Province to make changes to impaired driving legislation

By CHAT News Today
August 16, 2017 - 11:42am

EDMONTON — The provincial government announced Wednesday it will be making changes to its impaired driving legislation after the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled a section of the province’s current sanctions are unconstitutional.

Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley announced Wednesday the government will not appeal the recent court decision in R. V Sahaluk. The ruling, made in May, stated the practice of suspending licences until a matter is resolved in court infringes on an individual’s Charter rights, stating it imposes sanctions  as soon as a criminal charge is laid without regard to the presumption of innocence.

The sanctions were introduced to the Traffic Safety Act in 2012.

Ganley says the government will be examining other legislative models across Canada for changes to impaired driving laws.

“We want to ensure that our laws reduce impaired driving and are also upheld in court,” she said.

Ganley also said the court is allowing the current sanctions to remain in place until May 2018, which allows police officers to still suspend licences in impaired driving situations

The court is allowing the current sanctions to remain in place until May 2018, which means police officers are still able to suspend licences in impaired driving situations.

From 2012 until 2015, the most-recent year of verifiable data, 311 Albertans were killed as a result of impaired driving.

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