Wednesday 23 June 2010

A leap in the dark

I have made a quick perusal of The North Report on reforming the drink-driving laws. If you’re interested, go ahead and download all 285 pages of it for yourself.

One paragraph that struck me was this:

3.41. Review of the literature highlighted that there was only limited evidence on the pattern of drink driving in England and Wales (as measured by BAC levels among the driving population). There was also a lack of UK evidence on how reducing the legal limit might change drink driving behaviour and the associated risk of casualties, particularly among those drinking above the current 80 mg/100 ml BAC limit. Consequently, unknown parameters had to be calibrated or estimated from the international literature – mainly from Europe and Australia. The model estimates the casualty savings which could be expected in the first year following implementation of a lower limit and for each year up to six years after implementation.
Which suggests there is a large amount of conjecture in the conclusions, given that patterns of alcohol consumption and use of licensed premises differ substantially between countries. For all the appearance of academic rigour, in effect they’re making it up as they go along.

I will be away on holiday next week but on my return will attempt to provide a more detailed analysis of the report.

1 comment:

  1. There was a feature on this on R4's More or Less. Stil available I think. The presenter crucified Brennan form U of Sheffield, whose paper was used in the report.


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