After a year of research, the Quebec government could not validate any reason to lowering the per se blood alcohol level from .08 to .05. There are simply no studies that provide a significant number of people are under the influence at .05. Although MADD argues that 20% of death related accidents are a result of people driving with blood alcohol levels in between .05 – .08, there is no evidence that all or even a significant number are as a result of the driver being under the influence.
Quebec backs off plan to lower DUI limit
CTV.ca News Staff Date: Mon. Dec. 6 2010 6:30 PM ET
The Quebec government has backed down from its plan to lower the legal blood-alcohol level for drivers. Transport Minister Sam Hamad made the announcement Monday, about a year after his predecessor, Julie Boulet, recommended the initial move. Hamad said months of study and consultations provided little evidence to suggest dropping the legal blood-alcohol level from 0.08 mg/100 ml of blood to 0.05 mg/100 ml will improve road safety. The head of Quebec’s road safety task force was disappointed by the decision. "He has the right to his opinion but at the table we said according to the studies we have (lowering the legal limit) does make a difference," Jean-Marie De Koninck told CTV Montreal. However, Mothers Against Drunk Driving says that 20 per cent of drunk-driving deaths are caused by drivers with a blood-alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.08 mg/100 ml. Every other province in Canada has the power to suspend a driver for 24 hours if they are found to be within the 0.05 to 0.08 mg/100 ml range. Instead, Quebec is moving towards harsher penalties for repeat offenders. After a third conviction, drivers will have to install breathalyzer ignition lock systems if they want to drive. Quebec also plans to spend an additional $2 million on roadblock and check points. Hamad hopes to have the new laws in place prior to the holiday season.