Saskatchewan

Sask. government introducing tougher anti-drunk driving rules

The Saskatchewan government is toughening up its anti-drinking-and-driving rules, including one that lets police seize vehicles.

Zero tolerance age to be raised to 21 from 19

Under the proposed rule changes, experienced drivers found to have .04 to .08 per cent alcohol in their blood will have their vehicles seized and impounded for three days. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The Saskatchewan government is toughening up its anti-drinking-and-driving rules, including one that lets police seize vehicles.

The new rules unveiled Monday are to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Experienced drivers found driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 to 0.08 will have their vehicle seized. (CBC)

Under the proposed rule changes, experienced drivers found to have .04 to .08 per cent alcohol in their blood — on a first offence — will have their vehicles seized and impounded for three days.

Currently, there are no vehicle seizures for experienced drivers with that blood-alcohol level.

There will be zero tolerance for all new drivers age 21 and under. (CBC)

The age at which there is zero tolerance for alcohol or drugs is also being raised.

Currently, there is an automatic 60-day licence suspension for drivers under the age of 19, as well as all new drivers, when they are caught with any alcohol in their system.

The "young drivers" age is being boosted to 21 and under.

The interlock program - in which a breathalyzer connected to the vehicle ignition is installed - is seeing some changes. (CBC)

Also included in the changes are longer terms for ignition interlock devices in drinking-and-driving case.

Ignition interlocks require people to breathe into a tube and prove they are alcohol free before their vehicles can  be started.

Some 44 per cent of all road fatalities are alcohol-related, Saskatchewan Government Insurance says.

Cellphone law changes also coming

In addition to new anti-drinking-and-driving rules, the government is also moving to tighten up its cellphone law.

The current law forbids people from using phones while driving, but there have been some court cases where defendants successfully argued they were only looking at their phones or holding them.

The proposed changes will clarify that in addition to using cellphones, drivers will be banned from holding and viewing them.

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