The Wildrose Party is such a forward thinking, intelligent party. Their vow to repeal newer, tougher, impaired driving law is pure genius.
But don't think they aren't serious about impaired driving. They plan to replace the tough new laws with five dedicated traffic-and-police checkstop teams to battle impaired driving in the province. These five teams can cover about 0.00001% of the roads in Alberta at any given time - so drunk drivers beware.
As a reference point, the legal limit for impaired driving in Alberta is 80 mg%. This number is based on a broad recognition among scientists and experts in the field which says that a person's cognitive functions are impaired, regardless of who they are, at 80 mg%.
But every blood-alcohol test the police take is in the favour of the accused. So 80 mg% on a police instrument, is probably closer to 90 mg% if you were to actually take a sample of that person's blood. Furthermore, the police usually won't charge you unless you provide a reading of 100 mg%, just to be extra, extra, extra, extra sure.
So back to the newer, tougher sanctions. According to Alberta law, a warning, or caution, is issued to someone who blows between 50 and 80 mg%.
In practice, the warning on the instrument is issued when they blow between 60 and 100 mg%, because police always give a little leeway to the accused.
Because the instruments are calibrated such that everything is rounded down and minimized, 60 mg% is actually closer to 70 mg%. So if you were to sample the persons blood, a warning would be issued to someone with about 70 to 110 mg%.
So a person who is legally impaired, or almost legally impaired, gets a slap on the wrist. They lose their license for three days. They get their car seized for three days. They don't get charged criminally. They don't have to pay any fines. They pay their tow bill, are inconvenienced, and move on with their lives.
Hopefully, they think to themselves, YIKES! What could have happened if I'd had one more drink?
One more drink might have meant they'd lose their license for a year or more. They'd have a criminal record! Their insurance would go up. They might lose their job. Or in a worst case scenario, they could have run a red light, collided with another vehicle, killed innocent people, devastated a community, and gone on to live with the emotional burden for the rest of their lives.
Sooooooo, if you put it that way, a slap on the wrist really isn't so bad.
But the Wildrose party is right. It's not fair to seize someone's car for being legally impaired, or almost legally impaired.
Who cares if impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada?
Businesses could be suffering!
One unidentified group claims it's lost 20% of their business. Which is probably very true. Some businesses do suffer with the stricter impaired driving law, and that's definitely not fair.
For example the business of hospitals suffer because they treat fewer grievously-injured patients hurt in impaired driving collisions. The knock on effect for physiotherapists, chiropractors, wheelchair manufacturers, medical supply makers, drug companies, etc, etc. All of these businesses suffering from fewer impaired drivers causing grievous injuries to unfortunate, law-abiding citizens.
But don't forget other businesses. Counsellors, psychologists, and social workers who have to work victims families. With fewer victims suffering from their loved ones being ripped from their lives by drunk drivers, these professions suffer as well.
Or the businesses of auto body repair shops. They suffer from fewer collisions.
Civil litigation lawyers, impaired driving lawyers, car companies, etc. The list goes on with those whose businesses suffer with fewer impaired drivers on the road.
(With the new legislation, accused impaired drivers are suspended indefinitely until their charges have been resolved in court. As a result, more are pleading guilty.)
As you can clearly see, the Wildrose party is right. Business is better with more drunk drivers.
Unless you're a tow truck driver helping Police seize the vehicles of drunk drivers. But never mind them.
Or taxi drivers, but they're not important. They're just immigrants anyway.
Or a school teacher who might lose students to impaired drivers.
Or an employer whose star employee, and the future of the company, has died. That could be bad for business.
But some friend of someone in the Wildrose party claims their business went down 20% with the new, stricter impaired driving laws in effect.
So we better listen to them. Scrap the laws and move on. The Wildrose party is just so forward looking!