British Columbia has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the nation, with penalties ranging from the immediate loss of your license and vehicle to heavy fines and responsible driving classes. The good news is that these strict laws and the hard work of advocacy groups seems to be paying off.

According to recent statistics from the government, British Columbia’s impaired driving rate is at its lowest point in a decade, at least according to recent figures. In 2011, B.C recorded a decade-high rate of impaired driving of 415.35 for 100,000 people.

In an effort to save lives, the government cracked down heavily on these offences. The results have been positive.

B.C DUI statistics: still above the nation’s average

The rate of impaired driving in BC is still well above the national average and 2.4 times higher than that of Ontario, the province with the nation’s lowest rate. After the decade-high numbers tallied in 2011, the new penalties invoked by the legislature began to take affect. New penalties given on the spot included:

● A 90-day driving prohibition
● Loss of vehicle for 30 days (including towing expenses)
● A $500 fine

Safe to say that a DUI can be a life changing charge. It’s important to know that the police do make mistakes, though, so you should always know your rights.

Current statistics: lowest in a decade

The dangers of driving under the influence can never be taken lightly, so it’s a relief to see that our impaired driving rate has fallen to 274 for every 100,000 people in the province.

Even though the number has dropped significantly, we still have a long way to go. There were over 12,000 charges made on BC roads in 2014.

Each year has seen a steady decline, and we are hoping that it will continue into 2017.

The BC government enacted even stricter penalties last year, forcing drivers with certain offences to take remedial courses that could cost upwards of $1,000 dollars.

It’s great to see DUI charges in B.C dropping steadily and our roads becoming safer each year. We’ve still got a long way to go, though. With the stricter DUI penalties, it’s important that you are represented properly in the event that a mistake has been made or your rights violated. A drunk driving offence can seriously alter your life for the worse. Make sure you are properly represented in the event that you are charged.