Proposed Drinking Legislation Causes Uproar


CALGARY — Restaurant and bar owners in Alberta are concerned about proposed tougher penalties for drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) between .05 and .08.

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association (CRFA) has received more than 2,000 petitions from Alberta business owners who are concerned the new Bill targets the wrong people and will be a detriment to the financial well-being of bars and restaurants in the province.

“CRFA fully supports tougher penalties for drivers with a BAC above .08 as well as graduated licensing,” said Garth Whyte, CRFA’s president and chief executive officer. “What we don’t support are the stricter penalties for drivers with a BAC from .05 – .08. This piece of the legislation affects responsible drivers who are not legally impaired, and is unnecessarily confusing and intimidating to ordinary Albertans.”

Similar measures in British Columbia have led to an average 21-per-cent loss in liquor sales in the six months following the new penalties, according to Mark von Schellwitz, Western Canada representative for the CRFA.

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