Online poll: Most want less tolerance for DUIs

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 

Other

Online Poll
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6 COMMENTS

  1. People just don’t get it…you could make the level 0.0% and you would STILL have people going out and driving under the influence. Until the RCIPS does more than make Lip Service and having Campaigns once a year and takes a zero tolerance approach and shows that they are serious about enforcing the law, not just the traffic law, but ALL LAWS, this poll is useless…

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  2. there are many issues here for policing the roads. Unroadworthy vehicles, unlicensed vehicles, uninsured vehicles, around 1/3 of all drivers not wearing seatbelts, buses that seem to think normal rules of the road don’t apply to them, windows tinted to the point of complete black, people in positions of power allegedly drink-driving, the smashed up vehicles from The Fast and the Furious being shipped over here, re-assembled, and then driven by people with brains the size of peanuts. These things are not hard to spot! If the police enforced these rules, the money it would bring would be enough to gold-plate the Dodge Chargers!

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  3. Here we go again blaming public transport. stop trying to pass the buck. You the same ones complaining about public transport are the same ones doing the drinking and driving and you will continue to do it whether the fare is 10 or 2. You have no problem going out and spending huge amounts of money on alcohol but you feel hard to keep a few dollars aside for a cab. If you have been charged 50 for a cab its because you had a group of people traveling together. Now tell me which other form of transport is gonna charge you 10 to carry 10 people? Get real people. These drivers need to make a living too. yes you have the dishonest ones but what you need to do is not go with them. Find a driver or drivers that you can trust. Do you have any idea what they go through and put up with in the run of a night dealing with drunks like you? Do you have any idea what it costs to maintain these vehicles so you can have a safe ride home. Lower the fares and then you will have no public transport at all or you will have to ride home in a vehicle that is liable to get you killed. Maybe having to walk all the way home after a night of drinking will teach you a lesson. The limit here should be 0, and a D.U.I. should be made a criminal offense.

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  4. I would also like less tolerance to people:

    – ignoring No U turn signs
    – ignoring No right turn signs (at least 50% drivers)
    – forgetting what indicators are and how to use them, especially on roundabouts (this applies to at least 80% drivers)
    – driving with high beam on (20-30% of drivers, some probably just with left-hand cars, who were never told to realign lights for driving in Cayman)

    If there is zero respect to careful driving in sober state, what would you expect of DUIs, even if it is as low as 0.4 (with 1.0 allowed)?

    When finally I see police given tickets or at least mentoring drivers on the road about listed offenses?

    Respect to rules starts from simple things. No in Cayman there is NO respect to rules at all.

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  5. 0.4 in my comment is in units used in my country. Sorry for not checking the units used in the poll. In units used in the poll it is equivalent to 0.04.

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  6. Problem drinkers and alcoholics need to be identified and get some treatment to keep them off the roads while drunk. They are a public menace that need attention. Many jurisdictions charge drinking establishments who serve obviously intoxicated people prior to their driving a car.

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