If the consequences for drinking and driving weren't already serious, they just got graver for those who might do it with a child in the vehicle.
A Regina police officer recently made waves and yanked some heartstrings when he tweeted about stopping a motorist who was on their way to drop their kid off at school... and blew three times over the legal limit on the breathalyzer test. Public outcry and provincial legislation swiftly followed, and now drivers caught .04 or over with a child with them could face a 7 day suspension and vehicle impoundment if it's their first offence, third offence gets 120 days and 60 days impoundment.
"Impaired driving takes more lives than homicide in this country, and it's 100 percent preventable. Any legislation that the government is willing to introduce that is tougher on impaired driving has my full support," stated Estevan Police Chief Paul Ladouceur.
"We're not targeting it because we have nothing better to do or we want to be hard on people for no reason. This is a case where the act is taking innocent lives. It's killing people, tearing families apart, leaving people financially strained, it's leaving people in wheelchairs, disabled and so on."
"Kudos to SGI and the provincial government for taking this hard stance, because the same thing that happened in Regina has happened here, so they have my full support and the support of the administration of the Estevan Police Service," he expressed.
"It's completely irresponsible of a parent to put their child in that type of situation, it's a completely selfish act. I don't think there's anything more neglectful or abusive towards a child than putting them into a vehicle with a drunk driver. There's no excuse for it whatsoever."
Ladouceur noted that, if a driver was pulled over impaired with a child in the vehicle, the EPS is actually mandated to notify Social Services. That said, it would also be on a case by case basis, and they would have to judge the merits of each situation.
"It think it's absolutely fantastic that this government is stepping up to the plate and saying that they are going to start seizing vehicles, and for longer periods of time. If you don't want your vehicle seized, it's very simple...don't drink and get behind the wheel," he concluded.