VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Nov. 22, 2010) – In September, British Columbia officially enacted the toughest drinking and driving PENALTIES in the country. These laws have already had widespread impact on the hospitality industry, as the new Motor Vehicle Act allows police to pull a driver’s car off the road if he or she blows above 0.05 blood-alcohol content- the lowest such threshold in the country. Drivers also face penalties ranging from $600 to more than $4,000 if caught and if a driver blows above 0.08 they will immediately lose their license for 90 days and their vehicle for 30 days. Additionally, drivers may face charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.
According to B.C. Solicitor General Mike de Jong, the goal of these tough new laws is to get drunk and dangerous drivers off the province’s roads. To de Jong, “When someone gets behind the wheel of a car and drives drunk or speeds excessively, it’s no accident, it’s a deliberate choice. We want to protect all motorists by giving police more enforcement tools to stop irresponsible drivers in their tracks.”
As a result of B.C.’s tough new laws, Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre in Abbotsford is offering their annual “Take the Elevator Home” program early. Usually Ramada only offers this program at Christmas but because of the new laws, Director of Sales, Christine Lane has decided to implement the seasonal offer early. According to Lane, “The new laws mean that everyone who decides to have a drink must be extra conscientious about getting into their vehicle. We are happy to offer this program to take some of the pressure off drivers and also encourage safe driving.”
Lane goes on to say that offering choices is the key to ensuring revelers are able to enjoy responsibly. Whether people choose to entertain at home to avoid drinking and driving, or choose to take advantage of programs like “Take the Elevator Home” when attending an event – the most important thing is to understand that there are options available to you.
The executive staff at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre in Abbotsford know that despite people’s grumblings about the tough new laws (especially as we approach the holiday season) there are options to make sure people are able to enjoy holiday parties and celebrations without jeopardizing their lives and the lives of others. To Christine Lane, “This year, the hospitality industry is going to have to be open to a whole new range of partnerships and alternatives to make sure our industry doesn’t suffer. We (the Ramada Abbotsford) are proof that the new laws don’t have to hurt your business; in fact, they can strengthen it.