Wildrose runs coaster campaign opposing .05 law

Alberta's Wildrose party is making no apology for a coaster campaign against the province's new drunk-driving law.
Alberta new law provides administrative penalties for anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol level higher than .05 (CBC)

Alberta's Wildrose party is making no apology for a coaster campaign against the province's new drunk-driving law.

Party members have been handing out beer coasters to bars and restaurants. One side has a red line running through .05 and says "drink responsibly" while the opposite side has the same red line through the letters PC, for Progressive Conservative, and says "vote responsibly".

Wildrose's Rob Anderson says the coasters carry an important message: "We've done polling on this and we know that two to one Albertans don't want the .05 legislation. They don't like it. They think it's a gross abuse of government power. It infringes on people's rights and it doesn't go after the real problem on our streets which is people who are well over the legal limit."

Under the new law drivers with a blood alcohol content between .05 and .08 face possible administrative penalties, including licence suspensions ranging from three to 30 days and short-term vehicle seizures. They may also have to take part in driver education programs, if they are caught below .08 a second and third time.

The province is also focusing on young drivers. Motorists with graduated licences can have their vehicles seized for a week and face a 30-day driving ban if they are caught with any blood alcohol in their system.

Currently police can only issue a 24-hour suspension to drivers caught behind the wheel with an alcohol level of .05 and .08 in their blood.

Alberta solicitor general Jonathan Denis said he's had calls from Albertans saying the Wildrose coaster campaign is in poor taste.