In… [British Columbia], if you blow .08 or beyond, you can avoid the justice system ”“ and a criminal record ”“ if you fit certain criteria. Conditions include not having killed or injured anyone or caused property damage as a result of your actions. If you qualify, you can opt for administrative sanctions over the courts.
If you choose this path, you have to go through a rehabilitation program, which could lead to treatment for alcohol abuse. When the person is given the right to drive again, it can only be in a car outfitted with an ignition interlock system, for a minimum of one year. The device prevents the car from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol level is above a certain limit.
“The focus is very much on rehabilitating the driver and not simply punishing him,” says Mr. Murie. “I don’t think just punishing drivers works.”