booze up dangers

21/10/2010

ADCA pushed out a Press Release today: Reduce alcohol charged violence during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival

In it they declared:

With the Caulfield Cup tomorrow and the Melbourne Cup approaching, the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) calls for racegoers to recognise the violent consequences that come from excessive drinking.

And:

“Every week some 60 Australians die and 1500 are hospitalised due to alcohol-related injuries,” Mr Templeman said. “This shocking statistic should really change unconcerned attitudes toward the excessive consumption of alcohol.”

But ADCA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Templeman called for:

“With 750 000 people expected to attend this year’s 2010 Spring Racing Carnival, it is hoped that everyone making their way to the tracks this year want to attend to see the horses, rather than to simply get drunk,” Mr Templeman said.

“Prevent alcohol-related violence by drinking sensibly – let’s eliminate opportunities for alcohol-related harm!”

All good here David, but, most drinkers have a massive problem getting their minds around the concept of drinking sensibly and responsible consumption of alcohol

This communication could have be vastly more effective had ADCA and David changed the last mentioned sentence to:

“Prevent alcohol-related violence by drinking responsibly – staying well below a Blood Alcohol Content of point 08 for non drivers – let’s eliminate opportunities for alcohol-related harm!”

ADCA should have demanded that:

  1. Racing Authorities ensure all bars have a plentiful supply of Breathalyser machines – for patrons to track their intoxication;
  2. Racing Authorities declare a committment to Pedestrian 08 as a condition of entry to the race courses;
  3. Racing Authorities publish highly visible information posters and handouts educating race goers about BAC levels and the dangers of increasing BAC Levels.
  4. The all visitors agree to Random Breath Testing as a condition of entry. This to ensure a violence and trouble free meeting.

Last year, ADCA claims that:

Victorian Spring Racing Carnival directly experienced …  alcohol-fuelled aggression where approximately 30 people were involved in a brawl in the stands after the Caulfield Cup

You cannot expect to get away with 30 person brawls – if it happens again- for two years in a row! – and not expect to see some serious injuries. Racing Authorities need to take responsibility now, for the behaviours of their drinkers. So many promoters don’t…


Judges fed up with drunken violence clogging our courts

20/10/2010

How can anyone blame Chief Magistrate Graeme Hensen for his comments of frustration vented in ‘Judges fed up with drunken violence clogging our courts’, published Monday, 18 October 2010, on the Sydney Morning Herald website?

Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson

Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson

Mr Hensen offers up one more massively important statistic that adds to the considerable list of blood and guts subsidies going to Big Liquor and their retail servants: ‘Alcohol plays a role in 50 to 60 per cent of the nearly 300,000 criminal cases that come before the state’s Local Courts each year’.
Add that one to the cancers, the hospitals, nursing home care for the brain damaged, the 70% of police time devoted to cleaning up after Big Liquor, the 20,000 children abused by alcohol affected adults every year etc…
NSW badly needs a Pedestrian 08 Law and Education Campaign to drill in a widespread acceptance that as your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) increases, your ability – your reliability – to act responsibly diminishes. In short, ‘Responsible Drinking Ends at 08’ clearly illustrates a much needed, easily understood message.
We can immediately rid our streets of all alcohol fuelled violence via the immediate adoption of Pedestrian 08.
No one who wants to drink will be stopped from drinking.
Graeme Hensen’s focus would then turn to working out which of his colleagues could be retired…


1 in 4 U.S. teens and young adults binge drink

10/10/2010

An excellent article by USA TODAY, given here.

Big Liquor’s targetting of young people has been successful. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a Big Liquor bullseye in the making with:

Ninety percent of the alcohol consumed by high school students is consumed in the course of binge drinking, and more than half of the alcohol consumed by adults is consumed in the course of binge drinking

And:

two-thirds of high school kids binge drink

The article points to the impact of what Big Liquor supporters would consider ‘harmless fun’:

damage from regular binge drinking may far outlast a hangover the next morning. An earlier study found that in MRI scans, the brains of teens who drank heavily showed damaged nerve tissue compared to those who did not

Then of course, we have:

  1. More than 79,000 deaths each year in the United States result from drinking too much, with about half of these attributable to binge drinking
  2. car accidents
  3. violence
  4. HIV transmission
  5. sexually transmitted diseases
  6. unplanned pregnancy
  7. liver disease
  8. cancers
  9. heart disease
  10. stroke
  11. birth defects
  12. mental retardation (in newborns)
  13. other birth defects

The article fails to acknowledge the efforts Big Liquor makes to ensure it’s marketing success and cultural dominance.

This was pointed out to them in the contributions made to USA Today website.


Press at its worst – normalising the binge

04/11/2009
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David Penberthy's article

I wonder if David Penberthy has read one word of research on alcohol? Or is he relying solely on the ultimate anecdotal evidence of all – his own drinking?
We have an epidemic of binge drinking including  a spike in children receiving brain damage from alcohol, out of control rates of alcohol related violence, and we see Penberthy stating that ‘a boozy day at the races’ is a ‘truly excellent feature of life in Australia’.
He then falls into ostracising ‘hardcore halfwits’ for the crime of being out of control whilst consuming a disinhibiting drug designed just to do that – put you out of control.

Ostracising the victims of alcohol is a well trodden path for the spruikers of binge drinking. In fact the British Medical Association latest report on alcohol marketing notes this technique as being one of the many marketing methods used in Big Liquor’s 600 million pound Under the Line marketing program. That is, the marketing efforts not visible to the public.

Our Victorian Government has failed to adopt sensible harm minimisation measures such as a ban on alcohol marketing, a min age of 21 for alcohol purchase and consumption or a maximum drink walking limit of 08.They cannot explain in one phrase at what point responsible drinking ends. Millions of dollars spent, no knowledge transferred.
Our government, media and community leaders need to stop getting into bed with Big Liquor and start thinking of them as the enemy. They are not a harmless bunch of business people going about a harmless, fun activity. Their stuff indiscriminately kills, maims and injures.

In the context of this environment, how many negative, unconsciously destructive attitudes can one writer pump into an article about controlling the booze? To find out click here.


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