New driving law takes effect next week

  • Sep. 17, 2010 6:00 a.m.

Sept. 20 is fast approaching, which is the start date for the new and toughest drinking and driving laws in Canada, says Masset RCMP Sgt. Grant MacDonald. These new laws not only include more immediate sanctions for the person who wishes to drink and drive, but will also deal with speeding. Drinking and driving is recognized by almost everyone as a bad decision, Sgt. MacDonald said, but RCMP still see it every day. If you got caught it would sometimes take a year before you went to court, but after Sept. 20, you will feel the consequences immediately. Drivers who provide a failing breath sample above .08 percent blood-alcohol content or refuse to provide a breath sample at the roadside will face an immediate, 90-day driving ban and a $500 fine. As well, they will have their vehicle impounded for 30 days. Criminal charges could also be laid. Additionally, drivers caught once in the “warn” range (between .05 or .08 percent blood-alcohol contest) in a five-year period will face an immediate three-day driving ban and a $200 fine; a second time, a seven-day ban and a $300 fine; and a third time, a 30-day ban and a $400 fine. Research shows a blood-alcohol content in that range means a driver is seven times more likely to be in a fatal crash than if they have no alcohol in their body, Sgt. MacDonald said. If you get caught speeding and are over 40 km over the posted speed limit, you will have your vehicle immediately impounded for seven days.