MADD Canada

MADD Canada

April 27, 2005 10:52 ET

MADD Canada: Impaired Driving Needs to be Priority for BC Government

Organization calls for specific initiatives to enhance Province's laws in fight against impaired driving Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MISSISSAUGA, ON--(CCNMatthews - April 27, 2005) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving has written both Premier Gordon Campbell and NDP Leader Carole James to urge them to consider impaired driving initiatives in the next Parliament. MADD Canada is calling on the leaders to ensure the fight for impaired driving is a priority for the next Government and in the next Parliament.

In correspondence to the Leaders, MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie identifies three legislative initiatives that MADD supporters wish the next B.C. Government to act on.

-- Strengthening the licence suspension program - Give police discretionary authority to suspend the licence of a driver suspected of impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs at a 0.05 % BAC for a period of 30-days. .
-- Broadening the interlock program as a mandatory part of a sentence on first offence - Follow Ontario's example in making ignition interlocks a mandatory part of the re-instatement of a licence for an impaired driving conviction. Research suggests that this single measure is the most effective in reducing recidivism, while the interlock is on the vehicle.
-- Introducing a vehicle forfeiture program. Follow Manitoba's example in ensuring any person upon the third Criminal Code conviction in ten years will have their vehicle forfeited.

In his written correspondence, Mr. Murie expressed: "The human lives lost, the tremendous health and social costs, and the innocent victims of these 100% preventable crimes, all point to the urgent need for impaired driving to be a focus of the Government's mandate. MADD B.C. Chapters ask that all MLAs consider and support these requests as action items for the B.C. Government within the next two years."

With respect to the B.C. Government's heralded impaired driving legislation, MADD Canada views the measures taken as 'half-steps.' Mr. Murie explains that for nearly two years, MADD Canada supporters were promised first by the Premier, and then by Solicitor General Rich Coleman and others, that the B.C. Government was going to be innovative and bold in its fight against impaired driving.

"Somewhere between the promises of the Premier and the drafting of the legislation, there was a disconnect -- and all we got was a half-step," says Mr. Murie.

"The Province did not go as far as Manitoba and Ontario to bring about the effective changes that would significantly reduce the numbers of impaired driving incidents. Yes, it was good to see B.C. finally get a rehabilitation program. However, there are other key measures that could have been been brought forward that would have been effective in significantly reducing the numbers of impaired driving deaths and injuries on B.C. roads," says Mr. Murie.

MADD Canada is the country's preeminent anti-impaired driving group and the volunteer organization serves as the victims' voice on impaired driving issues. MADD Canada has seven local organizations in British Columbia -- in the metro centres of Vancouver and Victoria, and throughout the Province in Kelowna, Cranbrook, Chilliwack, Prince George, and on the Island in Port Hardy.

For further information:
Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224
Louise Knox, Western Chapter Services Manager 1-866-900-6233
/For further information: Visit on-line news section: www.madd.ca/ IN: POLITICS, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 905-813-6233 ext. 224
    Toll-Free: 800-665-6233
    E-mail: amurie@madd.ca