Thursday, September 23, 2010

BC Drinking Driving Laws A Mixed Cocktail?

You sounded off on British Columbia's toughest new drinking driving laws in Canada. Will it spell the end of pubs, restaurants & licensed community events?

Update Nov 8, 2010.
Added Reaction To This Below Comments...
BC Solicitor General to Reconsiders Changes to New Tough Drinking Driving Laws

Original Story:
A bit ironic, or perhaps the impetus behind it all, as many still remember Premiere Gordon Campbell himself busted for drinking and driving in Hawaii.

28april2008duaneburnett (4)
A drinking & driving reenactment by the Chatelech
High School acting class and emergency services in
Sechelt, BC is a popularly viewed photo album on flickr.

I asked you on facebook what you thought of the new laws implemented on September 20, 2010, and here is what you said....

One Drink Too Many
New drinking and driving laws in BC are the toughest in the country. Penalties include a 90-day driving ban, car impounded for 30 days, up to $4,060 in penalties. Anyone who has a drink at a restaurant, pub or event is now breaking the law.

Shannon Kewley
Thank you for posting this!!!!!!!!

Sharon Charboneau
We could always refuse to blow & then they have to prove we were impaired. Come to think of it, we would have to have had more than 1 drink or why would they be pulling us over?

Christine Moore
Why don`t we just .. Not Drink and drive !

Desiree Lockhart
How would they be able to tell if you are drinking or not unless they do a road block and pull everyone over. ;-) More drunk drivers are caught when they open their window, rather than running down toddlers...And good for them for getting those assholes off the road, thank you very much. We should all wish for these losers to stay off the roads and away from our children, instead of being "anti-authority" for no valid reason.

Desiree Lockhart ‎
"Refusing to give a breathalyzer sample at the roadside is no longer a way out, he said. Officers can now impose roadside bans of more than 24 hours on drivers, without having to take them back to the station."

Sharon Charboneau
Desiree - 1 drink does not an asshole make....let's keep perspective here. My posting was tongue in cheek.
Yes, Christine, I agree, no drinking & driving.

Michael DeWolfe
I wonder how long it will take the arrest a drunk Gordon Campbell?

Desiree Lockhart
Pretty sure that most people can handle one glass of wine with a sit down dinner without blowing over-however, if you can't, you'd soon learn!
The ascending penalty's imposed on following offenses targets those who stupidly repeat the same mistake over and over again, as it should! It finally allows for REAL consequences for repeat offenders.
Way too many walk around with multiple warnings and fines and are still out there every Friday night. Take away the right to drive, their vehicle, absolutely! The average, responsible adult will be glad the road is a little safer.
"Anyone blowing in the ‘warning range’ of between 0.05 and 0.08 faces a three-day driving ban and a $200 fine. A second offense carries a seven-day ban and $300 fine, and a third will lead to a 30-day driving ban and $400 fine."

Duane Burnett
will this stop you from going out to a pub, restaurant or event?

Michael DeWolfe
I was reluctant to drink at all (eg. 1 drink) before. Now I won't do it at all. While the new laws lower the bar, the police can suspend anyone on the suspicion of drunk driving even when the breathalyzer comes up zero. There are a number of cases of police suspending someone for impaired driving if the person was sober but lippy. It's a lot of effort to fight a suspension and usually your first court date would come after your suspension would have lapsed making vindication hollow to the point where a judge wouldn't hear the case-- not a lot of reason to consider a suspension that is no longer in play.

Christine Moore
No ! I know if we go out and I have a few drinks (or 3 )I will get a cab or a friend to drive me !Thats how it has always been for us !

Terri Bissett-Page
we impounded 16 last night..people are NOT getting is not a joke..

Allen Snowdon
Bravo for our Gov't! (Did I actually just say that?)

Allen Snowdon
Also tailgaters and speeders are included in this most welcome legislation :)

Sharon Charboneau
ok, the law is one thing, however the courts need to seriously apply the laws.

Zoe Bo Bowie
nope..just makes people more responsible. I would rather have more people NOT die then have pubs any day!

David F Devo Faber
When the NDP originally brought in legislation for Neighborhood Pubs in the 70's it was to have a place where people could walk in their neighborhood for social drinking. Of course, booze became more of a debauchery than a social thing which led us through the freewheeling 80's and 90's. Now that most of us have sobered up the government is now sobering us up to the realities of drinking. Alcohol and a couple of tons of metal make a lethal cocktail.

David F Devo Faber
I feel bad for the hospitality industry but this only part of the evolution of our times.

