|Impaired driving act passed|
|Local Content - Political blogs|
|Written by production|
|Friday, 16 December 2011 20:54|
Alberta has now passed legislation aimed at further discouraging impaired driving in the province â€“ the Traffic Safety (Impaired Driving) Amendment Act, 2011.
As we gain more research into how alcohol really affects our driving, and as we continue to grasp its toll on human lives, Albertans are becoming more concerned about the problem of impaired driving. Over the last five years, 569 people have lost their lives and another 8,535 people have been injured in alcohol-related collisions on our roads. Thatâ€™s enough people to populate a large town â€“ which is saddening when you think that each collision was preventable.
When this legislation comes into force sometime in the new year, impaired drivers will face greater consequences and stronger educational interventions to help change behaviours and prevent injuries and deaths. An education and awareness campaign will also be developed to help Albertans understand the details of the legislation.
Bill 26 targets high-risk groups in particular, like repeat offenders and drivers with blood-alcohol content over .08 (the legal limit under the Criminal Code). Perhaps the biggest change is that these drivers will have their licence suspended until such time that their criminal charge is resolved. They will also use an ignition interlock device for one year and have their vehicle impounded for three days.
Albertaâ€™s new legislation also outlines progressive sanctions for drivers in the .05 to .08 range. Since 1969, drivers found with a blood-alcohol content between .05 and .08 have had their licences suspended for 24 hours. The new suspension will be three days and the vehicle will also be impounded for three days.
Counting Albertaâ€™s new legislation, nine Canadian jurisdictions have now passed laws imposing tougher sanctions for drivers with blood alcohol between .05 and .08 (Saskatchewan starts at .04). While this does not prevent you from enjoying a drink over dinner or with friends after work, a blood-alcohol content of .05 is the point at which you are not fit to drive.
Now, whether a driver is at .05 or .16, the sanctions get tougher if that driver is caught a second or third time within 10 years. Education programs and reviews will also kick in for these repeat offenders.
As we approach the holiday season and we start preparing for those special days with all our family and friends there, letâ€™s plan ahead and ensure that we are making responsible decisions. Everyone has the right to feel safe on the road.
For more information about the new impaired driving legislation, visit the Alberta Transportation website at www.transportation.alberta.ca.
This month on behalf of the Provincial Government, I presented Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant funds to the Central School Community Playground Association for a playground upgrades and Community Initiative Grant funds to the Cranford Community Recreation Society for facility repairs.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
If you have any questions, concerns or issues youâ€™d like to discuss, please feel free to contact my office in Cardston at 403-653-5100 or in Taber at 1-888-600-6080. I can also provide congratulatory scrolls for birthdays 65 years and older and wedding anniversaries in five year increments, starting at 25 years.