ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Being safe not sorry

Van Andel, Henry



being safe not sorry is a joint Victoria Police/Wellington Central Liquor Accord program, introduced at Sale on 5th September, 2005. This successful and popular program aims to educate the community about responsibility on both sides of the bar: responsibly serving alcohol and responsibly consuming alcohol. Feedback consistently indicates that this type of program is a potently effective way of educating the community about the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving particularly at the lower, but illegal, blood alcohol concentrations. Alarmingly 26 to 39 year olds females, a group with several years driving experience who should know better, are increasingly driving with BAC?s of 0.05% to 0.10%, after drinking wine. They ignore the fact that the risk of a crash increases many times over. The impairment in skill is also further compounded by the fact that drink drivers are more likely to speed, less likely to wear a seatbelt and less likely to take steps to prevent fatigue. The 3 hour program provides liquor industry staff with extended training in their Responsible Service of Alcohol. It also provides experiential learning for community groups on the responsible consumption of alcohol and effectively reinforces health, drink driving and other road safety messages. The program is underpinned by responsibility and all participants are briefed regarding rules and anticipated outcomes with prior risk assessments being undertaken. Participants consume various amounts and types of intoxicating liquor during a meal and provide regular breathalyser samples to measure their changes in blood alcoh0l levels. Skilled facilitators use games to test reflexes and a quiz to reinforce health messages and drink driving laws. Liquor industry staff are allocated small groups to monitor behavioural changes and intoxication levels. Importantly this process refines their interpersonal skills when dealing with people who are becoming intoxicated. At no stage is an industry representative permitted to serve a person should they become intoxicated and transport is provided. being safe not sorry continues to attract significant local media and its expansion is recommended in the 2006 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Incidence and Prevention of Pedestrian Accidents.