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Drink and Drive in BC? Big Penalties Ahead

Updated on January 18, 2016
Heavy Traffic During Rain Storm
Heavy Traffic During Rain Storm | Source

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

The westernmost province, British Columbia, Canada has some of the toughest laws in the country with regards to driving while impaired. This page discusses the laws and invites you to give your opinion on the legislation.

Where do you stand on drinking and driving? How much alcohol is too much? How severe should the penalty be? Do you know when you are over the legal limit?

Drinking and driving is a contentious issue in my province of British Columbia, Canada .On September 20, 2010, our government implemented the toughest DUI or DWI laws in the country. I'll explain them later and then you get a chance to agree or disagree with the stand taken.

Two Police Officers in Uniform
Two Police Officers in Uniform | Source

Don't Drink and Drive in British Columbia, Canada

DUI/DWI

On September 20, 2010, BC implemented Canada's toughest drinking and driving laws.

You are not allowed to refuse to give a breathalyzer test at the roadside. Police officers can now require you to take a breathyzer roadside without going in to the station.

Blow the Breathalyzer with a blood alcohol level (BAL) between .05 and .08 and get a three-day driving ban and a fine of $200. This is called the warning range. If its your second offence, you get a seven day ban and a fine of $300. For your third offence, you are looking at a 30 day driving ban and a $400 fine.

Blow the Breathalyzer over 0.08 and get a ninety day driving ban. Your car will be impounded for thirty days. You may face criminal charges and you may get penalties up to $4060. A mandatory ignition interlock device will be installed on your vehicle. It tests your breath for alcohol every time you start the ignition.

For a second offense, the penalties increase accordingly.

The same law also targets speeders, who also face increasingly large penalties and fines.

Duke It Out on Drinking and Driving

Do you think these laws will curb the amount of drinking and driving? Mothers Against Drunk Drivers call the law "innovative".

Or will it simply cause more confusion stemming from people not understanding whether they are at the limit? According to information released by the government, one drink would put a 120 pound woman over the 0.05 limit. But various factors affect this rating. It depends upon how long ago she had the drink, whether or not she has consumed food, whether she was using certain prescription or non-prescription drugs at the same time, and other factors.

And of course, not all people are 120 pound women. What puts a bigger person over the limit? Or a smaller person?

Would it have been better to have reduced the permissible amount of alcohol in the blood to 0 instead of 0.05? With zero tolerance, there is no room for guessing.

What's your take?

Are these laws likely to reduce drinking and driving?

Breathalyzers on Amazon - Maybe having your own brethalyzer will help

BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black
BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black

Check your BAL (blood alcohol level) before turning the key in the ignition.

 

© 2010 June Campbell

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    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @ChrisDay LM: True enough. Alcohol metabolizes slowly. Last night's fun can still be in the blood stream by morning. Thanks for visiting.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      7 years ago

      Two of life's joys that should always be kept separate. However, the effect of a 'night before' on the morning's BAL can often be overlooked by drivers.

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