The recent advertising by the Redford PC government on 300 Albertans dying since 1998 because of drivers with less than 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) is misleading.
That is an average 21 people a year. However, in 2010 alone, 344 Albertans were killed in fatal vehicle accidents. So my question to you is, if 21 people died in 2010 because of drivers below 0.08 BAC, how did the other 323 die?
According to Transport Canada, over 80 per cent of alcohol-related fatal injury crashes across the country involve a driver with a BAC greater than 0.08. In fact, the odds of getting into a serious accident really don’t increase until 0.12 BAC. According to duicanadainfo.com, it is generally accepted that the consumption of one standard drink of alcohol while sober will increase the average person’s BAC between 0.02 and 0.05.
As a result, one drink can make you unable to drive under the PC’s new law. So no more trips to the local pub; no glass of wine after work; and definitely no more BYOB to backyard barbecues!
I agree we need to start somewhere, but the start is with increasing enforcement, Check Stops, visibility of officers and targeting those who are criminally drunk and ignore the system. How many people would get in their cars after drinking heavily if police were pulling them over right outside the nightclub parking lot?
My suggestion is to make the fines and penalties progressively worse every 0.04 BAC starting at 0.08, 0.12, 0.16, 0.20, etc.
In 1998, one of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver with 0.24 BAC. The Redford PC law does not address these types of abusively drunk drivers.
Cory G. Litzenberger