Drunk driving is a known scourge that has plagued all countries where alcohol is legal; it is responsible for countless number of accidents and deaths and has been denounced unanimously. Of course, while drinking in itself is meant to be enjoyed personally, the cons of the pursuit, such as drunk driving, often have a far more deleterious effect and none more so when pedestrians and bystanders are injured or even killed during accidents. Governments all over the world have tried to clamp down on this, introducing various preventive and punitive measures to curb the number of drunk driving incidents.
It would then come as irony that while authorities are busy trying to stop drunk driving from happening, a new drug has been created that will actually enable it. In most drunk driving cases, police will stop the suspected driver and administer a breathalyzer test, which checks the amount of alcohol they have consumed and whether they are fit to drive. But a new drug has been developed that actually masks the effect of alcohol, giving a much lower reading on the breathalyzer. And expectedly, campaigners are up in arms, calling for the drug to be banned.
Known as Alcopal, the drug, which comes in the form of a pill, allows for those who have consumed around five pints of beer, to pass a breathalyzer test. The pill, which is recommended to be taken before and after drinking, is said to effectively lower breathalyzer readings by some nine times and this in effect enables drinkers to drink well beyond the limit. Although banned in the United States, Alcopal is currently being sold in the United Kingdom, but campaigners are saying that the pill should be banned in the UK as well.
According to businessman Arthur Kibble, who is presently marketing the pill in the UK, Alcopal pills can reduce breathalyzer readings significantly, dropping the 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath to just 4mcg per 100ml.
Speaking about the pill, Mr. Kibble said, “The pills work by preventing the absorption of alcohol from the inner lining of the stomach and the intestine into the bloodstream,” adding, “I am not advocating that motorists get blind drunk and then try to drive, but it does help you mentally. Because it prevents the uptake of alcohol and gives some protection to your liver and kidneys you’re more in control. I have had my lawyers check them out and they are perfectly safe and legal, otherwise I would not be selling them.”
However, road safety campaigners disagree, with Kevin Clinton, road safety spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), saying, “It is dangerous and stupid and may encourage people to drink and drive in the belief they can get away with it. Drinking and driving kills hundreds of people every year in the UK and we would urge people to ignore this product and those selling it to stop doing so immediately.”