Fall fun food and follies in B.C. 2010 chapter 1

B.C. Drunk Driving laws - blow for me please...Life in British Columbia guarantees an endless procession of political intrigue, scandals, government screw-ups and boondoggles.

It gets on my nerves and amuses me – but not always in equal measure.

The last few months it has been the police, particularly the RCMP who have been getting under my skin – like Fall drunk wasps who get in my face the moment I head outside.

The RCMP – a once respected National police force that used to be trusted, reliable as gravity and, for all intents and purposes… inscrutable…
(And)Now you wouldn’t trust them to handle a simple drunk and disorderly call or a jet lagged tourist without someone getting a bullet in the back of their head…

…or worse.

Now they want more power on the roads.
The B.C. Attorney generals office has radically reshaped speeding and drunk driving laws in such as way as to grant extraordinary powers to the cops on the tarmac beat.

And don’t get me wrong – I am all for getting people to slow the heck down. Speed kills. And so does excessive drink. That is why we have reasonable limits of alcohol consumption.

But, in my opinion, it is not the food enthusiasts and lovers of life – who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, that are the problem. It is the hardened repeat offenders that are too stupid to not drive blitzed, putting themselves and every animate and inanimate object in their paths in danger.

The new DUI laws put everyone in the cross hairs of Joe Police Constable. Due process has been eliminated and the roadside cop is now judge, jury and executioner. As I currently interpret the new laws, you can be pulled over, have your license pulled, your car towed and be fined thousands of dollars never even having had the pleasure of one sip of liquor… or the pleasant company of a wise old B.C. judge.

Doubt me? You shouldn’t. It all comes down to the discretion of the attending officer. You may have just had a 12 hour shift at the mill or the office. You are tired. And are weaving a bit. And whether or not you “blow” .05 is irrelevant. There is a new “definition” of impaired out there folks.

And listen up. Roadside breath tests do not test for alcohol. They test for chemical compounds in your breath that indicate the presence of alcohol (and other substances) in your bloodstream. It is not an infallible test and every test is open to subjective analysis and criticism.

Oh, I mean in most places other than B.C.

Results. The hardened drinkers are still going to drink and drive.
The rest of us are going to stop eating out or enjoying a glass of wine or beer at a restaurant or social – in addition to living in a society that is tipping towards a nanny state at an ever frightening rate.

So. The cops have more power.
Guess what? They want MORE power still.
The Association of Police Chiefs of B.C. want the ability to execute random roadside breath tests.
Huh? What ever happened to innocent til proven guilty?
Here is a little truth: Surgeons like to cut things, carpenters like to build things and cops like to have power – and it’s human nature to want more than you have or do more than your doing.

What I can see happening shortly is a clash of lawyers in B.C. with the A.G.‘s office. Class action suits. Charter rights challenges. Etc.

Scandals, boondoggles and more scandals. Welcome to B.C. folks.

Too much power, but now police chiefs are calling for even more.

“The randomness of catching people who are drinking and driving is pretty key to lowering the death rate and sending a very clear message to people that break the law,” mused Victoria Police Chief Jamie Graham.

We cannot trust our current crop of cops with guns or tazers.
So how can we trust them with overarching quantities of police powers?
Just say no folks.
Which is exactly what I am going to say to Corporal Kowalsky when I get asked to blow without cause.

You first officer. You first.

Life in British Columbia guarantees an endless procession of political intrigue, scandals, government screw-ups and boondoggles. It gets on my nerves and amuses me – but not always in equal measure. The last few months it has been the police, particularly the RCMP who have been getting under my skin – like Fall drunk wasps…