Howard Paull
Thats why they have cab drivers, buses & Designated Drivers.

It's also called " Common Sense " peeps.

Some people (and I emphasize some) need to take more responsibility for their actions & behaviours when they go out and have a good time.
I'm not saying they can't, but " DO " plan ahead on how they'll get home safely later on in the evening.

Very simple really ...... if you think about it.

Duane Burnett
yeh I am wondering how restaurant, pubs, and events will be effected as more people stay home. Then we have on top of it a mechanized economic machine where people are no longer needed in a system based on people being employed. go figure?

Howard Paull
I'm sure these establishments will take a hit early in the beginning. Much like when they banned smoking entirely in these establishments as well. But, I believe people will adjust and business will (eventually) pick - up again.

Mike Warren
Let's remember that this new law punishes people who are NOT drunk. I support drunk driving laws, not busting people who are not drunk.

Grant Olsen
This is nothing but a government cash grab that will not deter drunk drivers, only scare responsible drivers who choose to go out to eat and have a glass of wine, beer, whatever the establishment sells. Now patrons and restrauteurs suffer and the government cashes in on the poor souls who at .05 get caught on a cop's bad day. Like Mike suggested, it punishes drivers who are not drunk, not to mention legitimate businesses like restaurants. The only reason the government is doing this is easy money and an easy sell to a gullible public, yet there is no more deterrent to the drunk driver in this legislation that isn't already existence as far as the law is concerned.

Zoe Bo Bowie
I have to agree that this is a case of bad apples ruining it for the rest of the bunch, however having been a server for over a decade I can honestly say that alot of people who may not have been over the legal limit where better off not behind the wheel. Not all people who get into drunk driving accidents are sloshed..being a little buzzed can definetly alter your judgment.

I also think alot of the times people may not realize how tipsy they are until they are 1/2 way know when you quickly finish the last half of your wine before you pay and dash out to your car only to realize once you hit upper gibsons that it was a little more than you bargained for.

I rarely observed patrons drinking only1 drink and I think it the lack of judgment from the general public that has caused the governmnet to imposes such strict laws. The government may make a little money on tickets but I doubt it compares to the $$ that all the car accidents it may be preventing would cost. These new laws are inconvenient, for sure. But so are loved ones getting mowed down by cars...

I think the sacrifice is well worth it and if you can afford to go to a pub or bar and drink then you can afford a cab home.

Mark Vance
I have been an OR nurse 26 years..having worked in a major trauma center 10 of those is an unfortunate thing that everyone has to pay the price for the few that chose to drink excessively and drive however the alternatives are still there..take a cab..designate a driver..bus..skytrain..when you see what I've seen this makes all the sense in the world..if you ask someone who has lost a loved one to a drunk driver..this makes all the sense in the world..when you consider how many pubs,clubs,bars there are and how many people drink excessively ..every weekend and then climb into their car and drive..this makes all the sense in the world..when you weigh the "death" of a pub against the "death" of an innocent person or entire family..this makes all the sense in the world..if it's ok to have laws preventing you from consuming alcohol while your driving..why is it not ok to have laws preventing you to consume it before you get into your car..?

Mike Warren
I agree that drunk drivers suck. I don't agree with punishing people for one beer. These people aren't drunk.

Mark Vance
Alcohol affects everyone differently..there is no way to establish who will be more intoxicated after 2 or 3 drinks..that leaves only the assume everyone is under some sort of influence from the alcohol..again..go to any drinking establishment..on any given Saturday nite..and count how many people actually climb into their cars after drinking most of the's ridiculous..the effect these laws have on those who drink will be directly proportional to how much they like to drink ..conversely..those who don't drink when they go out to a bar will not be upset with the new laws..those who know they only ever have one..will most likely not be upset..those who know they can't stop at one will be more upset..

Gina Myhill-jones
‎.....prescribed drugs that "may cause drowsiness" ....are not considered..... and we allow over the counter meds of any kind..... and the elderly.. and, and, and...... getting alcohol off the road is a start... but there needs to still be personal and community responsibility.. c'mon people..!!!

Travis Green
I think it is also a deterrent to socialize. It's a law that says, STAY HOME! We don't want you talking to each other!

Teresa Eckford
Part of the problem too is that the size of a glass of wine in a lot of restaurants/pubs often equals TWO drinks, rather than one. i believe a serving of wine is 3 oz, yet glasses of wine at many establishments can be up to 9's no wonder some people get behind the wheel thinking they've only had 1 glass when they've had closer to 3!

