OAKVILLE, Ontario, Nov. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New sanctions and penalties going into effect in Alberta on December 1 will reduce impaired driving, save lives and make roads safer, says MADD Canada.
Alberta’s Provincial Administrative Penalties Act introduced several new measures to combat impaired driving. They include: additional fines for drivers in the warn range (.05% and .08% BAC) and for new drivers who violate the zero alcohol and drug requirement; a new zero alcohol and drug requirement for commercial drivers; and a new Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) program for certain impaired drivers over the legal limit of .08% BAC.
“When we look at ways to deter impaired driving, make roads safer and save lives, provincial administrative sanctions such as these are among the most effective,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “We are pleased to see these changes coming into effect and thank the Government of Alberta for its leadership.”
The new IRS program is similar to programs in British Columbia and Manitoba, which provide an administrative option for sanctioning certain impaired drivers over the .08% BAC limit. In Alberta, those penalties include: a 15-month licence suspension, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, increased fines, ignition interlock requirements and remedial education requirements.
“This kind of administrative sanction option for certain impaired driving offenders provides a way to get them off the roads quickly while ensuring they still face strong consequences for their actions,” said Mr. Murie. “Most importantly, these programs save lives. Similar measures introduced in British Columbia have helped reduce alcohol-related crash deaths by 50%. That is hundreds of lives saved.”
It is important to note that the IRS program is not an option for all impaired drivers. It does not apply to repeat offenders or to impaired drivers who cause bodily harm or death; those offenders will continue to face Criminal Code charges.
IRS programs also ease the burden on court and police resources, Mr. Murie noted, which ultimately helps the Criminal Code impaired driving charges that are laid proceed through the courts in a more timely fashion.
MADD Canada supports all provinces having immediate roadside sanction programs. It is a key recommendation in MADD Canada’s latest impaired driving policy recommendations: The Top 10 Report: Provincial/Territorial Recommendations to Minimize Impaired Driving and Support Victims.
CONTACT: For more information or an interview, please contact: Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer, MADD Canada at 416-720-7642 or firstname.lastname@example.org Tracy Crawford, Western Regional Manager, MADD Canada at 1-877-676-6233 or email@example.com