MADD Canada

MADD Canada

November 21, 2011 19:46 ET

MADD Canada's Position on Alberta's Bill 26

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2011) - MADD Canada commends the Government of Alberta for introducing legislation to better address the problem of impaired driving.

The province has lagged behind in impaired driving reform compared to other jurisdictions across the country. The proposed amendments represent a significant step in the right direction and will improve safety on the province's roads. MADD Canada does believe, however, that the government could have gone further with its amendments around young drivers.

Transportation Minister Ray Danyluk stated in a Government press release: "Not only does Alberta's approach target repeat offenders, it is designed to reduce the number of drivers who become repeat offenders in the first place." MADD Canada supports that approach because it focuses on preventing people from continuing to drive impaired.

MADD Canada is pleased to see strong sanctions for the warn range of .05% and higher. These sanctions, including licence suspensions and vehicle impoundments, will help reduce impaired driving in the province. The impoundments are a crucial element of the proposed amendments. MADD Canada believes these sanctions will significantly reduce impaired driving crashes, as similar sanctions have done in British Columbia.

MADD Canada welcomes the sanctions aimed at improving safety for young drivers. The 30-day licence suspension and 7-day vehicle impoundment for drivers who violate the .00% BAC requirement while in the graduated licencing program are very important. But MADD Canada would have liked to see the Government go further in this area and implement a .00% BAC requirement for all young drivers right up to age 21. As the graduated licencing program in Alberta stands right now, young drivers can be out of the program as early as age 17.

The amendments dealing with criminal impaired driving offences, particularly the suspension of the driver's licence until the case is dealt with in court, is the first of its kind in Canada. It is not clear yet how such sanctions will work. MADD Canada certainly supports the intent of the amendment, and is pleased to see it includes escalating vehicle impoundments, but does have concerns about whether these drivers will simply continue driving while their licences are suspended. The legislation does not include any additional sanctions to deal with that scenario.

Finally, MADD Canada applauds the Government of Alberta's plans to make alcohol interlocks mandatory for all convicted impaired drivers.

Contact Information

  • MADD Canada
    Andrew Murie
    Chief Executive Officer
    416-720-7642