Should you be driving?

Aussie drink-driving laws have similar penalties, but our BAC level is still at .05. This will be moved to .02 in the coming years.
Be safe for you, your family and the person you may injure because, you thought you were ‘ok to drive!’



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30 April 2019


Introduction and Aims: Public support for restrictions on late night trading of licensed venues increased substantially between 2001 and 2013, a period with very few policy interventions in Australia. In early 2014 a set of high profile restrictions were introduced in Sydney, New South Wales. In this study, we examine whether these 2014 policy interventions affected public support for late trading restrictions.

Discussion and Conclusion: Support for late trading restrictions fell sharply, especially among those affected in New South Wales. Advocates for public health‐oriented alcohol policy restrictions need to pay attention to public support in the aftermath of policy ‘wins’.

30 April 2019


Introduction and Aims: We tested whether incidental exposure to alcohol marketing messages in sporting events: (i) influenced automatic evaluation of brands and alcohol in general; and (ii) if these processes occur through deliberative (conscious) or non‐conscious processes.

Results: We found a positive main effect of incidental exposure to alcohol brands on indirect measures of attitudes toward alcohol as well as the specific brand. No effect of cognitive fatigue on indirect measure toward brands and alcohol was observed.

Discussion and Conclusions: Incidental exposure to alcohol marketing messages appear to impact indirect measures of attitudes toward the brand and alcohol in general, and seems to rely on non‐conscious automatic processes.

Blood pressure and stroke risk rise steadily the more alcohol people drink, and previous claims that one or two drinks a day might protect against stroke are not true, according to the results of a major genetic study.

The research, which used data from a 160,000-strong cohort of Chinese adults, many of whom are unable to drink alcohol due to genetic intolerance, found that people who drink moderately - consuming 10 to 20 grams of alcohol a day - raise their risk of stroke by 10 to 15 percent.

For heavy drinkers, consuming four or more drinks a day, blood pressure rises significantly and the risk of stroke increases by around 35 percent, the study found.

"The key message here is that, at least for stroke, there is no protective effect of moderate drinking," said Zhengming Chen, a professor at Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Population Health who co-led the research. "The genetic evidence shows the protective effect is not real."

"Using genetics is a novel way ... to sort out whether moderate drinking really is protective, or whether it's slightly harmful," said Iona Millwood, an epidemiologist at Oxford who co-led the study. "Our genetic analyses have helped us understand the cause-and-effect relationships."

… the biological effects of alcohol should be the same for all people worldwide.

For complete article  

From Executive Summary: This study finds that alcohol advertising deals are widespread in the AFL and NRL men’s competitions. The promotion of alcohol brands is spread across a number of channels, including merchandise, training and playing kit. However, alcohol advertising across the codes is not ubiquitous, with one team in each league having no commercial partnerships with alcohol companies, while a number of others have no major alcohol industry partners. This indicates that alcohol advertising deals are not a pre-requisite for success or popularity of AFL and NRL teams.

For complete Report

(US are following Australian Research lead) 

Referred to by social scientists as "harm reduction," this strategy is more than just ineffective, say experts. It's actually helping to fuel an epidemic of teenage binge drinking.

Elizabeth Heubeck   April  2019 

"Well, we did it when we were their age."

This common refrain, popular among parents with a permissive attitude toward underage drinking, is often coupled with well-intentioned efforts to keep adolescents safe while consuming alcohol: Think encouraging alcohol-imbibing teens to take advantage of ride programs such as Uber, to spend the night at a friend's house, or to drink in one's own home as opposed to unknown settings.

Referred to by social scientists as "harm reduction," this strategy is more than just ineffective, say experts. It's actually helping to fuel an epidemic of teenage binge drinking.

But here's the bad news: Many of today's teens who choose to drink do so in excess. More than half of high school students who drink alcohol report recent episodes of binge drinking - consuming five or more drinks at a time - according to the CDC.

This comes as no surprise to Joseph LaBrie, a Loyola Marymount University psychology professor and alcohol researcher. "One of the major reasons I see now [for underage drinking] is to black-out, get wasted. That wasn't the case 20 years ago," he said.

Most parents don't want their teens to binge drink. But parents who attempt to provide safe parameters - such as having teens drink in the basement with friends - increase the likelihood that their offspring will become binge drinkers. "Parents truly think they're doing the right thing. This is coming from such a good place," acknowledged Lindsay Squeglia, an alcohol researcher and professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Scare tactics, such as films showing crunched cars and the sound of screaming sirens rushing to the scene of a drunk-driving accident, once dominated teen alcohol prevention efforts. But ample evidence shows that these methods are largely ineffective.

It's easy for teens to disengage from shock tactics - rationalising, for instance, that a tragedy won't happen to them, says Squeglia. But factual information presented in a straightforward manner is more effective. "Information is the most powerful tool," said Squeglia.

Squeglia's research examining brains of teens before and after they began to engage in frequent heavy drinking showed more rapid declines in gray matter, and fewer increases in white matter, than in the brains of their nondrinking peers. Heavy-drinking adolescents also performed more poorly on assessments involving attention, working memory, spatial functioning and executive functioning.

While alcohol researchers such as Squeglia have begun to educate teens on how heavy alcohol use can disrupt brain development, experts say those with the biggest influence on adolescents' decisions regarding alcohol too often fail to exert it. "Parents are the number one protection against underage drinking," said Helen Witty, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), whose 12-year-old daughter was struck by a 17-year-old drunk driver on a sunny afternoon while she was rollerblading.

Multiple studies confirm this. One longitudinal survey of 5,000 teens ages 12 to 19 concluded that teens least prone to heavy drinking had parents who exhibited a combination of warmth and high accountability, e.g., knowing where their teens were. But many parents fail to exert their influence.

Experts say misperceptions are often to blame.

"There are so many myths," said Loyola Marymount's LaBrie, including this popular one: If I can teach them to drink at home, they'll be fine. The idea of teaching teens to drink responsibly is misguided, he explains. A recent review of more than 20 studies on the topic concluded that teens given permission to drink at home are more likely to drink more frequently, and in higher quantities, outside the home.

Teens who start drinking early often pay for it later in life. One oft-cited national study showed that people who use alcohol before age 15 are six times more likely to become alcohol dependent than those who begin drinking at age 21.

Another widespread misperception, says LaBrie, is that teenagers who aren't allowed to drink in high school will "go crazy" in college. While he acknowledges that nondrinking students sometimes come to college and quickly end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning, these instances are the exception. "The vast majority of kids who don't drink in high school become very light drinkers in college, compared to kids who started drinking when they were 14, 15," he said.

"Most parents don't feel comfortable or competent having conversations about drinking with their kids," said Rob Vincent, a public health analyst with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which recently launched a nationwide underage-drinking-prevention campaign: Talk. They Hear You. "Tell your kid, 'I want what's best for you,' " LaBrie said.


For complete story: The Washington Post