How Tough Is Canada on Drunk Drivers? – A recent report has detailed Canada’s .08 blood-alcohol concentration and why some are opposed to introducing a lower limit.

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.

Edmonton Man Confesses to 18th Drunk Driving Offense

A 66-year-old Edmonton man is awaiting sentencing after admitting to his 18th drunk driving offense. The driver confessed to impaired driving causing bodily harm (his 18th offense), as well as two counts of driving while disqualified. The Crown has said it will seek a prison term of six to eight years.

The man was arrested Christmas Day 2007 after turning into oncoming traffic and crashing into another vehicle. Emergency workers smelled alcohol on his breath while removing him from the vehicle. The man gave the police two breath samples and the results were 0.135 and 0.139. He also had six outstanding suspensions on his driver’s licence and nine outstanding criminal suspensions.

The man has drunk driving convictions in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia which date back to 1966. His first arrest got him a six month driving ban and a $175 fine. In 1999, he received a sentence of 26 months in prison and a three-year driving ban for two counts of impaired driving and two counts of driving while disqualified.

In between those offenses, he has got sentences of 30 months, 18 months, 18 months, 12 months, 9 months, 6 months, 5 months, 4 months, and 30 days. He has also been fined a total of $2,000 and been placed on probation.