on air now

The scientific argument to lower the legal drinking limit

An addiction medical specialist says there’s no question lives would be saved on Victoria’s roads if the blood alcohol limit was lowered to zero.

Professor Edward Ogden has researched alcohol and its impact on driving for more than 30 years.

He says there’s no “rule of thumb” to provide drivers to ensure they are safe to drive, or don’t exceed the legal limit.

Neil Mitchell: Why not look at 0.00?

Professor Ogden: I think that’s a political question, it’s certainly not a scientific question.

Neil Mitchell: Scientifically, there’s no argument?

Professor Ogden: None whatsoever. You start seeing deterioration in human performance at about 0.01.

“The question is not can you start the car and sort of drive – people do that all the time,” he said.

“If all drunken drives led to collisions, no one would do it.

“Clearly people manage to drive when drunk, but the question is what happens when things go wrong?”

Related: First-time drink-drivers to lose licence in massive crackdown