On September 20, 2010, the CBC Television news was on the streets in British Columbia asking folk if they knew how many alcoholic drinks it took to reach a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. No one knew. Some guessed it might be one drink, others thought perhaps two.
The fact of course is that there are so many different variables that it is impossible to say how many drinks it will take to reach a specific BAC. Of course, for years it’s been thought that it’s safe to consume one alcoholic drink an hour and stay under the Canadian Criminal Code level of 0.08, but even that rule of thumb is not assured.
This is very important to British Columbians who’s government has now enacted even stricter BAC levels for drivers in that Province of Canada. Although a driver may not be charged criminally (unless there are obvious signs of impairment, and then an Impaired Driving criminal charge could be laid), the Province is providing DUI penalties for those found to have a BAC of between 0.05 and 0.08 while driving.
The new British Columbia law provides for harsh penalties for those drivers which include an automatic 3 day suspension, a 3 day vehicle impoundment and $400.00 in fines and legal fees.
So if you’ve had a drink, how do you know if you’ve reached or exceeded the 0.05 BAC? Although it will cost you a wee bit of money, in the long run it could save you a ton of money in time, insurance premiums and legal fees by having your own personal breathalyzer.
British Columbia is also bringing in even tougher penalties above beyond Criminal Code penalties for drivers that are 0.08 and above. As of September 21, 2010, drivers in that Province that drive with a BAC of 0.08 or higher will: