EDITORIAL: Drunk driving clarity needed

The B.C. Supreme Court ruling on B.C.’s new impaired-driving penalties cannot be surprising to many.

The B.C. Supreme Court ruling this week that found the toughest of B.C.’s new impaired-driving penalties infringe on the constitutional right to a fair trial cannot be surprising to many.

When the provincial government created the law that, in effect, gave police the power to be officer, jury and judge, more than a few people cried foul.

At issue is the law that permits police to impose 90-day driving bans, impound vehicles for 30 days and levy significant fines that can climb into the thousands.

Those penalties are issued to drivers who have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

The problem with this tough new penalty, Justice Jon Sigurdson found, is that it offers drivers no recourse to go to court and challenge the charges.

While Sigurdson found permissible the tougher penalties connected to blood-alcohol content in the “warn” range of 0.05 and 0.08, the confusion and fear the new penalties invoked in British Columbians cry out for the B.C. Liberals to cut to the chase and make a bold decision.

It is either legal to drink and drive or it isn’t.

Forcing the public to engage in a dangerous and potentially costly guessing game is ridiculous.

If the B.C. Liberals are adamant that drinking and driving do not mix in any quantity, then let’s have a zero-tolerance law and dispense with the confusion now associated with what can only be interpreted as conflicting messages on drinking and driving.

If that is not the B.C. Liberals’ intent, if they believe there is room for some amount of alcohol in the bloodstream of drivers, then let’s have rigid enforcement of the 0.08 law and stop criminalizing those whose only crime is not drunk driving, but having been caught in the Twilight Zone of 0.05 to 0.08.

Just Posted

Japanese student visit program looking for host families

Families in Nanaimo-Ladysmith being asked to help out with Dec. 6-9 home stay

Eden Gardens’ calendar sure to be a chart-topper

Dementia care facility working on fundraiser project

City of Nanaimo asking for opinions about planned downtown mobility hub

Short-term improvements include Front Street bikeway, intersection upgrades and more

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

Vancouver Island substitute teacher said he wanted a student to ‘whack’ two others on Grade 8 field trip

Campbell River teacher-on-call suspended three weeks after November 2018 incident

Nanaimo’s Sikh community celebrates 550th birthday of religion’s first Guru

Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab among the most sacred of Sikh religious festivals

Most Read