Pauline Hanson has slammed growing calls for a zero alcohol limit for drivers following the tragic deaths of four children in Sydney.
Siblings Sienna, 9, Angelina, 12, and Anthony 13 were walking along a footpath in the suburb of Oatlands to get some ice cream with their 11-year-old cousin, Veronique Sakr when the crash happened.
They all died at the scene. Three other children remain in hospital.
The peak body representing surgeons has called for a lower blood-alcohol limit of 0.02 after the deaths, which were allegedly due to a drunk driver.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons National Trauma Committee chair John Crozier said: “The clear message is that any ethanol consumption degrades judgment, cognitive [function], reaction times and other skills with a complex task that driving actually constitutes,” he said.
He noted there is already a precedent for a zero blood-alcohol limit for learner drivers and those behind the wheel for commercial purposes.
He admitted a 0.02 limit would be more feasible to address situations where someone had ingested alcohol the night before or has taken cough syrup.
Crozier added that a blood-alcohol reading three times above the legal limit increases the crash risk by 380 times.
However Hanson told Nine’s Today show: “Society is now at 0.05 alcohol limit and I think that is fair. People will still drink more. We have to get tougher on the sentencing we have now and stop it.
“For a person to go out and have one or two beers after work, they’re not a menace on the road. So reduce it to zero, no I don’t think that’s fair.”
The One Nation party leader said what happened was “horrific” and the driver should be jailed, but she didn’t think the limit should be changed.
“I think for those people that just want to have one or two beers I think they should be entitled to have that,” she said.
Neil Mitchell from 3AW agreed, saying people will always do “stupid things” and changing the law won’t fix that.
“People will get to three and four times the limit; we’ve had people picked up at five times the limit,” he said.
“So if you introduce a law that says zero alcohol you might catch granny who has half a shandy at bingo but the bloke or woman who is going to get themselves to 0.2 and drive like an idiot will still do it.”
The NSW government introduced zero tolerance laws for drink driving in May last year. Every person caught drink-driving now loses their licence on the spot under the tough new laws.