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.


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