Drinking. Driving. They're better apart. - The Vet

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Video transcript

This commercial opens on a close up of a bulldog lying on bench in a vets examination room. His owner, a young woman, is holding him still.

We cut to the woman’s face. She is reacting to something with shock and confusion. Her eyes awkwardly dart around the room.

We then cut to see the full scene. It’s revealed that the woman is looking at the Vet, who is drinking a pint of beer while reading his clipboard. The woman continues to look at him, dumbfounded.

After drinking some of his beer, the Vet lowers his pint glass and puts it on the table next to the dog.

“Now don’t you worry Susan…” he says, as he picks up a syringe.

We cut to the dog who looks up at the Vet and lets out a concerned noise.

“He’s in very safe hands.”

He taps the syringe a couple of times to remove any air bubbles, and leans in to give the dog an injection.

The commercial cuts to black. A voiceover and message on screen reads:

“If drinking isn’t ok here, why is it ok before we drive?”

“Drinking. Driving. They’re better apart.”

The commercial ends with the Towards Zero, TAC & Victorian Government logos.


End of the transcript
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Drinking. Driving. They're better apart. - The Vet

We don’t want to see any more people killed or hurt because of drink driving so we’re asking people to think about keeping drinking and driving apart and separate the two altogether. Why risk that you may be near the BAC level of 0.05 and that your driving may be impaired? Impairment actually starts at a BAC of 0.02.

Drink driving is one of the biggest killers on Victoria's roads, with around 1 in 5 drivers and riders killed having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.05 (5 year average). Driving while under the influence of alcohol affects perception, vision, concentration, reaction time and causes drowsiness – all of which increase the chances of having an accident.

Alcohol can affect us in different ways from one day to the next – this means there's never a 'safe' amount to drink when we're planning to drive.

The way to avoid drink driving is simple. If you're going to drink, plan not to drive. There are other options to getting home such as booking a taxi, uber, organising a designated driver or public transport.

If we all avoid driving after drinking, the number of deaths on our roads could reduce by 20%.

What are the consequences if you get caught drink driving?

If you are caught drink driving at 0.05 or more you’ll:

  • Lose your licence for a minimum of 3 months
  • Need to pay a fine
  • Need to complete a compulsory drink driver behaviour change program; and
  • Need to get an alcohol interlock installed in any vehicle you drive (once re-licensed) for at least six months.
  • This also applies to commercial drivers who commit their first drink driving offence with a BAC under .05.

Drink driving is one of the biggest killers on Victoria's roads. Almost a quarter of all fatal crashes in Victoria involve a driver or rider with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

As drink driving has become more and more socially unacceptable, the TAC's drink drive campaigns are often aimed at low level drink drivers - those who think it is ok to be "just a little bit over" or at the legal limit.

Here are some common questions about drink driving limits.

What is BAC?

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in the body. BAC is measured in grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.05. This means that a driver's body must contain less than 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. A driver's BAC is measured by a simple breath test procedure. Most people find it difficult to gauge their own blood alcohol level as there are so many factors that you need to consider.

These include:

  • the amount of alcohol consumed
  • the period of time over which alcohol is consumed
  • your body mass
  • whether or not you have eaten
  • your fitness levels and
  • the health of your liver.

Because everyone is different, some people need to drink less than the standard hourly recommendations to maintain a BAC level below the legal limit.

How does alcohol affect driving performance?

Driving is a complex task requiring decision making and total concentration. Alcohol affects a driver's ability to be totally in control of his or her actions.

BAC levels and their affects:

  • 0.02 to 0.05 BAC - the ability to see or locate moving lights correctly is diminished, as is the ability to judge distances. The tendency to take risks is increased, and the ability to respond to several stimuli is decreased.
  • 0.05 to 0.08 BAC - the ability to judge distances is reduced, sensitivity to red lights is impaired, reactions are slower and concentration span shorter. At 0.08 BAC drivers are five times more likely to have an accident than before they started drinking.
  • 0.08 to 0.12 BAC - euphoria sets in, overestimation of one's abilities leads to reckless driving, peripheral vision is impaired (resulting in accidents due to hitting vehicles in passing) and perception of obstacles is impaired. Drivers are up to 10 times more likely to have an accident.

What is the current law relating to drink driving?

There are heavy penalties if caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, or refusing to be tested.

 

In 1989 the TAC became involved in mass media road safety advertising launching a series of television commercials showing the tragic results of drink driving. This is when that well known tagline - drink drive, bloody idiot – was born.

From the beginning, enforcement has been a key part of the deterring drink driving. The TAC has funded the purchase of booze buses for Victoria Police random breath tests, breath testers and other equipment to detect offenders.

A major aim of the TAC's drink driving advertising has been to emphasise the reality of  being caught if you are over the limit and the severe penalties that follow.

More recently many people have ignored the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving and have continued to drive with lower, but still illegal, BAC. The excuse used is that driving "only a little bit over .05" is OK. This ignores the fact the risk of a crash is increased as drink drivers are more likely to speed, less likely to wear a seatbelt and less likely to take steps to prevent fatigue.

To combat this, the TAC introduced the Only a little bit over? campaign in December 2003. Here the key message is - if you drink and drive over the BAC limit, you are breaking the law and endangering the lives of innocent passengers and other road users.

In 1989, 114 drivers and riders died in road crashes with an illegal blood alcohol concentration. This figure had dropped to 42 in 2009.