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


SBS Insight – Misses another opportunity

22/08/2012

SBS Insight have missed another opportunity to lead a discussion about viable answers to our violent binge drinking epidemic.

The show, Punch Drunk found here, and via podcast here, was ably led by Anton Enus and produced a series of harrowing personal stories of violence, maiming and death. All too common in Big Liquor’s Australia.

Many found it shocking – and rightly so. However, viewers would quickly pick up that no guest had anything like a complete overview of the effects of the epidemic, across the range of welfare, medical and police situations – with the possible exception of Dr Crozier.

Nor did any guest have a viable swag of solutions that could directly address even the narrow focus of the show – the violence on our streets.

Pedestrian 08 – the use of a Blood Alcohol Content Maximum enshrined in Law – along with in house Breathalyser Machines; Random Pedestrian Blood Testing; and serious behaviour changing consequences for offenders – wasn’t mentioned. Nor were other policies such as a minimum price per unit of alcohol; returning the minimum age to 21 (in Australia); minimising the number and opening hours and all round availability of alcohol; and the complete ban on alcohol advertising and marketing – especially through sporting coverage.

Effective counter measures – directly impacting the scope of the problem were, on the whole, not mentioned nor discussed. Why?

The latter would not be due to the vast array of promotions for alcohol provided by SBS via advertising and publicity provided via its rampant coverage of liquor addled sports.

Every soccer jumper with a liquor ad, targets the young admirer. Priming them to readily accept alcohol at younger and younger ages. This is a long known observation. Along with the link between younger alcohol users and binge drinking and violence. Can SBS producers not see it?


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!



US Navy – Have the guts to do what’s required to succeed. What’s wrong with us?

09/03/2012

As part of their duties, the US Navy and US Marines Senior Officers regularly put those under their command in harms way. They do this as a matter of routine.

Yet they routinely minimize risk – where they see it – and can do something about it!

In short they value life! Can we say the same Australia’s Civilian “Commanders” in jurisdictions such as the city councils of Australia’s Capital Cities and Australia’s State Government Premiers?

Can we say the same for the Governments of the UK and others?

Can we say the same for the leadership of Australia’s Defence Force (ADF)?

USS Virginia

US Nuke Subs have Missiles, Super Computers, Torpedoes and now Breathalyzers!

The US Navy and Marines have evaluated various solutions and found what we discovered decades ago. The most effective behaviour changing process you can invent to beat the scourge of binge drinking-alcohol fueled violence and pedestrian deaths is via Random Breath Testing (BAC Testing).

From the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, first printed on 6th March,  2012, headed Navy, Marines to Start Random Alcohol Tests, by Nathan Hodge, I present these quotes:

The Navy and Marines said Monday they plan to introduce random breath tests of personnel on duty as part of a broader health-and-safety push…

And:

The U.S. military already randomly tests members of all branches for illegal drug use. But resorting to breath tests—which detect blood alcohol levels from a breath sample—represents a first for military personnel.

And:

Some Navy crew members, for instance, will have to take a breath test when reporting aboard a ship for duty and other sailors will be subjected to random inspections.

And as part of their prior testing of RBT methods:

The Navy’s submarine fleet in the Pacific has already experimented with a pilot breath-test program that began in 2009. Officials say that program led to a 45% decrease in alcohol-related incidents, such as arrests for driving [cars!] under the influence.

US Nuke Sub Torpedo Room

US Nuclear Submarine Torpedo Room. Every finger on every button belongs to a sober, drug free serviceman or woman.

We have no immediate feedback on how many Submarine to Submarine collisions were avoided…

Note, in Australia we have a long history of proving the targeted effectiveness of RBT via our motorist targeted Point 05 Campaign which has saved hundreds of lives in the process.

Confusingly, a recent Defense Force Inquiry found that

alcohol use is common among ADF personnel and … there is also a high prevalence of drinking at hazardous levels. …this situation has existed in the ADF for a
considerable time, despite some commendable efforts to comprehensively address it over the years.”

Comment: Commendable Efforts don’t cut it. People, including civilians are regularly dying whilst these “Commendable Efforters” fail to hit a cultural change target.
(Just ask family and friends of victims of HMAS Cerberus – a major cultural trend setter training base in Victoria, Australia.
And:

26.4% of ADF members report consuming alcohol at hazardous or harmful
levels. …risky drinking in the ADF is an important contributor to
alcohol related harm

Comment, a quick read proves where the major attention of the defence force chiefs will be drawn:

…an analysis of the volume of negative television, radio and press
coverage of the ADF and its personnel in relation to alcohol found that in 2010–2011 there
were 2,666 such reports, which reached a cumulative potential audience of 81,159,239 and
had an advertising space rate of $4,445,812. This was a 347% increase from 2009–2010

And paid spin doctors, get typing on your response to a likely Tender:

