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MADD: Alberta should adopt B.C. rules for drunk driving charges

Mothers Against Drunk driving says rehab would be a better alternative to punishment when it comes to Alberta laws governing impaired driving. The numbers of drunk driving charges could be curtailed, says MADD. The focus, they say, should be on rehabilitation and education as it is in neighbouring British Columbia. 

B.C. has vehicle impounds and 30-day license suspensions for impaired driving for those operating a motor vehicle over the criminal limit. The vehicle is also impounded for 30 days. That differs from Alberta in that suspensions are temporary and under the administrative umbrella rather than a criminal one, which cuts down on drawn-out court battles.

If a driver is found to be over the legal limit when stopped, a suspension and vehicle impound would take place at that time. The process is quick, efficient and less taxing on the legal system. In any case, Alberta has until May of next year to redraft legislation since the provincial court of appeal ruled that suspending licenses of those charged until they get their day in court, is unconstitutional.

MADD believes that it's not just about punishment. What the organization would like to see is giving those caught driving drunk the tools so they will never do so again. Getting charged with drunk driving is a serious offence. Those drivers charged with driving under the influence are well-advised to seek the counsel of a lawyer.

In Alberta, the onus is on the Crown to prove that the driver was indeed drunk at the time he or she was detained. A wise legal team experienced in crimes and misdemeanors law will meticulously look over all the evidence to assess whether everything was done as it should have been regarding the drunk driving charges. He or she will make sure a Breathalyser or blood test was administered properly with the intent of having the charges allayed or having a sentence reduced.

Source:, "Alberta should adopt B.C.'s impaired driving rules, says MADD Canada CEO", Aug. 17, 2017

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