“What do fleets do with the drunken driver?”

VANCOUVER — Here’s a question you’ve never had to answer before.

Say one of your drivers gets busted for DUI in his own car, on his own time. As part of his fine, he has to install a breath-testing device on everything he drives, including your trucks.

Who pays for the device? You or the driver?

And who gets to tell your other drivers — the ones who use the same vehicle on other shifts — that they’re going to have to blow into a tube before they start the engine and every few miles thereafter if they want to keep the vehicle moving?

It’s not hypothetical.

In fact, according to the Vancouver Sun, the head of the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) Louise Yako has had it posed to her by a trucker in the northern part of the province.

Under a new provincial law that came into effect last September, cops can let first-time offenders escape a criminal charge by handing them an immediate 90-day suspension, a $500 fine, and forcing them to install the ignition interlock device on any vehicle the person drives.

That includes company trucks or cars.

Under the rule, anyone driving the vehicle must breathe into the device before starting it and then, at random intervals, pull over to re-blow, just to keep the vehicle running.

As Stephanie Melvin, acting superintendent of motor vehicles, told the Sun: "It doesn’t matter what profession you’re in. There are no exceptions to this rule."

In response, the BCTA is urging members to come up with a company policy on how to deal with these units – likely having to amend their drug and alcohol policies to take into account the new interlock requirements — before the issue rears its head.

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