Any explicit communication strategy can be readily undermined by adverse counter messages
and in this context the Panel advises the ADF to develop an organisation-wide policy on
alcohol industry sponsorship and promotion of ADF people, units, and events that has a
specific intent of reducing alcohol related harm

Comment: ADF personel could use their common sense, review what The US Navy submariners have found, and do what they do, and add more measures.
(ADF: No charge for that advice…)

Meanwhile, in a tale of how hard it is to put across a message of so-called “safe” alcohol consumption,  Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s new guidelines are known by only 5% of respondents (source: research conducted by the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research)

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Note that the “safe” is a relative term. The World Health Organisation long ago found there was no known safe level of drinking.
(Remember that alcohol is toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive. It cannot ever be absolutely safe for all users at any recommended level.)

Study author Michael Livingston should consider the idea of adapting Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) findings and translate the size and type of drink recommendations to BAC Levels – Over Time.

The Pedestrian 08 policy includes the mandatory installation of BAC Testing machines (breathalysers), at a set ratio to the number of clients in the venue, so that any alcohol user will have immediate access to a testing machine. Saving yet more motorists from unintentional drunk driving (BAC 0.05) and for “drink-walking” (BAC 0.08). Providing an extra lines of defense for motorists via self-initiated, in venue BAC testing; Police initiated Pedestrian RBT (P-RBT) – picking up those who, with an affected judgement, intend to drive; as well as picking up those offending against new P-RBT limits.

It would be a minor matter of programming to enable the user’s test sample and time entered to give the user instant feedback on how the users current BAC Level fits into the NHMRC guidelines – via the audio-visual capabilities of BAC Testing machines.

An example expression given in both written (Multi-languages) and with an accompanying spoken word may include: “You have a BAC of naught point O 8. You are over this jurisdictions Pedestrian BAC limit. For your own safety and to avoid being fined, please remain in your licensed Liquor Venue for at least another 20 mins. Let your friendly bar staff know. Please re-check your BAC level prior to leaving. Your BAC level indicates an intake well in excess of National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines. Try and avoid any more alcohol intake for 2-3 days. [a short blurb to state the modified, BAC/Time variant of NHMRC guidelines to follow].”*

* It would be good to get feedback on this idea. It gives you an idea of the potential for in venue BAC testing, how a stated BAC law will provoke (in fact guarantee) a general user awareness of their BAC level at all times whilst engaged in use of alcohol. The same Breathalysers / Breathalyzers can serve an educative role for broad liquor consumption guidelines and give specific feedback on where the user’s breath test fit’s them into the practice of the same guidelines.


Alcohol kills a jumbo load of people every 17 days – new report from UK

01/03/2012

The UK’s alcohol epidemic continues – unchecked and untempered by political parties only too keen to take the money and exercise a preference for profit over life.

A harsh assessment? Read this link from the UK’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, who, unlike DrinkWatch and DrinkWise are not funded by Big Liquor.

Reducing Alcohol Harm

Download report directly from: British Liver Trust.

Would a jumbo crashing every 17 days get the media to warn about the clear health risks of flying in jumbos? Probably.

Would a jumbo load of Big Liquor Fatalities every 17 days motivate the media to warn about the clear and often mortal risks of binge drinking? Absolutely not.

This failure to report and educate is a key factor added to the circumstances that create a jumbo load of victims every 17 days. Victims of accidents, illnesses, murders and assaults, along with results forthcoming from the consumption of a toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic (Birth Defects) and addictive drug.

Mandating the provision of Audio Visual equipped, near blood test quality, BAC testing machines, in all liquor outlets, would go a long way to educating users at the critical point of sale.

Being motivated to use the BAC Testing Machines via the setting of a sensible, maximum BAC limit for pedestrian and public transport commuters will stimulate the uptake of key learnings about the toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive qualities of this drug. Pedestrian Random Breath Testing provides this motivation. A motivation based on a Pedestrian 08 Limit.

Local Australian Media ought not to get as confused as their colleague Derryn Hinch.

There’s no doubt Derryn, the British Liver Trust reports alcohol is responsible for 80% of deaths from liver disease.

Derryn, a good bloke who has gone to jail in defense of his beliefs – but who is punching well above his weight, pulling a fantastic partner – doesn’t seem to accept the link between heavy binge drinking and alcohol induced liver disease and mortality.

Read this and learn to accept it Derryn! And discover other heinous results of unfettered access to alcohol including the cancers and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Derryn will go to jail to protect children. Derryn can protect vastly more children from the gene damaging effects of FASD on children via doing everything he can to publicise the cause and effects of FASD.

1 in every 100 Derryn…

1 in Four in  at least one aboriginal tribe in North America.

For a comprehensive examination of FASD check this link: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/special/fasd/


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.


