Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada met with two Saskatchewan government ministers Tuesday to offer recommendations addressing impaired driving in the province.
According to MADD Canada CEO, Andrew Murie, the meeting with Justice Minister Gordon Wyant and the minister responsible for SGI, Joe Hargrave, was the best he has experienced in Saskatchewan in his 20 years as CEO.
“They had done their homework. They knew about the BC program, they knew about the Alberta program. So they had done a lot of due diligence,” Murie said.
“When you see that kind of environment, you know something is happening.”
MADD Canada delivered the following recommendations in the meeting:
- Establish an Immediate Roadside Prohibition program (based on British Columbia and Alberta models)
- Enhance Warn Range Sanctions for the Provincial BAC Limit of .04% – .08% BAC
- Establish a .00% BAC requirement for drivers 21 years of age and younger
- Expand the Report Impaired Drivers (RID) Call 911 program
- Enhance enforcement resources (sobriety checkpoints and routine patrols), and institute a “Last Drink” program
- Adopt “Minors as Agents” program
- Establish a Code of Conduct to specify disciplinary measures for all elected officials convicted of Criminal Code offences
Murie pointed to British Columbia as an example of an impaired driving “success story”.
“So your car would be immediately impounded for thirty days. When your car comes out, you would have an alcohol interlock on it and it would remain on the vehicle as long as you can’t separate your drinking from your driving.”
Murie said he thinks Saskatchewan could improve on the B.C. program, one that was riddled with legal issues after passing legislation.
Hargrave agreed, acknowledging that he and Wyant were looking closely at the B.C. and Alberta programs as they review possible changes to impaired driving legislation.
“We want to look at the B.C. model, we want to see what they’ve done right and what they’ve done wrong. They had some legal challenges to their new legislation and we want to make sure we don’t run into the same issue,” Hargrave said.
Premier Brad Wall hinted at changes to the province’s impaired driving laws shortly after the former deputy premier, Don McMorris, was charged with impaired driving.
McMorris resigned from his roles immediately after, which included minister responsible for SGI and minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
Also present at the meeting was Allan Kerpan, a former member of Parliament (MP) and a father who lost his daughter, Danille, to a drunk driver on Oct. 14, 2014.
“The events of that night can never be undone. Our lives as we knew them before would never be the same,” Kerpan said.
Since then, Kerpan has advocated with MADD Canada, pushing for better legislation in his home province.
According to SGI’s preliminary numbers, last year there were 53 people killed and 562 injured in Saskatchewan in impaired driving incidents.