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B.C. court rules against compensating people caught by drunk driving law

B.C. court rules against compensating people caught by drunk driving law
July 12, 2012 - 3:33 PM

VANCOUVER - Thousands of British Columbia drivers caught by drunk driving laws that a judge later declared unconstitutional won't be compensated for their financial losses.

In a ruling issued today, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson says the part of the law he ruled unconstitutional is not retroactive.

Sigurdson says drivers aren't entitled to be reimbursed for costs, including an $880 fee for a responsible driver program, $250 for having their driver's licence reinstated and other penalties.

Sigurdson ruled late last year that penalties for part of the B.C. government's tough new drunk driving laws were too harsh for people who blew over the alcohol level of .08, but he upheld the penalties for those who blew in the warning range between the .05 and .08 level.

Sigurdson says in his ruling that there was no misconduct or bad faith in the passing of the legislation and the petitioners aren't entitled to damages under the Charter of Rights.

The province has now adjusted its legislation and, on June 15, enacted changes to allow drivers who blow above .08 to meaningfully challenge the roadside breath-test results.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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