The Police Federation have said the drink drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be lowered – just like in Scotland.
Since records for drink driving related accidents began in 1979 the UK has seen a decline in the number of people killed in drink driving incidents. Though 2011 was the lowest year on record 2013 saw a slight rise: 260 people were killed and 5,710 accidents were linked to drink driving.
Statistically men are more likely to drink drive. But don’t get too smug, girls: new research has shown that the number of male drink drivers has halved, but figures for women have stayed the same. So it has been suggested that the reason fewer people are drink driving is because men are changing their habits, whereas women aren’t.
Blood Alcohol Content or Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol you have in your system. It’s measured in grams per 100 millilitres of your blood.
It’s very simple: If you have more than 80mg of alcohol in your system, or more than two pints (roughly) for example – you’re in BIG trouble.
Blood Alcohol Content can also be measured by breath or by urine.
A breathalyser estimates your blood alcohol content based on the amount of alcohol on your breath.
End of story.
You’ll probably lose your licence for a year and could be put in jail for 6 months. Eek.
Just in case you didn’t read it before: It’s impossible for you to work out how many drinks will put you over the limit
Variables like age, weight, gender and even stress levels can have an effect on how you process alcohol.
So the safest thing to do: if driving, don’t drink at all.
The police can breathalyse you if you’ve been involved in an accident, or if they think you’ve been drinking. If you fail the breathalyser test you’ll be taken to the police station, where you’ll be required to give a further breath test.
By this point it’s fair to say you’re screwed.
Last year 5th December 2014 Scotland lowered the legal limit to 50 milligrammes. This meant that it was even more likely you would be drink driving even if you’d only had one drink.
In December 2014 alone Scotland saw the number of drink drivers drop by one-third.
Northern Ireland has already talked about following suit.
The Police Federation says that England, Wales and Northern Ireland should take their lead from Scotland and lower the limit to 50 milligrammes.
Lowering the limit would bring the UK in line with other European countries.
They also think more needs to be down to reduce the amount of women drink driving. Women are not engaging with campaigns to stop people drink driving – perhaps because most anti-drink driving campaigns focus on men.
Have a designated driver (who stays sober for the night), get a taxi or bus home, or hit the non-alcoholic beverages. I’m hearing great things about Becks Blue.
We live by the motto “better to be safe than sorry” but will the release of a HIV Self Test Kit help lower the number of people who are unaware they are infected, or just increase paranoia throughout the country? Scenes of Reason decodes HIV and asks whether people should have to pay to get checked…
For the first time, people will be able to purchase a HIV self test kit to use at home. It’s the first time you’ll be able to buy testing kits which have been legally certified for home use. Unlike other HIV tests they don’t need to be sent off to a lab to get results.
The tests will give a result in 15 minutes, although anybody testing positive must go to their doctor to be diagnosed again. It is supposed to be 99.7% accurate.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus attacks the body’s immune system, which is the system in your body which protects you from disease and illness. HIV is transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids. It can be caught by having sex without a condom, or by sharing infected needles. So, when it comes to sharing needles – just, no.
There is no cure to HIV but treatment exists enabling most people with the virus to live for a long time and remain healthy. However, it is extremely important to diagnose the virus sooner rather than later. HIV can lead to AIDS which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. At this stage the body cannot fight off infections. Sufferers are left extremely weak and in danger of death from illnesses such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and some cancers among others.
HIV does NOT just affect gay men. Anyone can catch HIV – male or female, young or old, gay, straight or bi-sexual. AIDS is a problem ALL across the world – not just Africa. Although AIDS is undoubtedly a problem in Africa, it is a worldwide issue.
You don’t need to be sexually promiscuous to contract HIV. Apart from unprotected sex there are other ways the virus can be transmitted – i.e. from contaminated needles, and in some cases from mother to child (however the good news is that with proper treatment you can significantly reduce the risk of this occurring). Now we’ve got that cleared up…
When infected by HIV most people experience flu-like symptoms for 2-6 weeks, after which most people experience no further symptoms for years. Most commonly people will complain of a sore throat, fever, a rash on the body and sometimes tiredness and swollen glands. Around 26,000 people are estimated to have the virus and be unaware of it, leading to the spread of the disease.
The HIV Self Test Kit is the product of BioSURE UK, a company which specialises in testing solutions. If you get infected with HIV your body will try to fight it by producing anti-bodies (special types of protein made by white blood cells to kill off invading viruses). HIV tests search for these anti-bodies in your blood. If it finds traces of these anti-bodies two purple lines appear, which indicates the user is HIV positive.
The HIV self test kit costs £29.95 and can be purchased from the BioSURE website and via the NHS.
Anything which assists diagnosis and lowers the risk of death is obviously a good thing. Although the accuracy is high, it is not 100% and the HIV self test kit may not pick up infections that have happened recently within last three months. BioSURE have also acknowledged this:
“the BioSURE HIV self-test may not detect recent HIV infection as it can take up to three months for the level of antibodies to become detectable,” – Brigette Bard, the founder of BioSure
Therefore if you think you have or are at risk of catching HIV you should go to your doctor and get checked as soon as possible. And if you use the HIV Self Test Kit and are confirmed positive – you must also go to your doctor to be re-tested. HIV charities have supported the launch of the product but have also re-enforced the need to improve access to support for those who have been diagnosed. HIV testing is provided by the National Health Service (NHS) free of charge to anyone. Some clinics also get your results back to you on the same day. Many major news outlets failed to mention this in their reports.
The home kit will hopefully increase the number of people getting checked out, and therefore lower the number of people dying from HIV related illnesses. All good then, unless you test positive and you have to go to the doctors anyway.
However – “Flu-like Symptoms” is a pretty broad description – are we going to see a load of “man-flu” sufferers panicking and running out to buy the kit? Does more need to be done to educate people about the virus?
And how do you feel about having to pay £30, when the NHS provides a free service? Is it more important that the NHS should receive enough funding to continue and improve its service?
All valid questions – but what do you think? Should people have to pay to get a HIV Self Test Kit? Let us know what you think.