The Canada Safety Council recently released a report saying the penalties under Canada’s .08 percent blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) laws are among the “toughest” in the world.
Due to this perceived toughness, some working in the alcohol industry, political sphere and media, are arguing against introducing a lower federal BAC limit. On the other side, some are saying that “tough” laws don’t necessarily equal effective laws.
Canada has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths among the developed democracies, despite most of them having higher rates of alcohol consumption per capita. Impaired driving remains the largest criminal cause of death in Canada, with impairment-related crashes taking more than twice as many lives in 2006 as all types of homicide put together.
Many believe that the current .08 percent allows individuals to drive with too large an amount of alcohol in their system, saying that the law portrays the wrong message that it is safe to drink and drive so long as you are not visibly and severely impaired.
Those same people believe that a good percent number would be .05, which would significantly reduce the amount of alcohol-related traffics deaths and injuries in Canada.