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BC Changes Drunk Driving Limits … Again

In a surprise development, the Solicitor-General and Police departments have announced that all breathalyzers in BC will be recalibrated so that the \”warning\” level (previously set at .05 which triggered an immediate roadside suspension) will be moved upward to .06. CBC News is reporting that the changeover will take 10 days, during which time \”roadside suspensions will not be given to drivers who are caught in the warning range\”. So, for the next 10 days, the practical consequence will be a limit of .08 (which is the setting for \”fail\” – and for potential criminal charges). After the 10 days, the \”warning\” limit will then be .06. These changes were implemented in response to concerns that the roadside breathalyzers had a \”margin of error\” and may have triggered false \”warning\” readings. These developments are concerning because they imply that the roadside breathalyzers devices are not sufficiently accurate to trigger harsh roadside penalties. Criminal lawyers have previously warned about the accuracy of the devices and the assertion that some police officers are not using them properly. In addition, there are now worrying questions about what to do about drivers who were given suspensions, perhaps without justification, and about whether the devices are sufficiently accurate at the .08 level.

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