EDMONTON, AB (June 11, 2012): The PC government needs to fix its misguided drunk driving law following an admission from Transportation Minister Ric McIver that the law may not actually make Alberta streets safer, Wildrose Justice Critic Shayne Saskiw said today.
The law – which was rammed through the Legislature in a matter of days in 2011 – will take effect Sept. 1. It drastically increases administrative penalties for drivers found to be between the .05 to .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). However, it was reported on the weekend that McIver believes that whether or not the law targets the right people is “arguable.” [These comments differ drastically from Justice Minister Jonathan Denis’ view that at .05, “you pose a danger.”] “If even the government’s own Transportation Minister isn’t convinced this legislation is the right way to go, why are they moving ahead with it?” Saskiw said. “We need to target the dangerous, repeat drunk drivers to keep our families and streets safe. That’s why we need to fix this law.” Saskiw says the law should be referred to the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Families and Communities for changes. Wildrose has long advocated for cracking down on drivers over the .08 BAC limit by hiring more front-line police officers and adding more provincial checkstop teams to help tackle drunk driving. “The overwhelming majority of alcohol related fatalities come from those driving above the .08 limit and we need to make sure we put our resources towards making sure those drivers stay off the road,” Saskiw said. “We need to take serious action on drunk driving to protect Alberta families, not waste time and resources on a law that won’t work.”