Province toughens up drinking and driving laws
Some of the toughest regulations in Canada just got a lot tougher.
The provincial government has added new regulations to clarify and toughen the consequences of drinking and drug affected driving in British Columbia, strengthening the Province’s resolve to have the safest roads in North America by 2020.
“These measures will help both deter and prevent unsafe drivers from getting back on our roads,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Morris.
“There will no longer be financial or hardship considerations to exempt high-risk drivers from these remedial programs.”
Under the new program, drivers with certain serious prohibitions for drinking and drug affected driving are now required to participate in mandatory remedial programs designed to prevent this high risk and irresponsible behaviour from reoccurring.
Driving while affected by drugs or alcohol is a significant public health and safety concern of this government. In 2014, drinking and driving contributed to the death of 61 people on our roads – that’s 61 completely preventable deaths due to poor choices.
Once a mandatory referral is made, drivers will be required to participate in the Responsible Driver Program (RDP), which focuses on education and counselling, and/or the Ignition Interlock Program (IIP), for which a device is installed in the vehicle to prevent drivers from driving if they have consumed alcohol.
“Let me be clear. If you are caught drinking and driving and therefore putting your life and the lives of others at risk, it will cost you,” said Morris.
“Driving while affected by alcohol or drugs is reckless and selfish behaviour for which this province has no tolerance.”
Said acting superintendent of Motor Vehicles, Robert O’Neill:
“These are firm but fair measures that address repetitive driving behaviours at the administrative level.
“Drivers who choose to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol will face serious remedial program consequences that are recognized as efficient and successful in many jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.
“It is extremely easy to avoid these consequences and every driver is able to do so by choosing to act responsibly when behind the wheel.”
- The new regulations apply to drivers caught driving while affected by drugs or alcohol who accumulate between 6-16 remedial program points within five years.
- Since the 2010 implementation of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program, there has been an estimated 260 lives saved and a 52% reduction in alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths.
- Drivers who receive a 90 Day IRP or accumulate points through repeat alcohol and drug related driving events will be required to participate in remedial programs.
- Research shows a 90% reduction in repeat drinking and driving while the Ignition Interlock Program (IIP) device is installed.
- IRP’s administrative sanctions have seen a reduction of 6,000 Criminal Code Impaired Driving court cases per year since 2010.
- There is no reconsideration process for mandatory referrals.