Jul 16, 2014 - OPINION: OUR VIEW: BC'S IMPAIRED DRIVING LAWS NOT TOUGH ENOUGH


At least one person has not been deterred by B.C.’s tougher impaired driving laws.     Victoria resident Suzanne Elizabeth Gurnell was charged earlier this week with four offences,  including dangerous and impaired driving, all stemming from an incident with Victoria Police in April.

Of course, new tougher laws were unlikely to deter Gurnell. After all, the old ones didn’t.

Gurnell collects impaired driving prohibitions at the same rate that a philatelist collects stamps.

She has 19 such offences in the past six years, including three drunk driving convictions.

How she is still driving is beyond all reasonable argument.

She is obviously not doing so legally, as this latest round of charges included driving with a suspended license.

The fact that she still has a license to suspend speaks volumes for B.C.’s – and moreover, Canada’s – impaired driving laws.

Impaired driving remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada, according to Statistics Canada’s 2011 report (the most recent one available on the topic).

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse claims 8,431 people died on Canadian roads in crashes involving a drinking driver in the first decade of this century.

Clearly, the message is not getting across.

Perhaps people would think harder about getting behind the wheel after a night of boozing if Canada were to incorporate corporal punishment, like some Middle Eastern countries. An impaired charge in the Emirates can net you 80 lashes.

In Taiwan, it’s more harsh. A blood-alcohol reading of 0.05 per cent can result in a two-year jail term for a motorist. Three cans of beer will set most people over the top.

Other countries have sentenced people to death for the crime.

What will it take for the likes of Gurnell, and other prolific drunk drivers, to change their ways?

No Canadian law will ever make a difference.

Source: Comox Valley Record


 

Last updated on: 2014-07-20 | Link to this post