Should Government Revise Our New Impaired Driving Program?
Our new impaired driving penalties appear to be getting the word out: drinking and driving is not acceptable here in B.C. If you do and are caught, it will be a long road to travel in order to restore your driving privileges. So be it, you knew that there could be consequences when you turned the key.
Yes, this is hurting the alcoholic beverage industry. Restaurants and pubs are suffering from a significant loss in business as people are either staying home to do their drinking or are choosing to have only one drink with a meal or even not having an alcoholic drink at all. I'm sorry that you are hurting, but I would not for a minute lower the legislated blood alcohol or penalty levels.
The provincial government, as it should, looked at how the legislation was working and decided to review it. If I understand the news coverage correctly, the Solicitor General plans to expand the review process for drivers who made a mistake to insure that they have been dealt with fairly. Since the courts do not become involved in the first instance, this is a reasonable action to take.
If your life has been touched by the actions of an impaired driver I don't have to tell you to encourage our government to continue with their strong efforts to deter drinking and driving. If it hasn't, you have been blessed. I hope that the actions of government continue to insure your safety.
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Please note that there are two inaccuracies in this news article. Drivers in B.C. have been subject to legal sanctions for having a BAC over 50 mg% since 1977. What changed last year was the severity of the penalty. Also, some parts of the impaired driving legislation are mandatory for police, requiring them to take action. Imposition of penalties is only discretionary in some circumstances.