The Alberta RCMP Traffic Services is reminding people that the alcohol limit is zero every time when driving a commercial vehicle, after recent check-stop programs resulted in license suspensions.
Officers spent time over the beginning of the month conducting check stops in the midwest. On July 4th, around 11:25 AM, officers stopped a tractor-trailer driver on Highway 600 south of Provost.
The driver claimed he had only been drinking the night before, so a Mandatory Alcohol Screening was asked for, and the driver allegedly blew “54” or 54 mg%. A second reading also turned up 53 mg%, and the driver was given a commercial zero-tolerance sanction, which includes a 3-day license suspension and a $300 fine.
A second stop, at a checkpoint in Marwayne July 12th, found another commercial driver with alcohol in their system through a Mandatory Alcohol Screening, resulting in them getting a commercial zero-tolerance sanction as well.
The RCMP is using these cases as a reminder that the blood alcohol limit for people driving commercially is 0.0, as their vehicles are more complex to drive even sober, let alone intoxicated.
Under Bill C-46, which became law in December 2018, officers can ask any driver for an alcohol screening at any lawful stop, with failure or refusing to comply with the demand carrying the same, or greater, penalties as driving while impaired, the RCMP explains.
They add one of these screenings should not be unexpected at stops, and it would create little to no delay compared to a stop without one.