Less than two weeks after the announcement that the province would review its new impaired driving laws, after some bars and restaurants reported a drop in business of as much as 20 per cent, the B.C. Association of Police Chiefs has announced that they will be changing the "warn" range on their approved roadside screening devices.
The association said it would take 10 days to calibrate their devices, during which time they would not be issuing Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRPS) to drivers who provide breath samples in the warn range between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent blood alcohol content. After that time the "warn" rating will only kick in for drivers that test at 0.06 per cent to 0.08 per cent.
"In 10 days, it's business as usual," said Vancouver police deputy chief Warren Lemcke.
The loss in restaurant and bar business since the new impaired driving laws came into effect on Sept. 20 was unexpected, according to Solicitor General Rich Coleman, when he announced plans to review the new law and direct police to show more discretion in handing down IRPs. Part of his plan to remedy the situation was to educate the public about what the new 0.05 per cent limit means, and reassure people that they can still safely have a drink with dinner or after work.