alcohol

HPA wowsers at it again

The Taxpayers’ Union have released documents yesterday showing the wowsers over at the Health Promotions Agency have spent up $1.2 million on their batshit crazy No Beersies campaign.

‚ÄúThe¬†Taxpayers‚Äô Union¬†had feedback that the¬†‚ÄėNot Beersies’ ads were making people¬†thirsty¬†for beer. Some participants in the Agency‚Äôs own focus groups said the same – that the ads encouraged drinking or were confusing.”

And encouraging kids to have a few handles too by the looks of this picture.

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“The documents show that the campaign had the least positive impact on entrenched, high-risk drinkers, and instead targets those least likely to face harm from alcohol consumption. The HPA spent at least $1.2 million on the campaign, but has refused to say how much taxpayers paid in advertising agency fees. It also shows that the HPA conducts no cost benefit analysis on its campaign.

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Speeding and alcohol, yet more than a little over the limit

Police are stunned a woman who was almost five times over the drink-driving limit – and speeding – did not kill anyone.

Yeah. ¬†That doesn’t fit the narrative, does it? ¬†Speeding and drinking and she didn’t kill herself and others.

Constable Tim Shearer, of Waimate, said police had been alerted to a vehicle driving dangerously after receiving a *555 call.

The Timaru woman, 43, was stopped by police doing 149kmh at 4.15pm on State Highway 1, about 40km south of Timaru.

It was “scary” the woman was on SH1, Shearer said.

“I received the complaint and went looking for her and then she drove past me at 149kmh. I turned around, chased her and caught up. And when I pulled her over she was smashed,” Shearer said.

The woman blew 1201mcg in an alcohol breath test.

Surely she had killed someone? ¬†149 km/h? ¬† And blind drunk? ¬† Read more »

Someone actually researched getting birds pissed

I’m surprised this wasn’t funded by Callaghan Innovation, it seems the sort of thing they like funding…or perhaps it is more the Marsden Fund’s bag.

Anyway, someone has actually researched getting birds pissed.

Here was me thinking all it took was a few glasses of bubbles.

Researchers conduct all sorts of strange experiments in the name of science, from studying the slipperiness of banana peels to looking at how dogs orient their bodies when they poop.

And now, in the latest example of strange science, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland got some finches drunk and watched what happened.

Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their “speech.”

For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR. ¬† Read more »

Judges need to harden up

If we can get done for one kilometer over the speed limit, why is a doctor getting away with being four times over the drink driving limit?

A doctor living in Blenheim has been discharged without conviction after she was caught drink-driving at more than four times the legal limit.

Wendy Louise McDonald Florence, 50, appeared in the Blenheim District Court for sentencing on the charge last Monday, after driving with a blood-alcohol level of 326 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood on September 8.

The legal limit at the time was 80mg, and is now 50mg.

Her lawyer Rob Harrison argued for a discharge without conviction on her behalf.

Florence was a qualified doctor in the United States, but had spent some time as a stay-at-home mother of her children in Blenheim, he said.

She intended to become a registered doctor in New Zealand, which would require a refresher course in the States, followed by a supervised training programme in New Zealand.

Harrison told the court his client had been a sober alcoholic for 10 years.

Bulldust. ¬†There’s a lie in court right there. ¬† The odds of a alcie going off the wagon for the first time, that spectacularly¬†and getting caught drink driving are minuscule. ¬†¬† Read more »

Four years old but so accurate for today, Thomas Sewell on Global Warming and other causes

Author Thomas Sowell argues that public demand for intellectuals is largely manufactured by intellectuals themselves. He says intellectuals make alarming predictions using causes like global warming to create a need for their services.

Which brings us to New Zealand. ¬†¬† Read more »

Dirty Politics derangement syndrome – Doug Sellman

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

Yesterday it was Wendyl Nissen getting a serve for thinking it was all a bit unfair for copping criticism on WOBH for her ranting’s in the Herald.

Another self-important luvvie is well known prohibitionist Professor Doug Sellman. And like Wendyl, it’s a mighty hard task to discredit him when no one discredits Doug better than himself.

Let‚Äôs look at his latest dribble. ¬† Read more »

If anyone knows about prohibition it is the Sallies…and they say it doesn’t work

Some very wise words from a Salvation Army boss about prohibition, both of alcohol and cannabis.

