Slightly drunk drivers should get demerits: Fantino
Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino is calling for stiffer drinking and driving penalties, even for people who are slightly impaired.
The current penalty of a 12-hour license suspension and possibly the cost of a towing bill is not enough, according to Fantino. He is proposing that drivers receive demerit points as well.
It is a move that would target people who, after a drink or two, are not legally drunk but still get behind the wheel.
"If you are in a warned situation, I'm advocating that there ought to be points associated with that and much greater penalties," Fantino said Friday.
"We're moving forward. I think that there's a realization that we need to spruce-up the laws and we need to spruce-up the tools that enable us to in essence ground these people."
Fantino made the comments while attending a Mothers Against Drunk Driving event Friday morning.
The MADD campaign urges motorists to call 911 to report drunk drivers and help police get them off the roadways.
Fantino's comments come as MADD is expressing outrage over an incident in Quebec. A 23-year-old woman in that province is in critical condition after being hit by a van in front of her house.
A man with six prior convictions has been charged for the seventh time with drunk driving. The driver, who police alleged had a blood alcohol level at twice the legal limit, apparently left the scene. He had a valid driver's license at the time.
A MADD spokesperson says the situation is frustrating and the group lobbying for legal changes.
"It's mind-boggling when you see this happening, especially when we do work so hard at both provincial and federal levels," Karen Dunham, president of MADD Canada said.
"They just have to take a look at what other provinces are doing and put the proper measures in place. We've provided each province, each jurisdiction on both federal and provincial level, with many, many initiatives. And if they're put in place it will reduce the number of deaths and injuries and keep the roads safer for us."