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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And another thing... 

Since my NRL tipping skills apparently leave something to be desired, let me turn to more familiar territory ... a rant about some chosen aspect of society or politics.

My topic for today: the media's frequent gross misuse of the term "legal blood alcohol limit." The limit refers to one thing: the maximum level of alcohol permitted in one's blood when operating a motor vehicle.

There is, thankfully, NO legal maximum in blood alcohol for such other everyday activities as walking down the street, playing playstation, watching rugby league, or blogging. And with good reason. Seeking to enforce a maximum in such cases would be akin to prohibition: impossible to enforce, a gross invasion of individual liberties, and serving no clear public interest.

Yet how often I am struck by the media's use of the term in cases where it is irrelevant: "man sustains RSI using playstation while three times over the legal limit" etc.

More seriously, take this Canadian example where a man riding a bus was involved in a fight leading to his death. Now, it is conceivable that intoxication made him act in an aggressive or reckless manner, but there is no fucking legal maximum in blood alcohol for riding a fucking bus! In fact, are we not often reminded that taking the bus is a good option if you've had a few and are not fit to drive? That was my modus operandi for many years.

In this particular case, it sounds like the guy would have had better luck just driving.

Update: while I'm on the topic of crap reporting, check out today's NZH leads: a tanned model, and a story with a capitalized "NO" and "tax cuts" in the same line. Hmm, why not "check out our page 3 girl!" to up the classiness a bit? No disrespect to Lara Bingle intended.

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You know, I've never noticed that before about the expression "legal blood alcohol level", but I totally agree.
good blog, linked from public adress, much mirth
cheers NaOH. i do generally prefer my sodium with chloride, but each to his own.

If you are in fact TV3's "little creep" shouldn't you be in the lockup?

To clarify: the budget lock up? :)

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