Tough penalties

British Columbia has severe penalties for impaired drivers, but some motorists still get behind the wheel after they have been drinking.

British Columbia has some of Canada’s most severe penalties for impaired drivers, but  some motorists still get behind the wheel after they have been drinking.

Once again the RCMP are conducting their seasonal Counter Attack road checks to watch for impaired drivers.

If past years are any indication, some motorists will receive driving prohibitions.

The penalties range from a 24-hour license suspension the first time a motorist blows a Warn level on a roadside screening device to a 90-day driving prohibition and 30-day vehicle impound for those who blow a Fail level.

In addition to the inconvenience of a license suspension, there are also fines, impound fees and other costs involved.

Recovering one’s license can cost as much as $6,000.

Driving requires a motorist’s complete attention. Someone who has been drinking is not able to respond as quickly in a dangerous situation.

This is not only a risk for the motorist but for his or her passengers and for anyone else on the road at the time.

The high penalties are necessary because of the potential tragedy which can result from impaired driving.

In a perfect world, British Columbia’s tough penalties would serve as a strong deterrent, but police continue to stop motorists who are driving while impaired.

License suspensions have been issued throughout the year, not just during the festive season.

Attitudes about impaired driving have improved in recent decades and many motorists will not consider driving after they have been drinking.

Unfortunately, some sill insist on this dangerous behaviour. These motorists need to be stopped, before they cause a serious accident.