The B.C. government has introduced new driving laws
that it says will enhance fairness for drivers accused of being impaired and increase public confidence.
The changes come after a B.C. Supreme Court judge struck down the law that allowed police to issue an immediate roadside suspension to those who blew over .08.
The changes expand the grounds for appeal, make it mandatory for police to tell drivers they can challenge the first roadside test, that the lowest of two tests will prevail and that police must submit documents about the calibration of the roadside breathalyzer.
Justice Minister Shirley Bond says the changes maintain the life-saving value of the law while ensuring that the requirements of the Charter of Rights are met.
At least 15,000 people were fined and penalized for blowing over .08 while the law was in place, paying about $4,500 each in fines and fees.
Lawyer Paul Doroshenko, who has several clients caught up by the old law, says the court has said the automatic suspensions are unlawful and the government needs to pay that money back.