News that there are 50 per cent fewer deaths on the road since B.C. implemented tougher drinking and driving laws has Supt. Bill McKinnon singing the praises of the once controversial legislation.
“It’s working,” said McKinnon earlier this month, in a presentation to Kelowna city council, adding since IRP came in November, fatalities down 50 per cent, serious injuries are down 50 per cent, and minor injuries are down 50 per cent.
“People may say the bars are missing money, but I can’t think how much is being saved in terms of lives.”
Lauded as the toughest in Canada, B.C.s new impaired-driving laws took effect in September 2010.
They gave police the ability to impound cars, issue 90-day driving bans and hand out significant fines to individuals who have a blood-alcohol level was higher than .05—lower than the .08 legal limit under the Criminal Code.
Initially, the provincial government projected the change in policies would cut the numbers of impaired-related death by 35 per cent by 2013, but a 50 per cent cut in a matter of months has surprised everyone.
It’s even prompted legislators to back down from their service industry placating promise to scale back the restrictions, in hopes of stimulating business, which suffered 30 per cent drop offs in revenues when introduced.