British Columbia's drunk driving laws prevent car accidents

Impaired driving is a major issue across the country and beyond. In British Columbia, laws have been put in place to prevent car accidents, injury and death related to drunk driving. Advocacy organizations are pointing to the province as a model for how other parts of Canada should legislate against driving under the influence.

In British Columbia, there are serious and immediate consequences to driving while impaired. Those who blow over 0.05 percent may face an immediately suspended license and impounded vehicle for up to 30 days. Those whose blood alcohol level is over 0.08 will face up to 90 days.

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the British Columbia laws in 2015. However, in Alberta, the Court of Appeal has ruled that suspending a person's license before their case is resolved in court is unconstitutional. The contradictory rulings are preventing other provinces from taking a similarly harsh stance against drunk driving.

Advocates of these laws say the administrative sanctions and quick action allowed in British Columbia prevent car accidents. They also allow police to handle situations more quickly, freeing them up for other duties. The process with these rules takes about one hour, as opposed to up to four when a criminal charge is processed.

Car accidents are a major source of injury and fatality in British Columbia. These rules are designed to prevent drunk driving accidents, but many still occur across the province on a regular basis. When this happens, a personal injury lawyer is a good resource for any questions about restitution, legal rights and other important concerns.

Source: Globalnews.ca, "Alberta should model new impaired driving rules on British Columbia: MADD Canada", Alyssa Julie, Aug 17, 2017

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