If you choose to drive impaired with your children with you, be prepared to lose your license and the use of your vehicle for a little bit longer.
Joe Hargrave, Minister responsible for SGI, announced today, tougher legislation for those caught with a blood alcohol content of .04 or higher while driving with children under the age of 16.
"The legislation improves safety for our children, those under 16. We're going to increase the suspensions and the impoundment of their vehicles. We're going to move it up from three days to seven days. We think it's going to drive a firmer message home. For second offense and third offence, it will continue to go up."
This means that for a first offence, a driver will lose their license for seven days, up from the previous three. They will also have their car impounded for seven days as well, up from three. Second time offenders will lost their license for 30 days, up from 21 and have their vehicle impounded for 30 days, up from seven. Third time offenders will have their license suspended for 120 days up from 90 and face their vehicle being impounded for 60 days up from 14. As before, they will be responsible for all towing and impound fees.
Hargrave shared that they got the idea from Manitoba who runs a similar program. As well, the move comes two months after a traffic officer with the Regina Police Service stopped a suspected impaired driver who blew four times over the legal limit while he was driving his children to school.
"We were looking at this already and that always brings it to light even more so. What could have happened is just scary, what could have happened to those kids. That was an extreme case. But it pushes me and it pushed us to make sure that we continue the battle against impaired driving."
He added that he is not opposed to the idea of lowering the level of blood alcohol content to zero with children in the vehicle but that's not something they are pursuing right now.
"We think that what we've done is a good reflection because this is for .04 to .08. I don't think that we have to go to zero at this point but it is something that we will continue to look at. I'm not closed to the idea, not at all."