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A Victoria Police officer prepares to administer an Approved Screening Device (breathalyzer) to the driver of a vehicle during a check stop on Yates St. in downtown Victoria. Police are cracking down on intoxicated drivers, looking for those under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program set up by ICBC. (Chad Hipolito For The Globe and Mail)
A Victoria Police officer prepares to administer an Approved Screening Device (breathalyzer) to the driver of a vehicle during a check stop on Yates St. in downtown Victoria. Police are cracking down on intoxicated drivers, looking for those under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program set up by ICBC. (Chad Hipolito For The Globe and Mail)

Justice

B.C. fine-tuning drunk-driving laws Add to ...

B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond says the government is refining its drunk driving laws amid court challenges from 17 motorists who were forced into costly driver education programs.

Ms. Bond says the government is reviewing penalties for 1,200 motorists who were handed immediate roadside prohibitions during a three-week period in November, 2011, just before the B.C. Supreme Court struck down part of the law.

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The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is examining the five-year driving records of each of the 1,200 motorists to determine if their driver education penalties should be waived.

The review is expected to be completed in six to eight weeks and drivers who escape the penalties could save almost $2,600.

Ms. Bond says the review will determine if those motorists will still have to take the responsible-driver program and install the ignition interlock system, which disables a vehicle if alcohol is detected.

But the minister says the government is sticking to its get-tough impaired-driving-penalty program that has saved as man as 104 lives since September 2010.

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