Friday, April 30, 2010

One for the road...

Party's over, losers!
Things seem to be getting a little tougher for the pro-drinking and driving crowd in the great province of British Columbia and would you know it but all sorts of good folks are getting dragged into the fray. It's too bad for the dicks who feel that it is their right to pound back a 2-4 of foamy-brown before driving home to watch the hockey game and have a night-cap, but I'm okay with that bunch being inconvenienced by getting yanked off the road. And under the proposed new rules getting yanked off the road will be the least of their problems because if they score a .08 blood alcohol level on a breathalyzer they are also going to come face to face with: a $500 administrative penalty, a $250 licence reinstatement fee, a $700 bill for towing and impoundment, $800 for mandatory participation in a drivers program, $1,420 for a years use of an ignition interlock (for when they get their licence back), plus a 90-day driving ban, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, and possible criminal charges. Now that would make for a pretty expensive night out. Poor old booze-hounds, getting treated all harsh and everything. Gosh, that's rough.

The theory seems to be that the last forty years of trying to get people to act responsible and not be idiots when it comes to liquor and cars just hasn't' gotten through to everybody so now it is time to aim for their wallets. The accused drunk would have the right to appeal the fines to the Superintendent of Motor-vehicles and I do have to wonder just how that would work. "Yeah, I was plastered but you guys are being unreasonable!" just isn't real convincing to me. Well, it would probably convince me I was dealing with a complete idiot who should be put down for the common good, but I'm pretty sure that is not what someone in that position would be going for.

The proposed changes are being welcomed by the police and by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (I would hope that the fathers are against it too) but there are some concerns being expressed by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which does not support being pissed while driving, which wonders whether the new rules will pass muster under the Charter of Rights. "You need to give people a chance to challenge them (the new rules)," says executive director of the Association, David Eby, "to make sure there's not an abuse of the process, by police for example..." Oh yeah, good example, fanning the flames of the 'fear the police' mindset, or more accurately, mindless-set. What say we all grow up for a moment and admit that the cops do not spend their days cruising around harassing folks who are just working their way through the daily grind. Now if those same cops happen to jerk some liquor-riddled dork off the road (the same road my friends and family are using in fact) then more power to them. As far as the new rules running against the Charter of Rights, we'll just let the courts decide that. For the record though, B.C. Solicitor General Mike de Jong says, "we think we have covered off and struck the right balance so that they (the new rules) will withstand what is probably going to be an inevitable challenge." Time will tell.

The liquor-mutts have one bit of "good" news in that they have essentially been given a 'freebie', criminal charges-wise. The fines, not being charges under the criminal code are covered by personal privacy laws so someone who is concerned about the embarrassment factor of a drinking and driving charge is safe. Unless they choose to pursue the matter in court, in which case everything becomes public. I encourage all these people to lawyer up and hit the courts. I like to know who the drunks are. Of course a second offense will not be treated quite so leniently and since the authorities now will know they are dealing with a real prize-winning idiot, that person will now be the nail to the laws hammer. Bam!

An argument that has been made against these new rules is that they take legal recourse away from the booze-monkeys. This is, as they say in the courts, a huge steaming mound of poop. Every accused has the right to appeal the fines, as I said above. Heck, I am not a big fan of the L.O.G. (Liberal Occupying Government) in Victoria, but I like what they have done here. If I were of a less generous nature I might have said "even a blind pig finds a truffle every now and again", but that would have been needlessly rude. In any event, any new rules that smack a drunk-driver around are a-ok in my book.

Anyway... Humouroceros



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