Tougher Con­se­quences for Im­paired Driv­ers who Trans­port Chil­dren

Moose Jaw - - News -

Driv­ers with a blood al­co­hol con­tent (BAC) of .04 or higher who trans­port chil­dren will face even longer road­side li­cence sus­pen­sions and ve­hi­cle seizures un­der new leg­is­la­tion just in­tro­duced.

The Traf­fic Safety Amend­ment Act, 2017 im­ple­ments an im­me­di­ate seven-day ad­min­is­tra­tive driv­ing sus­pen­sion on a first of­fence for a per­son who trans­ports a child un­der the age of 16 and has a blood al­co­hol con­tent (BAC) of .04 or higher, re­fuses to un­dergo a field so­bri­ety test or fails a field so­bri­ety test. This is an in­crease from the cur­rent three-day road­side sus­pen­sion. This is in ad­di­tion to any jail sen­tence, fine, de­merit points and ad­di­tional sanc­tions that re­sult from the im­paired driv­ing con­vic­tion.

“Will­fully putting chil­dren at risk de­serves ad­di­tional penal­ties,” Min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for Saskatchewan Gov­ern­ment In­sur­ance Joe Har­grave said. “This leg­is­la­tion is an­other tool in our gov­ern­ment’s fight against Saskatchewan’s im­paired driv­ing prob­lem.”

Un­der the new leg­is­la­tion, re­peat of­fend­ers who trans­port pas­sen­gers un­der the age of 16 will face even more se­vere con­se­quences. Li­cence sus­pen­sions for a se­cond of­fence in­crease to 30 days from 21, while a third of­fence trig­gers a 120 day sus­pen­sion, up from the cur­rent 90. New driv­ers al­ready face li­cence sus­pen­sions of up to 18 months on a third of­fence.

Im­paired driv­ers who trans­port chil­dren will also have their ve­hi­cles seized for longer pe­ri­ods. First-time of­fend­ers will have their ve­hi­cles seized for seven days (up from three). That in­creases to 30 days for a se­cond of­fence (pre­vi­ously seven) and to 60 days for a third (pre­vi­ously 14).

Ve­hi­cle own­ers are re­spon­si­ble for all tow­ing and im­pound­ing costs, and the changes to the length of ve­hi­cle seizures will ap­ply to both ex­pe­ri­enced and new driv­ers.

Other no­table changes in The Traf­fic Safety Amend­ment Act, 2017 in­clude:

• Ex­tend­ing the look-back pe­riod for im­paired driv­ing penal­ties to 10 years from five, which al­lows SGI to ad­min­is­ter harsher penal­ties for re­peat of­fend­ers.

• Al­low­ing law en­force­ment to is­sue an in­def­i­nite ad­min­is­tra­tive sus­pen­sion: this change will make the road­side con­se­quences for those charged with im­paired driv­ing un­der the Crim­i­nal Code con­sis­tent with those charged with ex­ceed­ing .08 BAC and re­fus­ing to com­ply with a de­mand: blood draw, breath sam­ple, Stan­dard Field So­bri­ety Test or eval­u­a­tion by a Drug Recog­ni­tion Eval­u­a­tor.

• Up­dat­ing the rules for slow­ing to 60 km/hr on high­ways when pass­ing high­way equip­ment in­clud­ing snow plows that are stopped with lights flash­ing to be con­sis­tent with rules for pass­ing emer­gency ve­hi­cles and tow trucks.

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