Victoria, British Columbia – The first year of British Columbia’s new impaired driving law has resulted in 45 lives saved, according to Premier Christy Clark.

Clark noted that the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths was reduced by 40 per cent due to the law, which enforces Canada’s toughest roadside penalties. The province will contribute $40,000 this year toward establishing Alexa’s Bus, a mobile road safety bus that will focus on impaired driving education and enforcement.

“In honour of Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl whose life was cut short by impaired driving, we set a goal to reduce impaired driving fatalities by 35 per cent by the end of 2013,” Clark said. “Just one year later, preliminary data shows we are already exceeding that with a 40 per cent reduction. That’s 45 more families in B.C. who have been able to keep a loved one safe from impaired drivers.”

From October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011, 68 people died in alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths, down from the average of 113 in each of the previous five years.

Under the Motor Vehicle Act changes that came into force on September 20, 2010, impaired drivers face immediate penalties that may include vehicle seizure, license suspension, and anywhere from $600 to about $4,060 in administrative penalties and remedial program costs.

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