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Tough laws working

Tough drinking driving laws working as they're 45 fewer alcohol-related deaths this year

One year has past and 45 lives have been saved since the B.C. Liberal government imposed Canada's toughest drinking-driving laws.

That is a 40 per cent drop in alcohol-related deaths from last year's numbers. From Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 31, 2011, there were 68 deaths associated with impaired driving this year, compared to 113 the previous year.

This means 45 more people made it home to their loved ones, and we can expect an equal or better percentage next year.

Government statistics show police served 23,366 immediate roadside prohibitions for drinking drivers.

Of them, 15,401 blew 0.08 or over blood alcohol content, or refused to provide a breath sample.

Some 7,965 blew in the "warn" range of between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent.

Police also impounded 20,000 vehicles, with three-quarter being 30-day impounds for failing Breathalyzer tests, and the other 25 per cent being three-day impounds for blowing "warns."

That is a lot of alcohol-impaired drivers and their vehicles being taken off the road for the betterment of public travelling safety.

Obviously, there are still drinking drivers making it through the net, but the odds are they will be caught eventually.

Meanwhile, a lot of people and businesses complained bitterly when the "draconian" measure became law last year.

Businesses, mostly in the pub and restaurant sector, complained they would lose significant revenue because of the new, tougher drinking-driving laws.

Members of the public also complained about having their fun dampened by having to worry about driving home if they had a "couple" of drinks with dinner or while socializing with friends.

However, people are changing the way they drink while socializing, and they are taking a cab, having a designated driver or organizing a pickup from family and friends to get home.

This is a good thing because it means we have less impaired drivers on the roads.

It also means fewer families are getting that late-night call or visit, telling them their loved one won't be coming home that night or ever again.