Burnaby, British Columbia – Long holiday weekends often see a spike in driving after consuming alcohol or drugs, warns the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA).

There wasn’t a spike in impaired driving over the May long weekend, and BCAA’s Road Safety Foundation is hoping to see a zero death rate on the upcoming July long weekend.

Approximately two people are killed and 60 are injured each week through impaired driving in British Columbia. Impaired drivers cost the B.C. economy $1.6 billion per year, primarily in health, police and court costs.

The summer weekends see an increase in impaired driving, especially in those coming from private functions such as barbeques and golf tournaments. BCAA is encouraging families, friends and hosts to be responsible in how they serve alcohol and to provide options and transportation alternatives for guests who have become impaired.

In B.C., penalties include 90-day driving bans and fines of $500 for drivers who provide a failing breath sample over 0.08 BAC or who refuse to provide a roadside breath sample. Drivers in the “warning range” between 0.05 and 0.08 BAC within a five-year period face an immediate three-day driving ban and a $200 fine for the first offense; a seven-day ban and $300 fine for the second; and a 30-day ban and $400 fine for the third.

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