OUR VIEW: Liberals need to be clear on DUI laws

Let’s have a zero-tolerance law; dispense confusion

The B.C. Supreme Court ruling this week that found the toughest of B.C.’s new impaired-driving penalties infringe on the constitutional right to a fair trial cannot be surprising to many.

When the provincial government created the law that, in effect, gave police the power to be officer, jury and judge, more than a few people cried foul. At issue is the law that permits police to impose 90-day driving bans, impound vehicles for 30 days and levy significant fines that can climb into the thousands.

Those penalties are issued to drivers who have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. The problem with this tough new penalty, Justice Jon Sigurdson found, is that it offers drivers no recourse to go to court and challenge the charges.

Sigurdson’s finding is dead-on and follows in much criticism when the B.C. Liberals introduced the new penalties that have indeed infringed on Charter rights. While Sigurdson found permissible the tougher penalties connected to blood-alcohol content in the “warn” range of 0.05 and 0.08, the confusion and fear the new penalties invoked in British Columbians cry out for the B.C. Liberals to cut to the chase and make a bold decision. It is either legal to drink or drive or it isn’t.

Forcing the public to engage in a dangerous and potentially costly guessing game while out having dinner is ridiculous.

If the B.C. Liberals are adamant that drinking and driving do not mix in any quantity, then let’s have a zero-tolerance law and dispense with the confusion now associated with what can only be interpreted as conflicting messages on drinking and driving.

If that is not the B.C. Liberals’ intent, if they believe there is room for some amount of alcohol in the bloodstream of drivers, then let’s have rigid enforcement of the 0.08 law and stop criminalizing those whose only crime is not drunk driving, but having been caught in the Twilight Zone of 0.05 to 0.08.

– Black Press

Just Posted

Artsian Market on now at Campbell River Art Gallery (VIDEO)

Something for everyone at annual event, focused on handcrafted and local art

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Update: Highway 19A north of Qualicum Beach to reopen Monday

Culvert washout undercuts road, forcing Sunday afternoon closure

Be part of the solution

Greenways and DFO recruit a new generation of streamkeepers next weekend

18th Annual Christmas Gift Tour shows off local work

Over 120 vendors are set up around town this weekend to give your holiday shopping a boost

Artsian Market on now at Campbell River Art Gallery (VIDEO)

Something for everyone at annual event, focused on handcrafted and local art

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. sport groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

B.C. VIEWS: China a better partner than U.S.

B.C. is slowly winning the softwood lumber war

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip celebrate 70th anniversary

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary

Most Read