EDITORIAL: New laws promise to make roads safer

Police kick off CounterAttack campaign across Capital Region

The lights twinkle from the homes and shops as you drive by, sidewalks are abuzz with the hustle and bustle of people in a hurry to keep up with the frantic pace of the season. And that’s all the more reason to take a moment to pause before you get behind the wheel – or if you’ve indulged in a bit of the holiday cheer, forgo getting behind the wheel at all.

Police have kicked off the CounterAttack campaign for the holiday season, bringing road checks to highways and byways across the Capital Region. And this year police will have one more weapon in their arsenal.

New laws which take effect Dec. 18 allow police to conduct a breath test on any driver who has been stopped at a road check without requiring a suspicion that the person had been drinking.

READ: Compulsory breath tests take effect

“This is one of the most significant changes to the laws related to impaired driving in more than 40 years and is another way that we are modernizing the criminal justice system,” said federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The new rules are aimed at stopping drivers who deny consuming alcohol, which could potentially prevent police from forming the reasonable suspicion to require the driver to take an alcohol screening test. Minimum fines and maximum penalties have also been increased under the new laws.

Impaired driving remains a leading cause of fatal car crashes, with an average of 68 lives lost every year in B.C.

In 2017, there were more than 69,000 impaired driving incidents reported by the police, including almost 3,500 drug-impaired driving incidents.

READ: Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

So now there’s even less reason to get behind the wheel after indulging in the Christmas spirits. Call a friend, hop on a bus, take a taxi – just don’t take a chance that could destroy the Christmas of so many, including your own.

The flashing lights are a beautiful sight at this time of year, unless you’re looking at them in the rear-view mirror.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Man who stole truck and canoe in View Royal believed he was fleeing zombies, court finds

Judge finds man not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for 2019 thefts

Electrical issue causes heavy smoke to billow from Oak Bay Avenue coffee shop

Victoria and Oak Bay fire crews responded to smoke at Victoria café

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Most Read