Melissa Lyons
clearly this is a sign that we need to become more European/Australian and have more pubs within walking distance...

Teresa Eckford
following up on my last comment, I also think people have to be more cognizant of what a serving of alcohol is!

Heather Doré
One thing we absolutely NEED up here on the Sunshine Coast is more frequent bus service, and/or for pubs etc. to have shuttles. I've heard the wait for a cab can be well over an hour - most people who've had a few won't wait for that. If alternate transportation is readily available ( mainly buses, in my opinion) I think we'd see a lot fewer impaired charges.

Mark Vance
‎ there's some real rational..the laws are designed to stop people from socializing..oh my god..

Grant Olsen
All of this tweaking of the laws, it's a hangover from way back in prohibition days when temperance groups were trying to save the world and failed. They drummed into us the idea that we shouldn't consume any liquor, ever. 80 years later prohibition stills rears its ugly head. Sure, put the pubs out of business you say! After all, they mainly serve booze anyway. But put that same sentiment to a restaurant, pick one you like, and note it affects them too. Liquor sales make a restaurant more profit than food, take away the option of a glass of wine and the restaurant, from the owners to the servers suffer, because a lot of responsible people will simply stay home, it is a law that prevents us from getting together, and just like in the bad old prohibition days the government babysitters force people to stay home and drink, like Good Canadians.

You cannot prevent every car accident regardless of what laws get cooked up, and still these law-tightening measures will not prevent accidents so much as it will keep people inside their houses at night. Meanwhile there are a thousand other ways to die out there on the road - the government is the main benefactor in the huge tax and fine collection industry, that is unless the voters turf them first.

Mark Vance
Here's the thing..everyone predicted the pubs and bars would die a painful death with the new smoking laws..and did they...?...the issue here is ..if one can ask themselves ..just how much do I need to drink to be social or to be able to socialize..the answer is pretty much on a sliding scale..those who ask less..drink more..and the more they drink..the less they care or ask..this is like a lottery..each one of us can be in the right place..however at the wrong time..and there are still a large number of people who are driving's a great exercise is visual a google photo search for drunk driving accidents..they are self explanatory..even the simplest of minds can absorb the devastation that can be caused by a 3000 pound vehicle operated by someone who is not in complete control of all their mental facilities because of ETOH consumption..this is quite simple really..people have been given the right to chose how much they drink before they climbed into a car..and they couldn't make the right don't have that choice that those who make the right choices will be safer..period.

Brian H Moore
If getting drunk or drinking drivers off the road is such a huge priority why are pubs and beer parlours required to have parking lots !!!! cambell taking the easy way out again no money in thinking that way !!!!

Mark Vance cannot prevent all car accidents and yes there are many ways to die on the road..the same rational can be used for smoking..there are many ways to acquire lung cancer and many things that cause cancer..not smoking is one less way to acquire lung cancer..not drinking and driving is one less way to die on the road..thats pretty simple..isn't it..?

Grant Olsen
We're talking one drink over a meal, that is what the laws in fact address. They do not address "drunks" on the road. The irresponsible drivers will continue to be irresponsible. The responsible ones will now stay at home with their money... and their wine.

Now, what happens to your favourite steak house when sales of liquor drop? You guessed it...the price of food goes up. Now your $20 steak becomes a $30 steak - the business has to recuperate their lost profit somehow. If the restaurant stays in business - good for them, you're still paying more for your food, it's an inevitable law of business. Pubs will be alright because booze is their main fare, and booze sells we know that, but restaurants are far more fragile economically than pubs, without a liquor license (incentive) how can a restaurant operate? You going to eat out at Tim Hortons or what?

Grant Olsen
Also, the secret to many a pub's success is the retail liquor outlet - beer and wine store- attached to it. That is take-home beer, for sit-down establishments without a takeaway outlet this is very bad news..

Mark Vance ‎ can still have.."one drink" with your will survive..there will be less people under the influence because there are still the smart ones who can make the right choice..and yes..there will still be those who.."ruin it for everyone"..that's life..that's human unfortunate that there are those who cannot see the benefit to less consumption..

Grant Olsen
It's actually the government that "ruins it for everyone", though it is your choice or not to support them....that's life alright.

Mark Vance
I agree..the government has a long history of making.."bad choices"..that leave really bad tastes in people's mouths for a very long time..they spend our money like kids in a candy store not caring about the consequences..why should's not their money..

