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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View the eNews August 2019

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About 70 percent of those who engage in simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use reported simultaneous use at least weekly

A new study from Penn State found that compared to people who only drank alcohol, those who used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously were more likely to drink heavier and more often. They were also more likely to experience alcohol-related problems -- like impulsive actions they later regretted.

"The results suggest that individuals who simultaneously use alcohol and marijuana are at a disproportionately higher risk for heavy, frequent, and problematic substance use," said Ashley Linden-Carmichael, assistant research professor at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State.

The researchers said the findings -- recently published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse-- also suggest that prevention and intervention programs should take into account not just alcohol, but also if people are using additional substances, as well.

According to the researchers, marijuana use is at an all-time high among young adults in the U.S., possibly leading to people using marijuana and alcohol simultaneously.

"The problem with simultaneous use is that it can affect people cognitively and perceptually, and also have an impact on motor impairment," Linden-Carmichael said. "There is a burgeoning area of research that is examining why people are using marijuana and alcohol together and what those effects are."

 For complete study

AUG 2019


Aims: To assess the longer-term effects of the 2014 NSW liquor law reforms on levels of violence in the inner Sydney area.

Results: In the 62-months following the reforms, statistically significant reductions in non-domestic assault incidents occurred in the lockout precincts as a whole (down 13.3%) and in the specific precincts of Kings Cross (down 53%) and the CBD Entertainment Precinct (down 4%). There was evidence of geographical displacement to surrounding areas with increases in non-domestic assault observed in both the PDA (up 18%) and the DDA (up 30%). Over time, the size of the assault reduction in the lockout locations has declined while the increase in assaults in the displacement sites has risen. Despite this, the reforms still delivered an overall reduction in non-domestic assaults over the period February 2014 to March 2019, with an estimated net benefit of 395 fewer non-domestic assault incidents.

Conclusion: While non-domestic assault appears to have reduced in both target precincts after the 2014 liquor law reforms, the effect in the CBD precinct has declined over time. Displacement of violence to surrounding areas should continue to be monitored.

For complete report

The Victorian Government has extended the freeze on the granting of new liquor licence applications to trade after 1am in inner-city Melbourne to 30 June 2021.

The new Ministerial Decision Making Guidelines set out how the freeze applies to venues seeking to trade after 1am in local governments areas of Melbourne (including Docklands), Stonnington, Yarra and Port Phillip.Changes under the new guidelines include:

  • applicants are no longer required to secure a letter of support from their local council in applying for an exemption to the freeze (however councils may still object to an application)
  • live music venues of up to 500 patrons can apply for an exemption to the freeze (an increase from 200 patrons) subject to the Commission being satisfied that the impact on amenity and harm is low
  • licence applications seeking to supply liquor after 1am on New Year’s Eve will not be subject to the freeze
  • the new guidelines make it clear that an applicant can seek an exemption to supply alcohol for a one-off event where the event relates to the broadcasting of a live major international sporting event.

The new Ministerial directions will apply to any application not yet determined by the VCGLR.

Australia's plan for tackling alcohol abuse and harm has been compromised because of meddling from the alcohol industry, health experts have warned.

Key points:

  • A leaked copy of the National Alcohol Strategy describes alcohol as "an intrinsic part of Australian culture"
  • State and territory ministers say they cannot endorse the new draft
  • Alcohol accounts for up to 15 per cent of emergency admissions at hospitals

The impasse is presenting an obstacle for Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, as he seeks to finalise the long-awaited blueprint.

"I'm not sure why we need to see it watered down," Western Australian Health Minister Roger Cook said. "Minister Hunt now needs to re-examine his conscience."

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said industry inclusion in strategy governance "presents a commercial conflict of interest" She added that changes from the Commonwealth had "significantly reduced the quality of the document".

This first draft also focused on "challenging perceptions of risk among Australians about safe drinking levels, including in relation to health impacts". But the revised draft instead focuses more on educating Australians or measures to prevent "excessive alcohol consumption" and "excessive drinking". Professor Miller says it ignores the harm caused by regular alcohol consumption. "That our governments and bureaucrats aren't pushing that message clearly in a National Alcohol Strategy is frightening," he said

 For complete story

Quitting alcohol may improve health-related quality of life for women, especially their mental well-being, according to a study from Hong Kong published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Dr. Ni. "Our findings suggest caution in recommendations that moderate drinking could improve health-related quality of life. Instead, quitting drinking may be associated with a more favourable change in mental well-being, approaching the level of lifetime abstainers."

For complete story