British Columbia

B.C. to allow appeals of drunk-driving penalties

The B.C. government says it's considering changes to its tough drunk-driving laws to allow drivers to challenge roadside penalties.
The government plans to allow an appeal period in the same way drivers can appeal a speeding ticket, Solicitor General Rich Coleman said Tuesday. (CBC)

The B.C. government says it's considering changes to its tough drunk-driving laws to allow drivers to challenge roadside penalties.

Police have been slapping drivers with immediate roadside suspensions and fines since last year, when the new law took effect, making it illegal to drive with a .05 blood-alcohol reading.

After a flood of complaints from drivers over how the new law was being applied by police, the government ordered a review.

As a result of that review, the government is planning legislative changes to allow an appeal period in the same way drivers can appeal a speeding ticket, Solicitor General Rich Coleman said Tuesday in a report from CHNL radio in Kamloops.

Coleman said the changes should still achieve the government's objective of safer streets and highways.

He said the province also intends to launch a public information campaign, following complaints from bar and restaurant owners that the new laws are keeping customers at home.