“Never threaten a child with a punishment that you cannot or are not willing to follow through on.” – Barbara Coloroso (paraphrase)
“The most recent cycle of canadian legislative reform has focused on increasing sanction, particularly for repeat offenders. Federal Criminal Code amendments in 1999 increased the minimum fines and driving prohibitions for the three most common offences –impaired driving, driving with a blood alcohol level (BAL) above 0.08%, and failing to provide breath or blood samples. Significant changes have also occurred at the provincial level. For example, Ontario introduced legislation which, when fully implemented will impose indefinite licence suspensions on those convicted of three federal drinking and driving offences within 10 years, and British Columbia has followed suit.” 1
“Given the low percentage of guilty dispositions and the high percentage of stays and withdrawals, it appears that many suspects initially charged with impaired driving causing death or bodily harm were able to get these charges withdrawn in exchange for a guilty plea to impaired driving — a lesser offence.” 1
I live in Ontario and I have not heard of anyone losing their licence “indefinitely”. I can give you lots of examples of multiple offenders still driving with a licence though. Unfortunately, I have learned that our case was more normal than not in Ontario. Roughly 60-70% (depending on sources) of impaired driving causing death charges in Ontario are withdrawn by the Crown for a guilty plea to Over.08.
So, I wonder what the politicians would say to me fighting, not for stronger laws and enforcement, but for legislating what they are doing now – just putting an honest portrayal of what they are willing to so. Quit lying to us and just tell us the truth – put it into print. I wonder if any of them would allow it to go on the books that if you kill someone while driving drunk that you will not go to jail but will only lose your licence for 1 year.
Do you think they’d go for that instead?
(1) quotes taken from “Understanding drinking and driving reforms: a profile of Ontario statistics” by Carroll and Solomon