Government Review of New Impaired Driving Penalties

SoapboxEnforcement action against drivers having a blood alcohol content over 50 mg% (.05) began in 1977 here in British Columbia. In my view, it didn't become a marked deterrent until the recent significant penalty increases imposed by amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. People are finally making the choice not to drink and drive in numbers that are easily visible.

Throughout my policing career I knew that if I failed to convince a driver that I had just served a 24 hour suspension on to take alternative transportation home, I just had to wait out of sight and I would have a had a good chance of adding a driving while suspended charge to the incident. I also suspect that many who did find a different way home got up in the morning and drove to work despite the suspension.

Vehicle impoundment to go with the suspension in the early 2000's made this situation less likely to occur. Like many of my colleagues, this discretion was exercised more often than not as it was rare to find another person sober enough to drive in the vehicle.

I suggest the fact that the new rules have been applied in surprising numbers since September 20, 2010 means that the old rules were ineffective as a deterrent and the new legislation is still needed to deal with drivers who choose their convenience over our safety.

While I sympathize with the food and beverage industry, the mandatory Serving it Right Program has given them the necessary tools and knowledge to prepare and the courts have made it clear that it is their duty to make every effort to prevent a patron from driving while intoxicated.

Reference Links:

BC Government Press Release - Are They Considering Backing Down?

Serving It Right Program - Mandatory for People who Serve Alcohol

 

Comments

Submitted by E-mail

While I feel sorry for the service industry losing drinking money I still feel the new penalties are warranted. It looks like the government is waffling and want to tone down the regulations a bit. This should not happen and we should have a zero tolerance to really put the message home.

Submitted by E-mail

Zero tolerance for drinking drivers, I agree with that thought 100 per cent.

Too many lives of innocent people are lost, and too many of their loved ones live lives of deep grief afterwards, and all because of the carelessness an d irresponsibility . of those who get behind the wheel when they have been drinking.

It is never ok to drink and drive.

I Love the Idea of 0 tolerance

When I was younger and drank a fair bit,It almost seemed like after 3 beers that I was,nt effected hardly at all,,It would take at least 6 or more.

For those people in the same situation nowadays,will think this next comment is crazy or unjust.

But now that I very rarely drink,,I can now feel the effects of my 1st beer.

30 some years back,I have imposed on myself the ZERO TOLLERANCE,and have not,nor will not deviate from my own convictions.

The reason beiing simple,I did try to drink and drive,when I was 19,,and very lucky for me,and everyone else,I realized back then that I make a real bad drunk driver.

I could care less,if my car is towed,and my licence revoked,and could even care less if the fine was $10,000. (minor consiquences in my opinion) My Realization way back then,and still today is with my luck,If I was drunk and drove,I would wake up,,looking at the minivan,with a now dead Family,that I just Killed,and I probablly would escape this crash with a scratch on my forehead.

Now leaving me to try and live with MYSELF,I don,t even think I would be able to sleep at nights,and am sure suicide at this point,would be a daily thought.How could I go on,after killing a Family,and changing the lives of the serviving family.

If Everyone could get this point and live by it,The police would have a whole lot more time to do other police matters,and the roads would be much safer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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