August .27 .2014

BC Drunk Driving Laws Save Lives

A new University of British Columbia study has found that BC’s strict drinking and driving laws have significantly reduced the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities across the province.

In September 2010, the BC government implemented harsher consequences for impaired driving. First time offenders with a blood alcohol content of .05% to .08% received a $600 fine, a 3-day license suspension, and the possibility of a vehicle impounding. The penalties for drivers blowing over .08% were even more severe, with drivers facing possible criminal charges.

Four years later, the laws continue to see favourable results.

Since the laws were implemented, automobile crashes have declined by 21%. There were also an estimated 84 fewer fatal crashes, 308 fewer hospital admissions, and 2,553 fewer ambulance calls for road traumas each year.

Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher, lead author and associate professor at UBC, hopes that other jurisdictions will follow suit given the success of BC’s laws.

“With this many lives saved it’s really hard to argue against the new laws,” says Dr. Brubacher.

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