VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – BC’s tough drinking and driving laws have been so effective according to the latest stats that the government will not consider easing up, as it once promised.
The goal was to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths by one-third over three years. According to new numbers from the BC government, fatal car crashes involving alcohol have dropped by half in the first seven months since the tougher 0.05 blood alcohol law was introduced.
The BC Restaurant and Food Association was promised a review of the harder rules. Association President Ian Tostenson tells the Globe and Mail that after further meetings with the government, he has accepted the new law as the new reality.
This morning News 1130 spoke to Kash Heed, who was Minister of Public Safety when the new laws were brought in. He admitted that although the legislation has been successful, there should have been more consultation with stakeholders.
“In hindsight we probably should have consulted the restaurant and liquor industry a little more than we did,” Heed said.
“We needed to engage them, we’ve had discussions with them, they recognize that this law was brought into place… to save lives.”
One Vancouver man thinks the law is working.
“Cabs are available to anybody who wants to have more than one glass of wine or more than a couple of beers,” he says. “The price of a cab is far less than an impaired driving charge.”
Another woman who works in the restaurant business says the impact on owners wouldn’t be so harsh if people had a guaranteed way of getting home.