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Lives saved under tough new drinking/driving laws

Lives saved under tough new drinking/driving laws

Local RCMP have worked hard to protect Sunshine Coast residents from drunk drivers.  Photo submitted


Between September 20, 2010, and April 31, 2013, police issued more than 47,506 Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRPs). This includes 30,031 drivers who blew in the ‘fail’ range or refused to provide a breath sample, plus 17,475 drivers who blew in the ‘warn’ range. 

Having one of Canada’s toughest provincial drinking and driving laws has helped to save an estimated 143 lives – cutting the drinking and driving death toll in British Columbia by more than half (51 percent).

The figures, which cover the first 30 months of BC’s Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program, are the lowest ever recorded. In that time, fatalities due to drinking and driving have dropped to an average of 56 per year. This compares to a five-year average of 114 before the IRP program came into effect in September 2010.

“MADD Canada continues to applaud
the leadership shown by the
BC government and police in
deterring and stopping
drinking drivers”.

~ Andrew Murie ~
CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada

Government introduced its IRP legislation in response to research that indicated progress in reducing drinking and driving had stalled, despite increased enforcement and significant efforts to promote awareness. At the time, government stated its goal to reduce drinking and driving fatalities by 35 percent by the end of 2013 – a goal that was exceeded in the first year of implementation.

Enforcement continues to emphasize the deterrent and life-saving value of the IRP approach, but some British Columbians still aren’t getting the message. In the first four months of 2013, police throughout BC served 5,638 IRPs. This includes 3,860 to drivers who blew in the fail range (i.e., with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or over) or refused to provide a breath sample, plus 1,778 to drivers who blew in the warn range of 0.05 to 0.08 percent.


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