Queen Charlotte RCMP will be throwing the book at all impaired drivers.
“People respond to enforcement,” said Cst. Pat Jenkins. “I guess that’s what we have to do.”
Police looked at the statistics for impaired driving and decided that zero tolerance works to prevent drinking and driving, so they plan to charge anyone they catch with a blood alcohol level over 80 mg. The minimum fine if convicted is $600 with a one-year prohibition against driving.
In 2003, police were strict about enforcing the impaired driving laws, especially towards the end of the year, said Cst. Jenkins. After that period of strong enforcement, they noticed that in the early part of 2004, only two people were charged with impairment, but by May, the number of drivers charged with impairment began to increase.
“It surprises me that people drink and get behind a wheel,” said Cst. Jenkins. “Think of the consequences, yet people still do it.”
Most recently, police pulled over a 38-year-old man at Skidegate Landing Sunday at 4:30 am and found he was 1.5 times over the legal limit. A person is legally impaired at 80 mg of blood alcohol, said Cst. Jenkins, and this man blew 130 mg. Police gave him a 24-hour suspension on the spot and a three-month prohibition against driving, as well as charging him with impaired driving.
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