Story by Angie Mellen
The Government of Alberta is not appealing a recent court ruling that decided the part of the provinces impaired driving sanctions are unconstitutional.
A Judge decided that a driver charged with drunk driving cannot have their license suspended until the matter is resolved in court. The province says they will be looking at making changes to their legislation. This includes looking at what sanctions other provinces have in place.
“We are still looking at administrative sanction models, because I think the evidence is very good that those are the best it improving traffic safety and preventing collisions and deaths, so we will be looking at those. There are a couple of models, B.C. has one, Saskatchewan has one, but we’ll be looking across the country at those types of models,” says Kathleen Ganley, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
Administrative sanctions include licence suspensions and vehicle seizures. According to Ganley the province will still be looking at having suspensions for those charged with drunk driving.
“I think the concern was the tying of the licence suspension to the resolution of the criminal matter. We’re looking at still having administrative sanctions, just maybe decoupling them in that way.”
She adds that B.C. has done this through specific time frames being put in place.
“As we go forward we’ll need to be talking to traffic safety experts, we’ll definitely need to be talking to our police partners. Obviously the Crown is working very hard on this matter and we’ll also be having conversations, likely, with folks from the defense bar as well the judiciary and a lot of groups that support the rights of victims in these areas,” says Ganley.
The current law will remain in effect until May, 2018.