LETHBRIDGE: If putting yourself and others at serious risk
isn't enough to stop you from drinking and driving, maybe the cost will.
Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles spoke to Country 95 News, starting by pointing
out that if you're charged with impaired driving, your license will be
automatically suspended until the case is resolved, regardless of how long it
takes. Once convicted you will then lose your license for at least a year.
Giles then discussed the starting penalties if you're convicted, "There is a
minimum $1,000 fine on the first impaired, if there is a second impaired,
there's a minimum of 30-days in jail and on a third impaired there's a minimum
120-days or four months in jail." Giles added that depending on the
circumstances, that first conviction could see the fine climb into the range of
$3,000 and as much as six months in jail.
"This is all of course for just impaired driving," Giles continued, "not
impaired driving causing bodily harm, which normally yields a very significant
jail sentence, something in the neighbourhood of six to 18 months, or impaired
driving causing death, which often leads to penitentiary terms, which is two
years or more."
Giles noted that an impaired driving conviction will likely send your
insurance rates soaring.
The Alberta Transportation website also shows that the cost of having an
interlock ignition system installed in your car so you can get back on the
road, will cost roughly $2,200 for the first year.
On a positive note, Giles stated that impaired driving rates for our area
don't seem to climb much at all during the holiday season, even though more
people are out celebrating. He credited increased police enforcement and
programs like Operation Red Nose with educating the public, and keeping people
from getting behind the wheel after drinking.