OTTAWA CONSIDERS LOWERING LEGAL ALCOHOL LIMIT FOR DRIVING

Aug 09, 2017

By Jane Brown

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Tougher drunk driving laws are being considered by the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa.

It’s come to light that Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould sent a letter to her provincial counterparts in May in which she suggests lowering the limit to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood from the current 80 milligrams.

Toronto Police Constable Clint Stibbe says right now, anyone who’s caught in the warning range (.05 percent to .08 percent) faces a license suspension and a vehicle impoundment.

“We need to keep in mind that any changes to that legislation will require criminal charges to be laid in that area, which currently don’t happen, but the reality is that we are seeing people arrested for impaired driving that are in the warning range, they’re just not facing the charge of 80 milligrams operation.”

The federal minister says the change would make it easier to fight the danger posed by drivers who’ve consumed alcohol. Wilson-Raybould says the current rules were established after research indicated the risk of being involved in a car crash was twice as likely when a driver has 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his or her system.

“More recent research indicates that this data underestimated the fatal crash risk,” she said Tuesday. “In fact, the risk is almost double at 50mg, almost triple at 80mg, and rises exponentially above that level.”

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