New drunk driving legislation calls for harsher punishments

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The Conservative government has introduced new drunk driving legislation that would see harsher penalties for anyone caught drinking and driving, especially repeat offenders.

The legislation was introduced by Justice Minister Peter Mackay as one of his last acts before stepping down from politics. But with this Parliament in its final days, the bill won’t pass for a long time, and certainly not before the election.

The “Dangerous and Impaired Driving Act” is calling for impaired driving causing death to carry a minimum punishment of six years in prison, which is up from a $1,000 fine. The maximum would be 14 years for anything that causes bodily harm.

The maximum penalty for driving drunk without causing injuries would be 10 years in jail.

The bill also calls for less leniency when it comes to excuses. For instance, saying you blew over the limit because you drank after stopping the vehicle will no longer be valid.

Using drugs while driving is also included in the legislation. The government plans to consult with experts to determine what levels of drugs cause impairment and are measurable using roadside devices.

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