Nearly two-thirds of the respondents to last week’s cayCompass.com online poll want to see the legal blood alcohol content level for driving under the influence reduced from the current 0.10 level.
Of the 694 total respondents, 302 of them want to see the level reduced to 0.08, as it is in the United States and England.
“Are we not a British Overseas Territory?” asked one person. “So should we not abide by their rules and laws?”
“I say the same as the US and England,” said someone else. “This would suit all well as a guideline that the majority of people in Cayman would have exposure and familiarity with.”
“The level is 0.8 in Mexico, too.” said another respondent. “What has worked there a lot is the breathalysers followed by a mandatory short term imprisonment (24-36 hours) of those caught, including big shots to serve as examples.”
“The limit here is way too high,” said one person. “It needs to be lowered to no more than the 0.08 and lower if possible.”
“We should raise the legal drinking age to 21 like the US as well,” commented another person.
Another 74 people – 10.7 per cent – said the limit should be lowered to 0.05, the same as Scotland is set to adopt later this year and Ireland adopted last year.
“Sadly, drinking and driving is one of those much coveted cultures here in the Cayman Islands,” said one person. “A major drinking and driving counter attack programme needs to be established to make people realise just how important this issue is. Innocent lives are at stake.”
“I can’t believe that the legal limit here is twice as much as where I come from,” said another person. “No wonder there are so many DUI crashes!”
Eighty-four people – 12.1 per cent – called for even more strict guidelines – only 0.03 as it is in Japan, China and Russia.
“Once you have one drink you are impaired,” said one person. “Why do we allow anyone to drive impaired at all? We have the highest limit in the world. No one can drink and drive responsibly. I drink, but refuse to drive or be driven by anyone who drinks. I once would allow myself one drink and still drive, but after reviewing the statistics and data, my view completely changed. My life is too precious to take that kind of gamble with.”
A little less than one-third of the respondents – 217 people or 31.3 per cent – thought the level should be left right where it is, at 0.10.
“Alcohol alone doesn’t cause accidents like speeding does,” said one person. “The only difference between a lower enforced blood alcohol content rate and what it is now is more people will have their lives wrecked by ridiculous laws, when just about any distraction is just as dangerous as current legal limit driving.”
“Unless the government either gets better public transportation or stops the taxi drivers from ripping off the public, you need to keep the limit for drinking while driving right where it is,” said someone else.
“High or low, we still need enforcement,” said another respondent.
“Have affordable cabs so people don’t have to drive and have buses that run after dark,” said someone else.
“Even if they changed it, we all know that half of those who test higher will either be a) let go because of who they are or who they know, or b) not convicted because of the incompetence of the police and prosecutors. This is Cayman after all,” commented one person.
“It’s attitudes and practices that need to change, not necessarily some number in a law,” said another person. “Taxi fares seriously need to be regulated. It is totally unacceptable that you can take a cab home and be charged between $50 and $100. A taxi fare should be no more than $10.”
Seventeen people responded “other” to the question, with most of them suggesting a policy of zero tolerance.
“Make it 0.000; nobody has any business driving after having alcohol,” said one person.
“I don’t think the level should be lowered, but I do however think that the penalties for getting caught over the limit or causing an accident while under the influence should be more suitable,” said someone else. “Punishment should be a deterrent, not a slap on the wrist.”
“Make it a criminal offence,” said another person. “It doesn’t matter what the limit is if you can’t punish people for it.”
Next week’s poll question
Do you support the recommendation for a 10-year rollover, with all work permit holders having the opportunity to apply for permanent residence between their seventh and eighth year?
I support it completely
I support the 10-year rollover, but don’t think all work permit holders should be able to apply for permanent residence.
I support all foreigners being able to apply for permanent residence, but think they should leave the rollover at seven years
I don’t support it at all