Criminal Code 0.05% BAC law will decrease impaired driving
Criminal Code 0.05% BAC law will decrease impaired driving in Canada
'Our impaired driving problem can't be blamed on so-called 'hard core' drinking drivers'
A federal 0.05% BAC offence will reduce the number of impaired drivers on Canadian roads. Most important, a new federal law will reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by all categories of drinking drivers, from social drinkers to hard core drinkers, states Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada).
Because of its general impact across the population of drinking drivers, a 0.05% BAC law is an effective means of significantly decreasing impaired driving deaths and injuries -- contends the national victims' organization.
"Research and the real world experience in the United States, Western Europe and Australia indicate that when you reduce a legal limit, it affects the behaviour of all drinking drivers", says Professor Robert Solomon, Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario and MADD Canada's National Director of Legal Policy. "Studies in Sweden and Australia suggest that the greatest reductions are likely to be among hard-core drinking drivers. In general, those people who drink and drive will drink less - ensuring greater safety for all users of the roads."
Professor Solomon is troubled by the alcohol industry and others who are mischaracterizing the impaired driving problem in Canada by 'simply blaming it all on hard-core drinking drivers' (problem drinkers who routinely drive with a BAC above 0.15%). He states, 'Our impaired driving problem can't be blamed on so-called 'hard core' drinking drivers.'
He explains that the hard-core drinking driver mythology ignores the large number of social drinkers who occasionally drink to excess and then drive with high BACs. Nor does this mythology consider the many young males who go through a period of occasional binge drinking. These people are not problem or hard-core drinking drivers, but they are dramatically over-represented in Canada's impaired driving fatalities.
Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's Chief Executive Officer believes the federal Parliament needs to consider the merits of new BAC legislation. "It is time for a full review of the issue. The scientific evidence indicates that a 0.05% Criminal Code offence will save lives. We know that with a new law, drinking drivers will adjust their behaviour and actually drink less before driving their vehicles. And the international experience suggests that a new law will serve as an effective deterrent with high BAC impaired drivers. "
Mr. Murie adds, "While the rest of the world is lowering BAC limits and reducing traffic deaths, the Canadian government is mired in inertia. MADD Canada wants Parliament to put the interests of sober, responsible drivers first, and introduce more effective impaired driving laws to reduce the unnecessary deaths and carnage on our roads."