Just blow into the mouthpiece, Sir.

Apart from, and after one fantastically stupid and, after the fact, totally terrifying action, I have never driven a car with more than one small glass of wine in my body over the previous twenty-four hours. I shall not go into all the lurid details, but suffice to say, after driving at somewhere around 90 m.p.h. at two in the morning; on theWRONG side of a dual carriageway highway, with my car crammed with giggling drunks, just as bad or worse than I was, for a distance of some fifteen miles: when I woke in the morning, and remembered what I had done, I literally broke out in a cold sweat. I honestly believed, during that mad episode, that I was invincible, that my reactions and driving were actually enhanced: I had no inhibitions at all! I delivered all my drunken mates to their homes, then parked my own car neatly in the driveway, and went to sleep in my bed.

Which is why I feel strongly that the blood-alcohol limit for British air-line and commercial pilots, test to be taken the morning of their scheduled flight, should in fact be as near to zero as possible. Any alcohol inhibits and slows your reactions, and, whilst the test limit for British drivers is 80mg/100mL I have long maintained that this is still far too high, but while the average driver is maybe responsible for three or four lives other than his, the average airline pilot takes off with maybe two hundred lives on board: and I wish to be reassured that the bloke is stone-cold sober before he takes the controls of a jet with me on board.

This is just me talking out loud, but I have lost good friends through booze mixed with speed, and also lost relatives through constant use of heavy booze, so I am maybe a little biased; but, if I can do without drinking and driving voluntarily, why can’t everyone else, accepting that everyone reacts differently; but based purely upon the statistical, as well as the medical evidence?

4 comments for “Just blow into the mouthpiece, Sir.

  1. Bucko
    August 10, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    “then parked my own car neatly in the driveway, and went to sleep in my bed”

    No harm, no foul

  2. Daedalus
    August 11, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Better than me then. On that night of drinking a bottle of Hirindel my mother woke me at noon to ask me to move the car of the lawn. In the end the only way I could get the car off the lawn was to take off the right hand metal gate to the drive, there was no way the car was coming off the lawn otherwise. To this day I think my “mates” drove me home and put the car there. 40 years on not one has spilt the beans if they did.

  3. August 12, 2015 at 3:33 am

    12 hours twix bottle and throttle. Old RAF rubric in the ‘Book of Rules’.

    It comes in the chapter right after the Nav instruments chapter which starts by extolling the virtues of the best one we have: the Mk 1 eyeball.

  4. Twenty Rothmans
    August 14, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I disagree with this vehemently. The rules are already strict enough. I would also be very interested to learn of any accidents that were attributable to alcohol.

    If you value your life that highly and are worried about the infinitesimal risk of a pilot bringing it to an end, you should consider avoiding budget airlines whose pilots might be fatigued or stressed.

    Even after you have done that, it won’t save you from a freak case of fuel exhaustion on landing in a very safe aircraft (777) or disappearing with a (presumably sober) Moslem pilot.

    “the test limit for British drivers is 80mg/100mL ” No it is not. And it is not too high. Somehow, we manage to avoid Cambodia-grade road death tolls.

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