Simon Collins takes a break from pimping the poor to talk to to Alistair Herring of the Salvation Army.

A New Zealander who has come home after heading the Salvation Army in Pakistan says prohibition never works, but more restrictions can reduce the harm from drugs and alcohol.

Commissioner Alistair Herring, 63, who returned from Pakistan in April to head the Salvation Army’s NZ addiction services, said Islam’s ban on alcohol did not stop Pakistanis suffering serious addiction problems.

“Muslims are not allowed to hold alcohol licences in Pakistan on the premise that Islam is against addictive substances,” he said. “What tends to happen in reality is that Muslims who want to drink will go to the Christian or non-Muslim community for their alcohol. I have talked to Muslim folk in Pakistan and they acknowledge that it is a problem. There is also a huge drug problem, of course.”

He said Salvationists vowed not to drink or smoke voluntarily “because of who we are and the services we provide”. But compulsion was “quite a different thing”.

“Prohibition is never going to work, has never worked,” he said.

He said he would be “very cautious” about decriminalising cannabis, as proposed by Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, but he acknowledged the inconsistency of laws on cannabis and alcohol.

“I understand the younger generation saying to their parents, ‘So you are against my drug of choice but what about your drug of choice?'” he said. “We tend to want to use a sledgehammer with drugs and a feather duster with alcohol.”

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We win the “binge drinking” champs because we’re “not the worst”

Kiwis are knocking back the alcohol equivalent of 826 bottles of beer a year each – but our binge-drinking culture may not be as bad as feared.

Well, once you add children and people who don’t drink at all, I’d imagine that means that those that do¬†drink drink well in excess of 1000 bottles of beer a year… for those that do drink. ¬†Three a day. ¬†Every day.

The latest Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health by the World Health Organisation has revealed New Zealanders aged 15 and over drank on average 10.9 litres of pure alcohol a head in 2010, up from 9.6l in 2005, and well above the 6.2l global average.

About 20 per cent of New Zealanders in that category don’t drink alcohol, so when they are removed the average amount for every drinker was even higher.

We drank less than our Australian counterparts, who consumed 12.2l each, but even they were well behind the biggest drinkers – in Belarus – who sank 17.5l.

Since it peaked in the 1970s, our drinking declined steadily until the late 1990s, when it started to rise again slightly.

But despite warnings about a binge-drinking culture, the figures show rates of “heavy episodic drinking” are well below many other countries.

I still don’t think that’s a lot of be proud of. ¬† Read more »

You thought 3D printed guns were a problem? How about this…

Event management, schools and AA meetings will have a whole different challenge in the near future

As if alcohol wasn’t already easy enough to come by, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has reportedly approved a new product called Palcohol, an alcoholic powder that comes in flavors including Cosmopolitan and Kamikaze.

Curiously, Palcohol’s current website is light on details but the urge to ‘drink responsibly’ does not appear to be among the company’s top priorities.

‘Maybe you‚Äôre a college football fan. So many stadiums don‚Äôt even serve alcohol. What‚Äôs that about; watching football without drinking?! That‚Äôs almost criminal. Bring Palcohol in and enjoy the game.’

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Rose Streat is an expert anaesthetist

Sophie Ryan and Brendan Manning report on another sad case where alcohol is in charge

An Auckland doctor training to be an anaesthetist has been censured and suspended from practice after being charged with professional misconduct over her struggles with alcohol.

Dr Rose Streat had to be breath-tested before and during each shift for the Auckland District Health Board after being given a second chance to qualify.

She was allowed to return to the training programme last year after convincing officials she had overcome problems that saw her escorted from an operating theatre at Auckland City Hospital in 2008.

But yesterday, she was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Auckland.

One of the two charges against Dr Streat was laid after it was revealed she had pleaded guilty to driving drunk in August 2012.

The other was a cumulative charge of professional misconduct after she was found to be drinking alcohol despite signing a contract saying she would abstain, to have lied about drinking, failed to disclose the drink-driving charge and failed to engage in the professional conduct inquiry.

Dr Rose is in serious trouble. ¬†Her peers and her profession have bent over backwards to help her, but she even failed on-the-job breath tests coming to work. ¬† Read more »