WATCH ABOVE: Alan Carter looks into whether Ontario needs tougher impaired driving laws. 

 man in his 30’s is under arrest after allegedly driving drunk, cutting off a tractor trailer and forcing the truck into the ditch. The driver of the tractor trailer was killed.

But Ontario’s Minister of Transportation wouldn’t say Wednesday whether Ontario needs tougher impaired driving laws.

“The Ministry of Transportation is always reviewing the standards that we have in place,” Stephen Del Duca said.

There is no formal review of Ontario’s driving laws taking place, Del Duca said, but claimed the ministry is always reviewing best practices and willing to make changes to the laws.

And changes are coming. The Liberal government introduced Bill 31 in October in order to strengthen distracted driving and drug-impaired driving laws.  The bill would not, however, make any changes to the blood alcohol content of Ontario drivers.

“I don’t know how we would define effective enough, we’ve had an incident obviously that’s taken place, this is a challenge with which we’ve worked on for a generation here in the province of Ontario, it doesn’t mean the work stops,” Del Duca said.

WATCH: A lawyer believes that there needs to be more enforcement to curb drinking and driving.


The fatal crash happened in the westbound lanes of Highway 401 near Whitby. The Ontario Provincial Police say the truck driver was killed when his rig collided with the Jeep.  The rig flipped over and went into the ditch.

The driver, 51-year-old Lindsay A. Findlay, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ontario currently has two punishments for impaired driving.  If you register a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.08, your license will be automatically suspended for 3 days. If convicted, you could be fined between $60 and $500 and have your license suspended for up to 30 days.

If you register a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 and above you could face a criminal charge, an immediate 90-day suspension, and possible jail time.

Impaired driving incidents have been steadily decreasing since 1986, from a high of nearly 600 incidents per 100,000 people to just over 200 per 100,000 people, according to data from Statistics Canada.

The Ontario laws follow the lead of similar laws implemented in British Columbia in 2010 – and they seem to be working. A British Columbia study published in the American Journal of Public Health found a marked decrease in the number of fatal crashes, hospital admissions and ambulance calls for car accidents in the two years since the laws were enacted.

But Brian Patterson, president of the Ontario Safety League, said he doesn’t necessarily want to see tougher laws. Instead, he’d like to see the current laws enforced.

“I don’t want to see people being convicted of careless driving when in fact they’re an impaired driver and they’re a menace on the road way,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

He also wants to see broader treatment for impaired drivers. Instead of allowing them to drive immediately after a temporary suspension, he thinks allegedly impaired drivers should have to undergo medical testing  see if they have a problem with alcohol and are able to safely drive again.

“It might be an opportunity to direct people to medical intervention,” he said.

Source: Global News


Last updated on: 2015-02-08 | Link to this post