Calgary

Restaurants fear losses if drunk driving laws toughened

A spokesman for the food service industry says tougher drunk driving laws will scare people into just staying home.

A spokesperson for the food service industry says tougher drunk driving laws will scare people into just staying home.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford said recently she is considering introducing strict new laws for impaired driving, such as those in B.C.

In that province, police can immediately suspend a licence for three days and impound a vehicle on a first offence if the driver has a blood-alcohol level of .05 per cent or higher.

That's lower than the criminal code bar of .08 per cent, which is the rule in Alberta.

But B.C. restaurants have seen a drop in business due to the lower limit there, said Mark von Schellwitz, who is the Western Canada vice president of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

"The .05 legislation in British Columbia … really scared a lot of consumers. And there’s a lot of fear and a lack of knowledge to what that really means," he said.

Von Schellwitz said restaurant owners have been "calling his office non-stop" to voice their opposition lowering the blood-alcohol limit in Alberta.

 

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