This is How to Fine Wealthy People for Dangerous Driving Offences

A British television presenter has been fined £86,000 (US $123,000) for drunk driving and the resultant collision he caused.  He was also banned (US: ‘suspended’) from driving for 20 months.

Sadly, this only represents a few days’ salary for this man, but of course it’s significantly more appropriate than giving rich people the same, relatively small fines that are doled out to ordinary working people.

The amount does, however, exceed the previous highest drink-driving fine I have ever heard of, which was given a few years ago to a very highly-paid Norwegian businesswoman who was caught driving just over that country’s strict 0.02% BAC limit (with no collision involved).

What is your opinion?  Do you think that the very wealthy should be given much higher fines than regular people when they seriously endanger other individuals’ safety?

If you wish to read the full UK article, it is Ant McPartlin given biggest ever drink-drive fine as he is told to pay £86k, from the Telegraph.

The Crash-Risk Argument for a Limit of 0.05% Blood-Alcohol Concentration rather than 0.08%

This research indicates that a driver with a BrAC of 0.05% is twice as likely to crash as a driver with no alcohol in their system, and the risk for a driver with a BrAC of 0.08% — the current legal limit in all states of the USA — is almost exactly four-times higher than with no alcohol.

An old but excellent French advert: “Drink OR Drive!”

What follows is an excerpt from the ‘Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk: A Case-Control Study’ (Executive Summary), from NHTSA (2017):

Alcohol Crash Risk Estimate 

The unadjusted crash risk estimates for alcohol indicated that drivers with BrACs of .05 grams per 210 liters g/210L are 2.05 times more likely to crash than drivers with no alcohol. For drivers with BrACs of .08 g/210L, the unadjusted crash risk is 3.98 times that of drivers with no alcohol. When adjusted for age and gender, drivers with BrACs of .05 g/210L are 2.07 times more likely to crash than drivers with no alcohol. The adjusted crash risk for drivers at .08 g/210L is 3.93 times that of drivers with no alcohol.  [#End]

Importantly, readers should also view the World Medical Association Statement on Alcohol and Road Safety (1992, 2006 & 2016), which states “…it would be desirable to lower the maximum permissible level of blood alcohol to a minimum, but not above 0.5 grams per litre, which is low enough to allow the average driver to retain the ability to assess risk.”

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Footnotes:

  1. “BrACs” are Breath-Alcohol Concentrations, as opposed to the more commonly seen Blood-Alcohol Concentrations [BACs].
  2. “0.5 grams per litre” is the equivalent of 0.05% BAC.