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

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

SRD chair, CAO to respond to 32 letters from Cortes Island

Board votes for responses in light of delegations being turned down

Back to school for Vancouver Island’s snow-covered kids, more snow coming

All school districts in business this morning but officials warn another 5-10 centimetres today

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read