Grant Olsen
‎...which is why any government initiative makes me suspicious. Governments are manipulated to make money for money. This law, or any other, is really aimed at making some wealthy friend of the government's wealthier. Be it law enforcement or some other lobby group, this law-tightening initiative is a cash grab that will benefit only the very few. How can one even tell if such law-tinkering is going to work? It may be even harder to reverse this law than to determine its effectiveness. In real, practical terms it is an easy cash grab and to hell with who it affects.

Mark Vance
well..personally..I'm hoping for the alternative..that it makes my drive safer..along with everyone elses..

Grant Olsen
me too Mark, except that I don't see how this law will deter the drunks who already know the law and just don't care. There is no real deterrent here, except to keep already law-abiding drivers off the road. Fewer cars may indeed make for a safer ride, but what a lame culture we have where people stay in their own homes and watch TV. Bah! the government couldn't be happier.

Travis Green
The Government, takes OUR money, and spends is against US. They always have. They just don't seem to care about keeping that fact much of a secret any more!

Grant Olsen
That's because the Canadian public is a push-over. Our grandparents were shamed by prohibition and the consequence for many of us today is that we are too accepting of a nanny-state and refuse ourselves to be the responsible ones. We don'...t trust our own judgments, or our neighbours' judgments yet we trust the government to take care of us and make us safe from ourselves! Thus it is through our sense of guilt, shame and immaturity that we leave it up to governments to moralize for us - and this Campbell government is as corrupt as any Chicago police force at any time.

Travis Green ‎
"How do you get 30 Canadians out of a swimming pool?....
HEY!!! GET OUT OF THE FU..ING POOL!"-Devin Townsend.

Grant Olsen
Well at least with no one in the pool, nobody will drown! I'm sick of drowning deaths. Let's get rid of the pools.

Travis Green
Nice one (as usual) Grant!

Mark Vance ‎
..what is good is that people talk about this issue..that's how better understanding's when people don't say anything that you have to worry.. thanks Duane

Ray McNally
This will also effect our entertainment industry and our economy. Our culture is also at risk. Who wants to take the risk now of going to see a music act in a bar when you know you can`t get fucking home without calling for a cab or public transit? Is the private sector and government going to be able to increase the number of cabs and transit at night for those who want to go see a show now? Gee only 1 drink and I am unfit to drive now????? That is so fucking ridiculous!

Gordon Campbell should be rotting in a jail cell in Hawaii. They should only punish the drunks like him! Keep drunks off the road, don't punish society for your mistakes Campbell. Now the police have the increased power to charge and convict you and fine you, no judge is necessary and our civil liberties are now been trashed. That is too much power that our government has put in the hands of our Police who are suppose to be here to protect us, not persecute us for having 1 drink. Who is the judge now?

Susan Davidson
In Norway these strict rules have been in force for ever......the mentality is to take a cab both ways !!

Brian H Moore
Ever try to get a cab or rapid transit after one o'clock in gibsons ! If you were successful go buy a lottery ticket while you still have the luck!!!!!

Ray McNally
Here is a thought to help Restaurant be able to attract people to come to eat and drink in your establishments: How about each restaurant start incentive programs of their own, such as give 1 Free APPY & free soft drinks to a designated driver responsible for group of 3 or more and of that group. Only if the other members of this group drink alcohol. That in a way encourages a group of people to go out and be safe knowing they have a designated driver. The waitress would make sure not to serve alcohol to the designated driver and at the same time provide incentive for people to go out and party with their friends.

to possible changes to new BC Drinking Driving Law by Solicitor General.

Paul Dwyer
Thank goodness. I'm sure it's politically incorrect to be in favour of this reversal, but the old levels were strict enough in my opinion. The bars and clubs are hurting because people are too scared to even have one drink.

Jill Devonshire
Don’t drink and drive,
you might hit a bump and spill your drink.

Martin Ca
I lost an uncle to a drunk driver.... and it was a horrible ....... I Think the rules should be apply to all.... society thinks its all about fun and games but until it hits you within your family as a family member, things change.... He was just getting out of work .... and this guy was drunk and hit him on the side at about 50 mph..... he hit the payment and that was it for him :(

Grant Olsen
Tragedy's like that shouldn't be used to hold society hostage to police over-enforcement. People shouldn't be afraid to go out and have a responsible good time any more than they should be afraid of police or drunk drivers. Life is never from death, we need to stop cowering behind the machinery of governance to protect ourselves.

My grandfather was killed in a tragic car accident where there was no alcohol involved. Who shall I blame and who shall I punish for that? No one, shit happens.

