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NEWS RELEASE · 20th September 2010
BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation
The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is reminding drivers that Canada’s most immediate and severe impaired driving penalties are now in effect.

Fail - Under changes to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), drivers who provide a failing breath sample above 0.08 per cent BAC or refuse to provide a breath sample at the roadside will face an immediate, 90-day driving ban and a $500 fine. As well, they will have their vehicle impounded for 30 days, and may also face criminal charges.

Warn - Drivers caught once in the “warn” range (between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent BAC) in a five-year period will face an immediate, three-day driving ban and a $200 fine; a second time, a seven-day ban and a $300 fine; and a third, a 30-day ban and a $400 fine.

Repeat Offenders - Drivers who blow once in the “fail” range, or three times within five years in the “warn” range, will be required to participate in the rehabilitative Responsible Driver Program. They must also use an ignition interlock device, which tests a driver’s breath for alcohol every time they operate their vehicle, for one year.

Drinking and driving continues to take a deadly toll on B.C.’s roads. In an average year police attend approximately 5,100 motor vehicle crashes where alcohol is involved, and 3,000 people are injured and 115 people die.

Other drinking and driving stats to keep in mind are that most alcohol-related crashes occur on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 9pm and 3am, and sixteen to 25-year-olds account for the highest number of impaired drivers with males accounting for 80 per cent of all impaired drivers.

According to an ongoing member survey conducted by BCAA, impaired driving is consistently identified as the traffic safety issue about which members are most concerned.

Allan Lamb, Executive Director of the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation reiterated that the Foundation is pleased that the police will have these tools and says ending impaired driving is the responsibility of the driver in the first place, but it is also the responsibility of hosts, friends and family not to let an individual drive a vehicle if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs.

More information about changes to impaired driving penalties is available at www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv/ online.