Al­berta in­tro­duc­ing sev­eral other crim­i­nal code changes

StarMetro Edmonton - - Edmonton -

new Drivers

Al­berta’s Zero Tol­er­ance pro­gram for Grad­u­ated Driver Li­cens­ing drivers will be ex­tended to in­clude zero tol­er­ance for cannabis, cannabis/ al­co­hol com­bi­na­tions and il­le­gal drugs.

This change was praised by Brenda John­son, chair of the MADD Canada Na­tional Board of Di­rec­tors, who shared her ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the gov­ern­ment at Tues­day’s press con­fer­ence.

She said zero tol­er­ance for drugs in young drivers will likely save lives, al­though they would like to see zero tol­er­ance for young drivers raised to 22 years of age.

“That’s a re­ally im­por­tant fea­ture to pro­tect our youth,” John­son said. “Your gov­ern­ment is lead­ing the coun­try in leg­is­la­tion right now. And it’s a hard job.”

li­cence sus­pen­sions

Al­berta’s ad­min­is­tra­tive li­cence sus­pen­sion pro­gram will change so that mo­torists con­victed of driv­ing with a blood al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion over 0.08 will have their li­cences im­me­di­ately sus­pended for a fixed term 90 days.

Pre­vi­ously, their li­cence re­mained sus­pended un­til the crim­i­nal con­vic­tion was re­solved.

This change was al­ready in the pipe­line — in May, the Al­berta Court of Ap­peal ruled the prac­tise of re­vok­ing li­cences un­til some­one is ac­quit­ted is un­con­sti­tu­tional be­cause it pres­sures peo­ple to plead guilty in or­der to get their li­cence back sooner.

Driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of other drugs

As part of Bill C-46, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has in­di­cated peo­ple can be charged for crim­i­nal im­paired driv­ing for test­ing pos­i­tive for il­le­gal drugs in their blood such as co­caine, metham­phetamine and heroin. Cur­rently there is no es­tab­lished limit for il­le­gal drugs as there is for cannabis, how­ever the gov­ern­ment has said there could be in the fu­ture.

Kevin Tuong/for MeTro

Brenda John­son of MADD Canada says Al­berta in­cor­po­rat­ing cannabis and drug-im­paired driv­ing into their Zero Tol­er­ance grad­u­ated Driver Li­cens­ing drivers is a good idea.

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