Be clear on the law

Just because part of drunk driving law struck down doesn't mean it's open season

The B.C. Supreme Court ruling this week that found the toughest of B.C.’s new impaired-driving penalties infringe on the constitutional right to a fair trial cannot be surprising to many.

When the provincial government created the law that, in effect, gave police the power to be officer, jury and judge, more than a few people cried foul. At issue is the law that permits police to impose 90-day driving bans, impound vehicles for 30 days and levy significant fines that can climb into the thousands.

Those penalties are issued to drivers who have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. The problem with this tough new penalty, Justice Jon Sigurdson found, is that it offers drivers no recourse to go to court and challenge the charges.

Sigurdson’s finding is dead-on and follows in much criticism when the B.C. Liberals introduced the new penalties that have indeed infringed on Charter rights. While Sigurdson found permissible the tougher penalties connected to blood-alcohol content in the “warn” range of 0.05 and 0.08, the confusion and fear the new penalties invoked in British Columbians cry out for the B.C. Liberals to cut to the chase and make a bold decision. It is either legal to drink or drive or it isn’t.

Forcing the public to engage in a dangerous and potentially costly guessing game while out having dinner is ridiculous.

If the B.C. Liberals are adamant that drinking and driving do not mix in any quantity, then let’s have a zero-tolerance law and dispense with the confusion now associated with what can only be interpreted as conflicting messages on drinking and driving.

If that is not the B.C. Liberals’ intent, if they believe there is room for some amount of alcohol in the bloodstream of drivers, then let’s have rigid enforcement of the 0.08 law and stop criminalizing those whose only crime is not drunk driving, but having been caught in the Twilight Zone of 0.05 to 0.08.

— Campbell River Mirror/Black Press

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Popular TV series ‘Chesapeake Shores’ renewed for season five

Hallmark Channel show to return to filming in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

City of Parksville offers information about coronavirus

Says chances of getting COVID-19 locally are currently low

Shantz finishes second, happy for B.C. curling champ

Michayluk finally a victor at provincial women’s senior bonspiel

RDN bylaw allows people experiencing homelessness to camp overnight in some parks

Board of directors unanimously passes park use regulations bylaw

Parksville council votes against OCP amendment, squashing 130 Shelly Rd. development

Vote comes almost a month after residents unanimously spoke out against plan

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Most Read