It's The Age of Breathalyser-Starting Cars...

The effects of alcohol have long been the cause of death and destruction. The Western Cape Government are clamping down with a new bill.
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2016-10-04
The Western Cape Government want to minimise alcohol consumption and the harm it brings not only to those who drink but also those who don't. The three-part process has started with government publishing its Alcohol Harms Reduction Green Paper. This is "the first step towards making our communities safer and our opportunities greater, by minimising alcohol consumption and reducing unnecessary harm to individuals, families and society as a whole". Phase 2 is now in play and will be open to the public for the next month. Here is the process below: Alcohol Harms Reduction Green Paper
“Our existing laws and policies focus on the regulations of licensing, production, distribution and sale of alcohol, but do not address the impact and consequences of alcohol-related harms on society.”

The Effects of Alcohol

It has been indicated in the Green Paper that the manufacturing and retail of alcohol contributed R93.2 billion to the economy or 3.9% to GDP.
“This contribution is important, especially in the Western Cape, but the cost of alcohol-related harms outweighs the contribution.”
The financial cost of alcohol to the economy was estimated as a net loss of R245-280 billion or 10-12% of GDP. Even more worrying, is alcohol's effect on communities in the Western Cape including young children.

The Statistics

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The Solution

The Green Paper calls for multiple interventions, including:
  • National ban on alcohol advertising visible to minors (under 18).
  • Limited alcohol trading hours.
  • Breathalyser-starting cars.
Focus areas mentioned in The Green Paper include:
  1. Health services
  2. Availability of alcohol
  3. Marketing of alcohol
  4. Pricing policies
  5. Drunk-driving policies
  6. Community action
  7. Monitoring and surveillance
  8. Reducing the negative consequences of drinking and drunkenness
  9. Reducing the public health impact of illegal alcohol and informally produced alcohol.
  10. Leadership, awareness and commitment

Breathalyser-Starting Cars

ignition_interlock_main-100311882-large Over and above the harmful and violent effects alcohol can have on one's actions, The Green Paper hopes to eradicate deaths behind the wheel as a result of drunk-driving. This will, hopefully, be done by introducing breathalyser-starting vehicles or vehicles that will only start when you blow through an alcohol testing breathalyser. This alcohol-detecting interlock will be assigned to certain high-risk drivers. The publication did not indicate how it would determine a high-risk driver, possibly through their insurance companies. The high-risk driver will thus not be able to start their car without blowing into the breathalyser first which will determine if s/he is below the national level.
"Enforcement is a combination of compliance and law enforcement. It ensures that liquor licence holders and applicants follow the law, and that those who don’t are punished according to it."
The Alcohol Harms Reduction Green Paper is open for public feedback and comment until 30 November 2016. GDN-728x90