LONG ago drink-driving was seen as the norm.
In the days before random breath testing, motorists would think little of driving home from a hotel after having downed several beers or wines.
Sometimes they'd take the back streets in an effort to avoid being seen by police and figured the odds of getting caught were pretty slim.
Over the decades, as scrutiny has become greater, technology improved and campaigns against drink-driving more widespread, there has been an overall reduction in those hitting the road above the legal blood alcohol level.
It is no longer socially acceptable to take the risk of drink-driving, thanks to a substantial change in mores.
Of course, that does not mean there are still not concerns with nearly one in five road deaths in NSW last year alcohol-related.
Nevertheless, it is no longer socially acceptable to take the risk of drink-driving, thanks to a substantial change in mores.
To see someone get behind the wheel after too many drinks would be considered alarming and more often than not results in the confiscation of a set of keys and a stern talking to.
On the flipside, illegal substances, in the form of drugs such as cannabis or amphetamine, have become more common among drivers.
It's not uncommon for Orange Local Court to be full of drug drivers who admit to drug use but claim not to have consumed drugs within the past few days, or on some occasions, weeks.
Given the thousands of motorists on our roads, it reflects a prevalence that should be concerning.
It shows a level of recklessness and disregard for other motorists.
It also shows that the message about the dangers and the pitfalls of drink driving is not getting through, at least not to the degree the anti-drink driving message is.
But traces of some drugs, especially cannabis, can stay in the body for many days after consumption, and long after physical effects have worn off.
On the other hand, amphetamines have such close links with aggression that nobody should be driving with such substance in their systems.
As things stand, illegal drugs are just that - illegal - and people should realise that driving makes them fair game for police detection.
To modify an old slogan - Drug Drive, Bloody Idiot.
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