Taking a drunk from the Brownlow…

20/09/2010

The Brownlow Medal is the greatest individual prize in the world’s greatest sport – Australian Rules Football – albeit a sport completely unknown in most countries…

The Brownlow Medal has a chequered history in presenting an example of behaviour not always desirable and sometimes downright embarrassing and shameful.

Most recently most publicised was the reporting of footballer and media personality Brendan Fevola.

Critics fell for the trap of finger pointing and isolating and picking on an alcohol user who appeared to be out of control. The culture encouraged by Big Liquor is to continuously point out that behaviour of this ilk is unusual and shouldn’t be thought of as typical. In fact, such behaviours are normal for those using too much of this drug of addiction. This drug pushes at least a significant, predictable percentage of users over the edge into unsocial behaviour.

Hence the 70% of acts of violence associated with the product sold by Big Liquor. Hence the thousands of children abused in this country because of the use of this drug and marketing success of Big Liquor.

Recently Andrew Demetriou, CEO of the AFL outlined a reduction in the provision of alcohol to the invited and that those players who were overly affected by alcohol would be asked to leave.

The Pedestrian 08 Campaign sent this letter to Andrew for his consideration:

Dear Andrew,

I listened to your segment on Radio 774 this morning.

You were pushing the commendable line that less alcohol would be made available to attendees at the forthcoming Brownlow Medal Presentation.

This is a terrific initiative on the part of the AFL and shows up the total failure of the Government’s and Liquor Industries so called ‘Responsible Serving of Alcohol’ policy, which consistently seems to be place the inebriated on the streets and often in trouble.

Of great concern was your initiative to evict any player who may be considered too drunk, by whatever standard that defines it (RSA?)

Be aware that at a BAC of 08 you are twice as likely to get killed or injured as a pedestrian than would be the case if you had a BAC of 00.

You are more likely to get hurt or do someone an injury in an act of alcohol fuelled violence at a BAC of 08 plus than at 00.

I strongly urge you to announce at the Brownlow that every AFL player will be contracted to stay under a BAC of 08 at all times.

That pubs frequented by AFL – especially in an official capacity – be expected to carry on site Breathalyser Machines to facilitate this behaviour.

That players will be educated to anticipate how many drinks over what timeframe would push them over 08.

I especially urge you to take measures to make sure your employees/players are safe on leaving the Brownlow, and remain under the care of others until their BAC drops below 08.

The message is ‘Responsible drinking ends at 08’.

Please find a generic pitch we send out to those interested in the Pedestrian 08 Campaign.

This is a ‘Responsible consumption of alcohol’ program, putting the focus and responsibility for alcohol consumption onto the user.

Regards

Mike etc

No response or acknowledgement from Andrew or the AFL was received at time of writing.

To see what The Pedestrian 08 Campaign is all about, please click here…


Britney Spears wins honorary membership!

11/10/2009

In Melbourne Australia, where this is written, we are served by 2 dailies, the Herald-Sun and The Melbourne Age.  Not only that, but we have another broadsheet, The Australian. So, unlike a lot of places in this world, we have access to plenty of writers and hopefully, plenty of different voices.

So these are some of the headlines in today’s papers:

Exposed: Grog online too easy for under-age teen, Mark Russell, The Age
Safety rethink as pedestrian toll stays high, Reid Sexton, The Age

Don't drink it all at once

Don't drink it all at once

Mark Russell doesn’t mention how many times The Offending Retailer has been taken to court, prosecuted and fined, although we are left with the guess that this number is zero.

There is a lack of aggression on the part of Mark Russell, which is probably couched in a belief that no harm is really being done. If correct, this could not be further from the truth. An accompanying, motivated editorialist might be asking why does it take a newspaper to try out this sort of testing behaviour? What are the licensing bodies doing to earn their pay?  Have they been stifled by their minister? Should a hand sitter or two be immediately sacked? Read the rest of this entry »


Walk against violence

18/09/2009

Turn up to a march this Sunday morning at Treasury Gardens starting at 11am and moving on to Parliament House Steps.

This has been organised by People Against Lenient Sentencing.

Here are links: Facebook and Blog

To firstly remember Luke Mitchell who was killed in Brunswick trying to help a bashing victim.

Secondly “to send a message to Govt that we are SICK OF the violence on our streets and the ineffective judiciary that fails to address the actions of thugs”

We need to speak to as many gathered there as possible about how to prevent alcohol related violence from occuring in the first place via demanding and getting a pedestrian 08 law in place asap.

We need to stop spending time and taxpayers money on spin focussed joint ventures with Big Liquor – designed from the start to deflect real efforts that will work. Big Liquor likes Binge Drinking and doesnt care about the resultant violence.

No argument against PALS at all.

How many people think sentencing in Australia is adequate?

They must be around somewhere…


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