June .20 .2013

104 Lives Saved Due to BC's Drinking and Driving Laws

BC's strict drinking and driving law has been credited with saving 104 lives in only two years after coming into effect in September 2010.

Research from the University of Victoria finds 40% fewer deaths and 23% fewer injuries caused by alcohol-related crashes in the two year period.

BC's law is the strictest in Canada because of the immediate consequences that drivers face if caught driving drunk. The law no longer relies on the Criminal Code, a time-consuming process leading to fewer convictions. Instead, police officers have the power to deal with impaired drivers by issuing road-side prohibitions and fines up to $500, depending on how drunk the driver is. Police officers may also impound the vehicle of a drunk driver on the spot.

BC law requires far less paperwork, largely because evidence is gathered by portable handheld breathalyzers at the scene.

CEO of MADD Canada says that the BC law could become the "golden template" for the rest of the country.

And why not? 104 British Columbians are still living because of it.

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Nicholas Tsoi

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