Can't find something? Search Here.

British Columbia Announces New Drunk Driving Law

Posted in Drunk Driving

British Columbia introduced on Tuesday a new drunk driving law designed to make the province’s roads the safest across Canada.

AHN reports that the law, according to BC Solicitor General Mike de Jong, will take effect in fall. De Jong said the law was made in memory of four-year old BC resident Alexa Middelaer, who was hit and killed by a drunk driver while Alexa was feeding a horse on a road in Delta in 2008.

Alexa’s parents and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving attended the launch of the law. De Jong said the clear, swift and severe penalties seek to cut drunk driving incidents by 35 percent in 2013. About 130 people die yearly in BC due to drunken driving.

According to the 2009 ranking made by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the province is in seventh place only in terms of combating drunk driving.

Police officers will have the power to sanction tougher penalties for drivers who refuse to give a breath sample or have a blood alcohol level over the 0.08 percent legal limit. Motorists who belong to that category would be given an immediate 90-day driving ban and be fined $500. The driver may also face criminal charges and the vehicle may be impounded for 30 days.

Drivers found to have blood alcohol levels between 0.05 and 0.08 percent would be given a warning and an immediate three-day driving ban and a $200 fine on first offense. On second offense, the fine goes up to seven-days driving prohibition and a $300 penalty, and on third offense, the fine escalates to a 30-day ban and $400 fine.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie lauded BC for the new law. Murie said in a statement, “We believe these major, escalating penalties will better support both deterrence and enforcement, save lives, and prevent hundreds of injuries each year on B.C.’s roads. We encourage other provinces to study what B.C. is doing and follow its example.”