Yukon has a problem that doesn’t seem to go away: its drunk driving rate is five times the national rate, easily the highest in Canada. The territory’s chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) want to change that.
MADD has been instrumental in helping provinces toughen up anti-DUI legislation. They support a variety of impaired driving countermeasures, including mandatory ignition interlocks for all drivers who fail their breath test, a zero-limit tolerance for alcohol in drivers under 21, and vehicle impoundment for impaired drivers and those driving while disqualified.
What the organization has done for some provinces, it wants for territories as well: MADD is calling for Yukon to ban drinking altogether for new drivers — in effect, canceling their licence if they are found to have consumed any alcohol at all while driving — and reduce the territory’s threshold for impairment to .05.
While drunk driving is a serious offense in Yukon, the laws apparently are not thorough enough to keep drivers from imbibing. For example, a couple of years ago a taxi driver in Whitehorse was arrested on a DUI charge, and was able to continue with his job afterwards. The city had no jurisdiction to suspend the driver’s licence.
Recently Yukon RCMP Traffic Services took part in a national crackdown on drunk driving, which netted some offenders. However, it will take stronger laws to make inroads into Yukon’s shockingly high DUI rate, and that is what MADD intends to fight for.