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Impaired boaters to lose automobile license

Members of B.C.’s boating community have paired with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, the Lifesaving Society and MADD Canada to support the Vancouver Police Department in their recommendation that impaired boating should be included in B.C.’s new administrative license program. The change would allow police to suspend the automobile licenses of any boater found with a blood alcohol content of over .05 percent.

“Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, strong provincial license suspension programs to deal with automobile drivers who, while under the Criminal Code limit of .08 per cent, still pose a danger to others,” said MADD Canada chief executive Andrew Murie. “We would like to see those programs extended to people who endanger others by operating their boats while impaired.”

“It would seem to me that all responsible boaters would be supportive of such changes to the Motor Vehicle Act as far too many boating incidents and accidents occur as a result of alcohol consumption on the water,” said Norm Dyck, the chair of the Pacific Recreational Boating Advisory Council in an email to Pacific Yachting.

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