DRUNK DRIV­ING DAZE

Ottawa Sun - - COMMENT -

Fed­eral Jus­tice Min­is­ter Jody-Wil­son-Ray­bould is urg­ing her pro­vin­cial coun­ter­parts to sup­port low­er­ing the le­gal blood-al­co­hol limit for driv­ers to .05 from .08. But an in­ter­nal fed­eral gov­ern­ment study in 2010 warned that low­er­ing the bar for drunk driv­ing con­vic­tions could over­whelm the jus­tice sys­tem. Courts, po­lice ser­vices and jails could be pushed to the break­ing point.

Canada’s im­paired driv­ing laws are among the strictest in the western world. A sig­nif­i­cant con­cern and risk in re­duc­ing the crim­i­nal limit be­low a point most Cana­di­ans would con­sider rea­son­able is that it would en­cour­age con­tempt, dis­re­spect and dis­dain for the law. Un­ques­tion­ably, this would weaken the re­solve of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem (po­lice, courts) to en­force the law. Friv­o­lous crim­i­nal­iza­tion will not pro­tect the pub­lic.

When it comes to deal­ing with im­paired driv­ing, the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tive and crim­i­nal sanc­tions in place in Canada pro­vide a well thought-out mix of ef­fec­tive­ness, ef­fi­ciency and sever­ity. Let’s keep it that way! EMILE THERIEN, OT­TAWA (Sober­ing thoughts, in­deed.)

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