Mr. Speaker, the purpose of examining a problem such as this one is to ensure that fewer people will be victims of accidents caused by impaired drivers.
A study of the statistics would, I think, show that the problem does not lie with the need to lower the allowable blood alcohol limit. How many accidents would be avoided if the level were dropped from 0.08 to 0.07, 0.06 or 0.05?
I think that, as a general rule, the people who cause most of the automobile accidents when driving impaired are those who are way above the limit. Whether we put it at 0.05 or 0.08, generally speaking, the drivers who are killing people while impaired are those with blood alcohol levels of 0.20, 0.30 or 0.35.
So making a change of a few tenths of a point is not going to solve the problem. I do not know what my Reform colleague is thinking, but is he contemplating changes in the penalties for impaired driving? This reminds me of the problem of children playing with matches.
Matches are not banned because they are dangerous, but they are kept out of the way of children, as is poison in the medicine chest. And the chest should be locked to keep children out.
Could the same reasoning not be applied to a person incapable of driving a car, who does not know whether or not he should drive because he is not sober? It might be possible to attach a boot to a car for one, two or three months, because the individual drove while under the influence, even though it was only at a blood alcohol level of .08 or .07.
This deals with the immediate cause. An individual who is not sober and cannot get his hands on a wheel will harm no one. You cannot allow such a person to decide whether he should use his car, as he is incapable of making a decision.
I would like to know whether the hon. member has given this any thought. I would like him to comment on whether we should change the approach and act on the cause of the accident instead of tightening legislation and creating more criminals without resolving the problem.
Too many people have lost their licence two, three, four or five times and have not been dissuaded from using their car when they have been drinking. So, perhaps the solution does not lie here. We could discourage them by using a Denver boot, for example. A man with his car in the driveway wearing a Denver boot can get as drunk as he likes, but he will not be able to use the car because of the boot, or some other similar device. Some way has to be found to stop him using his car. I would like my colleague's comments on that.