LETHBRIDGE: A Lethbridge Regional Police spokesperson says new tougher penalties for drinking and driving target repeat offenders and make roads safer.
Lethbridge Regional Police Inspector Bill Kaye says the force already had administrative power to suspend a person's license if their alcohol level was between .05 and .08. But now that the same level could lead to a three-day license suspension and a three-day vehicle seizure for first-time offenders, he says the case is even stronger not to drive if you've had any alcohol at all.
"That .05 to .08 range is a dangerous place to be in when you're operating a motor vehicle. Lots of studies of shown that," he told Country 95 News Monday. "So we're happy for these new rules to be there, we're happy that this drives home a message. If people are out drinking and they take more taxies or use Operation Red Nose or get a friend to drive, that's better for everybody."
Provincial statistics seem to back them up. In 2010, 96 deaths and 1,384 injuries happened in alcohol-related crashes last year. And according to Alberta Traffic Collision Information System, 22 per cent of drivers involved in fatal collisions in Alberta have consumed some alcohol.
When asked what level of alcohol would be safe under the new rules, Kaye reinforced a zero tolerance approach. "There's so many factors dependent upon that, given your body weight, your food consumption, all kinds of things," he said. "A glass of wine with supper, on your average person, probably won't put you over the limit. But if that glass is 12 ounces, then you might be in trouble. So if you're going to drink, don't drive. That's the message."