BCAA Calls For Assessment of DUI's


BURNABY, B.C., Jan. 13 /CNW/ – Armed with overwhelming support from
its members, the 700,000-strong British Columbia Automobile Association
is calling upon government to implement a mandatory substance abuse
assessment and rehabilitation program for all impaired drivers.

“It’s time we started treating the root of drunk driving,” says BCAA
President Bill Bullis. “More than 60 per cent of the people charged with
impaired driving are repeat offenders. Clearly, the threats of arrest,
conviction and suspension aren’t doing anything to change the behavior of
these people. That’s because many of them have serious drinking or other
substance abuse problems, and until we treat those problems, we’re not
going to get impaired drivers off the roads.”

BCAA is asking government to make mandatory assessment and
rehabilitation part of the Administrative Driving Prohibition Program,
which is scheduled to be introduced province-wide this spring. ADP, which
is one of the Traffic Safety Initiatives for which BCAA lobbied, will
enable police to suspend the licences of people who refuse to give blood
or breath samples, or who test above the legal blood alcohol limit (.08).
The three-month suspension will take place regardless of the outcome of
criminal charges.

BCAA believes all drivers whose licences are suspended under the ADP
program should undergo a mandatory assessment for alcohol or drug abuse.
Those found to have substance abuse problems should then be required to
complete a mandatory rehabilitation program prior to having their driving
privileges returned. B.C. is the only province in Canada that does not
have some form of compulsory rehabilitation for impaired drivers.

There is overwhelming support for the program among BCAA members.
According to an Angus Reid survey conducted in June, 1996, 91 per cent of
BCAA members support a mandatory assessment and rehabilitation program
for impaired drivers. In addition, 435 BCAA members have responded to a
BCAA mailed update on the topic indicating they support the program. The
Ministries of Transportation and Highways, and Health have both told BCAA
they have received approximately 100 letters from individual members of
the public requesting such a program.

“Our efforts to make this important program a reality have been
received favorably by the responsible ministers,” says Bullis. “On
behalf of our members, however, we eagerly await the government’s
assurance that mandatory assessment and rehabilitation will be part of
the Administrative Driving Prohibition Program when it is introduced this
spring. Drunk driving is still the leading criminal cause of death in
B.C. – it’s time we started dealing with it effectively.”

BCAA works for and with more than 700,000 members to represent their
interests and to satisfy their needs for security and peace of mind in
motoring, travel and at home.

For further information: Ellen Chesney, Public Affairs, (604)


General Inquiries [email protected]

Technical Issues [email protected]

DUI Attorneys

DUI.com | DWI.com