VICTORIA Police has used the 40th anniversary of the introduction of breath testing to discuss extending the zero blood alcohol limit age to 26.
Horsham police traffic adviser Senior Sergeant Guin Cleminson said the introduction of breath testing benefited road users.
“Certainly I think people are more aware of the dangers of drink driving,” she said.
“The majority would be very mindful of what they’re drinking, still some don’t see the danger.
“Overall I think it has changed.”
However, Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer’s suggestion to lift the zero alcohol limit to include all drivers 26 and under, had been met with mixed reactions across the Wimmera and the government.
Roads minister, Luke Donnellan, said expanding drink-driving laws was not being considered by the government.
“Victorians rightly find drink-driving abhorrent and that is why the Andrews Labor government recently tightened laws to deter people from getting behind the wheel while over the limit,” Mr Donnellan said.
“We owe it to all motorists, trauma victims, their families and friends to deliver new ways to keep our roads safe.”
“We’ve come a long way in changing people’s attitudes since Victorians took their first breath test in a ‘puff bag’.”
Drivers on their P-plates are not allowed any alcohol in their system, regardless of age.
More than 61 per cent of people who responded to a Times-News poll thought the limit should be left alone.
Many other residents believed the limit should not only be lowered for people 26 years old and under, but for everyone.
Lynn Pitcher said on Times-News Facebook page everyone should be expected to be alcohol free.
“Why put an age limit? All drivers should have a zero blood alcohol level,” she said.
Rob Forster said on Facebook the principal is sound but it wont make a difference.
“I see the point but the problem is so many accidents you see are caused by people well over the limit,” she said.
“They must know they are over and just don't care.
“So lowering limits from .05 to 0 will do nothing to stop the people who'll just drive anyway or the chronic re-offenders. Who are the major problem.”
Acting Commisioner Fryer said young drivers were most at risk on the roads.
“They are consistently over-represented in alcohol-related road trauma,” he said.
“A mixture of inexperience and self-determined invincibility leaves them exposed and extremely vulnerable to road trauma.
“We know that in 2014, of the 468 injured drink drivers blood tested in hospital, 31 per cent were aged under 26.
“I believe the separation of behaviours, of drinking and driving, needs to be strengthened among our young people.
“We’ve come a long way, but it’s time to look to the future.”