#JodyWilson-Raybould, #StephanieVallée, #Ottawa, #Ontario, #HubertSacy, #MartinVézina, #JoyceReynolds, #MichaelSpratt, #FrancoisMeunier
Ottawa, Aug 9 (Canadian-Media): The federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced yesterday to consider lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers to .05 percent from .08 percent but her proposal opposed was by many who said lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers was not a solution for reducing drunk driving, media reports said.
Wilson-Raybould had written to Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée in May with suggestions to lower the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers professing that the change would enable to fight drunk driving, CBCNews reports said.
Jody Wilson-Raybould: Twitter handle
But, Hubert Sacy, the director of Éduc'alcool did not reportedly agree with Wilson-Raybould’s proposal and said other preventive measures should be taken on the provincial level -- including increasing awareness among drivers that they will be caught if they drink over the limit -- before making any legal changes.
The number of roadblocks should also be increased, said Sacy, and restaurant and bar servers should be empowered to stop drunk patrons from driving.
Joyce Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Restaurants of Canada, which has about 30,000 members, reportedly said according to evidence vast majority of impaired drivers who cause deaths had twice the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstream.
More recent research indicated that this data underestimated the fatal crash risk, Wilson-Raybould said Tuesday, and added the risk is almost double at 50mg, and almost triple at 80mg, and rises above that level.
In a separate statement to the media, she said impaired driving was the leading criminal cause of killing and injuring thousands in Canada each year.
Although Michael Spratt, an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer reportedly acknowledged that lowering the blood-alcohol limit would save lives, but he said it could overload the courts with new cases.
According to Statistics Canada’s report on drunk-driving incidents in 2015 -- the last year for which data was available -- was the lowest in 30 years.
The proposal to lower limit coincides with the federal government’s preparation to legalize marijuana use next summer.
When a new law on marijuana use and distribution was introduced in April, it also gave police the right to demand a breath sample from any driver at roadside instead of suspecting a driver had been drinking.
Francois Meunier, who works for an association that represents restaurateurs in Quebec reportedly said new rules would not only impact alcohol sales but food sales.
Martin Vézina of the Quebec Restaurant Association was also worried, said reports, that proposal of a lower limit of blood-alcohol level would discourage potential patrons from going to restaurants and bars which would impact both alcohol and food sales.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)