New drinking and driving penalties to come into effect in days
Published Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:25PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:38PM MDT
Less than a week before new drinking and driving laws are set to go into effect, and the province believes Albertans are ready and aware.
“I imagine every single Albertan knows of the fact that there is going to be a change,” Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk said.
“We had a public campaign, we bought out media space.”
The new law will go into effect on September 1 – and with it, tougher penalties for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) that’s between .05 and .08.
In only a few days, drivers who blow between those two numbers the first time will have a suspended license and their vehicles seized for three days, a second offence will lead to a 15 day license suspension, 7 day vehicle seizure and the driver will be required to take a special course called “Planning Ahead”.
For a third offence, the driver will face a 30-day license suspension, in addition to a 7-day vehicle seizure and the driver will have to take a special “Impact” course.
While the Deputy Premier believed all Albertans were aware of the imminent changes, some CTV News spoke to said they didn’t know – and some of those believed the changes won’t change much.
“I think it will impact some people’s choices but I think for most people, no,” Christian Collins said. “Tigers won’t change their stripes.”
“There are so many needless deaths due to alcohol,” Lauran Chittim said. “So many lives are lost, it’s about time.”
Ahead of the changes, the province has set up a few online tools, including an online blood-alcohol content simulator – still, Lukaszuk said it shouldn’t be used as a scientific source.
“That’s a guideline,” Lukaszuk said. “Obviously it will vary from person to person.”
“The best rule of thumb is don’t drink and drive.”
With files from Bill Fortier