Grant Olsen
Collective punishment is the stuff that drives warfare. The law should punish individuals who were caught offending, normally that's how laws work. Punishing the collective is bad for community and does not solve the issue of whether a drunk drives or not.

Cyril Perpet
Why is it so difficult to make alternate arrangements to get home or have a designated driver along for your dinner out. We have many friends that do not drink or plan for it when they do. I am glad that this has been a wake-up call, but like any law-uncaring or irresponsible people will continue to break them no matter what. I like that people are finally paying attention-so sad it took the death of a 4 year old to make it happen.

Grant Olsen
Exactly, law-uncaring people will continue to break laws even if you toughen the law up. That's the personal choice THEY make. THEY do not represent the community, only themselves. The law was heavy-handed enough on those individuals. A... more efficient way to stop drinking and driving all together would be a new prohibition (gasp) or to ban cars altogether. Politically impossible? Yep, but so is this draconian measure.

Personally I think cancer probably kills more people than drunks, why don't we ban sodium nitrite or other carcinogens in food? The emphasis on drunk driving here was only meant to increase police powers, a trend that is SWEEPING our country, unfortunately.


Wow surprised the government is now revisiting the law due to the public outcry. The new laws were mostly not too well received but the intent is.

A bit of a mixed review on the new drinking driving laws in BC, some welcome it wholeheartedly, others feel it is too tough and authoritarian. We didn't hear much from restaurants and pubs who make cater to drinkers. If one drink can result in fines, suspensions, and impounding your car, will people stop going out and just stay home? Will the new laws make a difference? Leave your comments.
Thanks Duane Burnett

B.C. introduces tough new drunk-driving law,

Globe and Mail John Bermingham, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010

BC Solicitor General to Reconsiders Changes to New Tough Drinking Driving Laws

It's Always A Good Day on the Sunshine Coast!

Duane's Facebook Profile

Duane's Facebook Fan Page

Sunshine Coast BC Canada facebook FAN PAGE



  1. finally ! ! !
    no one cared, or noticed before that we are driving a lethal weapon. Now they will be forced to notice whether they like it or not, including me.

  2. Right wing governments, are afraid of people getting together in social groups.. look at Iran.. keep them at home drinking by themselves and they won't get with their friends and rock the boat.


  3. The new laws are quite specific on who they intend to punish .05 and suspicion. This is not a drunk person this a person who had a glass of wine with diner. Keep this in perspective people this has just turned a responsable drinker into a criminal.

  4. Anonymous says: As i completely agree with the 24hour or 90 day ban for driving while intoxicated, who gets effected the most?Answer: The middle and lower class! whilst somebody who works an average job at minimum or just above, will already be struggling with not only the fines, the cost of storage and so forth, somebody with a 6 figure salary will find it a slap on the wrist. Isn't the law supposed to be equal, why should one person suffer more for the same offense. The whole point of these harsher punishments is so we are detoured from breaking these law's, but what is harsh for some may be a total walk in the park for others.

    Also what about the sensible driving program which has to be completed if you have a 90day or more prohibition and costs between $800-$900? We now understand that there is a thin line between having a few drinks and alcoholism which is classified as a disease. Why? if you admit that you have or may have the alcoholism disease do you not get treated through your medical coverage. Will a person who has alcoholism not repeat the same action if we only focus on the driving while intoxicated. Will they not still jump in the car if they have to go to get more alcohol if the store is not in walking distance or they just do not won't to walk? If we don't deal with problems at route we will never eradicate the growing problem. Instead we promised temporary safety whilst ICBC and the government get fat pockets of people who need real help.

  5. I believe that we need tough dui laws, people have to make the break from drinking and driving, it can cause a lot of senseless damage. I also believe that our new laws are causing a lot of senseless damage. A person looses their license for a year, if their job depends on their license, chances are they have lost their job and source of income. Now they have to do the responsible driver's program for around $900, pay the fines etc., aprox $1300. Now the person has to install a interlock on their vehical before they can have their licence reinstated, which also costs a fair amount of money. Now, where does this money come from? can you afford this on income assistance? In order to afford all the fines etc. that comes with it all, a person has to be working or wealthy, but, odd thing , you can't get a job without a license, and you can't a license without a job. I wonder how many people are in this situation, and I wonder just what the social cost is. The laws need to have room to keep people working or all we are doing is transfering the damage done to society from one end to the other

  6. Not to mention all that can incorrectly effect a BAC machine apart from what you had to drink. Were you really over .05 or .08? Look up the science before you are quick to assume. There is currently nothing in place to protect the truly innocent from an imperfect machine. That's wrong!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...